Renewing your spirit one bite at a time

Sourdough Bread Bowls


sourdough bread bowls

Sourdough bread bowls. Who doesn’t love a bread bowl accompanied by a warm, delicious soup? Or maybe you just want a mini loaf with a green salad. Either way, these sourdough bread bowls will not disappoint. They have that classic flavor of an authentic sourdough artisan loaf, just made small. This recipe calls for 6 4-inch sourdough boules that you can use how you see fit! The texture is incredible with a crispy, chewy crust and a fluffy inside. The tanginess of the sourdough pairs wonderfully with savory dishes. If you have mastered the art of sourdough bread baking, you’ll find this recipe extremely achievable. But if not, no worries! I have incorporated a detailed step-by-step so that anyone can enjoy these perfect, little sourdough bread bowls.

sourdough bread bowls

How to use these mini bowls

These bread bowls will measure approximately 4 inches across and fit comfortably in a 6-inch bowl. Although these are meant to be bowls for your soup, feel free to use these mini boules as you see fit. You may just want to give everyone in the family their very own loaf or use it as a side with a meal. They are very convenient and versatile!

sourdough bread bowl

To use as a bread bowl for soup:

  • Simply cut a 2-3 inch square on the top of the loaf. Remove the bread piece which will act as a lid. Using a spoon or your hand remove the inside of the bread. Save all those delicious pieces for dipping later!
  • Ladle your soup in the bread bowl and enjoy! The soup will soften the bread and the little loaf will soak up all the flavor. Because these bowls are the perfect size you can comfortably eat an entire one to yourself 🙂
sourdough bread bowl
Ladle your soup in and enjoy

Tips before baking sourdough bread bowls

  • I recommend feeding your starter 8-12 hours before baking. I usually feed my starter the evening before bread prep day.
  • This recipe incorporates whole wheat flour for a more complex flavor. Whole wheat flour does well in warmer temperatures. Turning your oven on and then off to create a warmer environment for the bread dough to rise is ideal.
  • This is a higher hydration recipe, meaning the dough will be stickier and a bit harder to work with. During the kneading process, utilize flour to assist with this.
  • Use glass or ceramic soup bowls to proof the dough overnight in the refrigerator. I use approximately 6-inch soup bowls, which work great. Banneton baskets will do just fine as well.
  • You can choose to either make 4 or 6 bread bowls. If you choose to make 4 bread bowls, each dough ball will weigh around 390-400 grams. This will make your bread bowls just slightly larger.

Equipment needed

How to make sourdough bread bowls step-by-step

Baker’s schedule: Prep the leaven and dough around 9 am to bake for the following morning. This is a 2 bulk rise recipe. The first is 6-7 hours @ room temperature (68 degrees F) and the second one is 12-15 hours in the refrigerator.

Keep in mind the temperature of your home will affect the above times. My rule of thumb is to watch the dough, not the clock. The dough should be doubled in size after the first bulk rise.

TIP: You can choose to either make 4 or 6 bread bowls. If you choose to make 4 bread bowls, each dough ball will weigh around 390-400 grams.

Step 1: Make the leaven & dough

  • In a small mason jar or glass jar mix your leaven.
  • Add 45 grams of an active sourdough starter, 45 grams of whole wheat flour, 45 grams of all-purpose flour, and 90 grams of water.
  • Mix well using a fork, cover, and set aside.
  • For the dough, in a large mixing bowl add 625 grams of bread flour, 175 grams of whole wheat flour, and 544 grams of water. Mix with your hands until a rough dough ball is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough and leaven to rest for 45 minutes next to each other.

Tip: turn your oven on and then off to create a warmer environment for the dough and leaven.

sourdough bread bowl leaven
Mix the leaven
sourdough bread bowl dough
Mix the dough
autolyse leaven and dough
Allow the leaven and dough to rest next to each other in a warm spot

Step 2: Mix the leaven and dough & Knead

  • Sprinkle 18 grams of salt over the dough mixture.
  • Then pour the leaven mixture over the dough and mix it well by dimpling it into the dough using your hands.
  • Then pour the entire mixture over a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes or until it comes together. Add flour as necessary to prevent stickiness.
  • Place the dough back in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes in a warm spot.
leaven and dough mixture
Sprinkle salt & pour the leaven over the dough and mix it in
kneaded sourdough bread bowl dough
Kneaded sourdough bread bowl dough (smooth with some lines)

Step 3: Stretch and folds

  • After the dough has rested, perform the first stretch and fold.
  • Scoop your hand under a portion of the dough, stretch it up a few inches, and fold it to the opposing side. Do this to each section of the dough (totaling about 4-5 sections).
  • Cover the dough and let it rest and perform 3 more stretch and folds in 30-minute increments totaling 4.
  • Once all 4 stretch and folds have been completed, simply cover the dough and allow it to rest for the remaining of the bulk rise (approximately 4 more hours).
stretch and fold
All 4 sections of the dough have been stretched and folded

Step 4: Pre-shape the dough

  • After the dough has completed its first bulk rise it should be doubled in size. If it is not, let it rest until it gets to this point.
  • If it is ready, remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and gently press it down into a rectangular shape.
  • Using flour, draw 2 verticle lines and 1 horizontal line across the dough so it creates 6 sections (if making only 4 bread bowls read the tip section).
  • Using a bench scraper, cut the dough along the floured lines.
  • Each dough ball should weigh around 250 grams. I use a scale to ensure this.
  • Work each dough ball into a circle shape and then use the envelope-style shaping method to pre-shape the dough.
  • Fold the top of the dough to the center, the left side to the center, the right side over the left side, and the bottom of the dough to the center.
  • Flip the dough over (smooth side up) and tighten the shape using your hands by pulling the dough towards you & using circular motions. See the video below if needed.
  • Make sure each dough ball is facing smooth side up, cover them with a tea towel, and allow the dough to rest for 20-30 minutes.
proofed dough
The sourdough bread bowl dough is ready
sourdough bread bowl dough balls
Form 6 round dough balls
sourdough bread bowl shaping
Flip the dough back over (smooth side up) and tighten the shape using your hands
sourdough bread bowl dough balls shaped
All dough balls have been pre-shaped
Shaping a round sourdough boule

Step 5: Final shaping

  • After the dough has rested, use the exact same envelope shaping method as above and shape the dough 1 more time.
  • Make sure to flip the dough seam side up, flatten it just a bit and shape it. Shaping it twice this way will allow for an optimal rise in the oven.
  • Once all 6 dough balls have been shaped, place them in lightly floured, linen-lined soup bowls or banneton baskets seam side up.
  • Cover the dough with the extra towel or place the bowls in a large ziplock bag with an elastic band.
  • Allow the dough to rest for the second bulk rise in the refrigerator for 12-15 hours.
sourdough bread bowls proofing in bowls
Place each dough ball in the bowl seam-side up
sourdough bread bowl proofing
Cover the dough with the extra linen or place them in a ziplock bag with elastic bands

Step 6: Score and Bake

  • The following morning, preheat your oven to 450 degrees with the pizza stone or baking pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • When ready to place the dough in the oven, remove three dough balls from the refrigerator and place them on parchment paper (about an inch apart) smooth side up. You will need to bake these in 2 batches.
  • Using a scoring tool or a sharp razor score a square shape on top of each dough ball. This will help as a guide when cutting the bread bowls after they are baked.
  • Transfer the parchment paper with the dough balls to the pizza stone and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Simultaneously place a metal tray at the bottom of your oven with 1 cup of ice on it to create steam to give the bread that beautiful, brown crust.
  • After baking both batches, allow the bread bowls to rest for 2 hours before cutting into them,
  • These bread bowls can last for 4-5 days on your countertop in your bread bag of choice or in an airtight container.
  • Enjoy! 🙂
scoring sourdough bread bowl dough
Transfer the dough to parchment paper and score a square shape on each dough ball
sourdough bread bowls
Bake for 30-35 minutes
sourdough bread bowls
sourdough bread bowls
sourdough bread bowls
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Sourdough Bread Bowls

These sourdough bread bowls have the authentic flavor of a traditional sourdough loaf, but are just made small & are perfect as soup holders!
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time30 minutes
Proofing time21 hours
Keyword: sourdough bread bowl
Servings: 6
Calories: 370kcal

Equipment

  • Food scale
  • Mixing bowl
  • Proofing baskets or 6 soup bowls
  • Bench scraper
  • Silicone scraping tool optional, but handy!
  • Scoring tool or a razor
  • Ceramic pizza stone or baking pan

Ingredients

For the Leaven

  • 45 grams active sourdough starter fed within 8-12 hours
  • 45 grams all-purpose flour
  • 45 grams whole wheat flour
  • 90 grams water

For the Dough

  • 625 grams bread flour
  • 175 grams whole wheat flour
  • 544 grams water
  • 18 grams salt

Instructions

Step 1: Make the leaven and dough

  • In a small mason jar or glass jar make your leaven.
  • Add the active sourdough starter, whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and water. Mix well using a fork, cover with the jar lid, and set aside.
  • For the dough, in a large mixing bowl add the bread flour, whole wheat flour, and water. Mix using your hands until a rough dough ball is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough and leaven to rest for 45 minutes next to each other.
  • Tip: turn your oven on and then off to create a warmer environment for the dough and leaven.

Step 2: Mix the leaven and dough & knead

  • Sprinkle 18 grams of salt over the dough mixture. Then pour the leaven mixture over the dough and mix it well by dimpling it into the dough using your hands.
  • Pour the entire mixture over a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 5-7 minutes or until it comes together. Add flour as necessary to prevent stickiness.
  • Place the dough back in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and allow it to rest for 30 minutes in a warm spot.

Step 3: Stretch and folds

  • After the dough has rested, perform 4 stretch and folds within 30 minute increments.
  • Once all 4 stretch and folds have been completed, keep the dough covered and allow it to rest for the remaining of the bulk rise (approximately 4 more hours).

Step 4: Pre-shape the dough

  • After the dough has completed its first bulk rise it should be doubled in size. If it is not, let it rest until it gets to this point.
  • If it is ready, remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently press it down into a rectangular shape. Using flour, draw 2 verticle lines and 1 horizontal line down the dough so you have 6 sections (if making only 4 bread bowls read the tip section).
    Using a bench scraper, cut the dough along the floured lines. Each dough ball should weigh around 250 grams. I use a scale to ensure this.
  • Work each dough ball into a rough circle shape.
  • Shape each dough ball using the envelope style shaping method.
  • Make sure each dough ball is facing smooth side up, cover them with a tea towel, and allow the dough to rest for 20-30 minutes.

Step 5: Final shaping

  • After the dough has rested, use the exact same envelope shaping method as above and shape the dough for the second time. Make sure to flip the dough seam side up, flatten it just a bit and shape it.
  • Once all 6 dough balls have been shaped, place them in lightly floured, linen-lined soup bowls or banneton baskets seam side up. Cover the dough with the extra towel or place the bowls in a large ziplock bag with an elastic band. Allow the dough to proof for the second bulk rise in the refrigerator for 12-15 hours.

Step 6: Score and bake

  • The following morning, preheat your oven to 450 degrees with the pizza stone or baking pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • When ready to place the dough in the oven, remove 3 dough balls from the refrigerator and place them on parchment paper (about an inch apart) smooth side up. You will need to bake these in 2 batches.
  • Using a scoring tool or a sharp razor score a square shape on top of each dough ball. Transfer the parchment paper with the dough balls to the pizza stone and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  • Simultaneously place a metal tray at the bottom of your oven with 1 cup of ice on it to create steam and give the bread that beautiful, brown crust.
  • After baking both batches, allow the bread bowls to rest for 2 hours before cutting into them.
  • These bread bowls can last for 4-5 days on your countertop in your bread bag of choice or in an airtight container.

Notes

Baker’s schedule: Prep the leaven and dough around 9 a.m. to bake the following morning. This is a 2 bulk-rise recipe. The first is 6-7 hours @ room temperature and the second one is 12-15 hours in the refrigerator.
Keep in mind the temperature of your home will affect the above times. My rule of thumb is to watch the dough, not the clock. The dough should be doubled in size after the first bulk rise.
TIP: You can choose to either make 4 or 6 bread bowls. If you choose to make 4 bread bowls, each dough ball will weigh around 390-400 grams.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bread bowl | Calories: 370kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 600mg

Leave a Comment & Rate the Recipe

Did you find this recipe helpful? Help others by leaving a star-based review, it will help others find my recipes and articles. Thanks for reading!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments