Makes 6 - 8 Bread bowls
1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast (use 1 tbsp instant yeast)
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
7 cups all purpose flour (see notes)
1 tbsp cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tbsp water
In a large bowl or mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy (about 10 min). Add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in the remaining flour , 1/2 cup at a time, beating well with an electric mixer at medium speed after each addition until a soft but not sticky dough forms; you may not use the full 7 cups. This dough needs to be a bit firmer so that the bread will rise up and not out.
When the dough has pulled together turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Approx. 6 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size; about 40 minutes. Punch dough down and divide into 6-8 equal equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball and lay on a lightly greased pan sprinkled with cornmeal. If desired slash the top of bread with a knife. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free place for 35 minutes until doubled in size.
Whisk egg white and water and brush over the dough.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 15 -18 minutes until golden brown.
When you are ready to fill the bowls with your favorite soup slice off the top 1/4 of the bread. Take a knife and carve out the bowl. Make sure to save that bread and either slather it with butter or dip it in your soup. Mmmmm.
Recipe: Directly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Stay tuned for the delicious Ham and Potato soup tomorrow!