Sourdough Bread Bowls Recipe – made for your favorite stew

Winter is here! It’s time for those bubble-all-day hearty dishes. How do you eat them? Well, regularly from a bowl, but I propose another way: out of a bread that you will be using as a bowl. This is my recipe for sourdough bread bowls.

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Where does bread bowls this come from?

Bread Bowls have a long and convoluted history. It seems that the first time anybody wrote about it was around 1427.

The story goes that an Irish nobleman was trying to impress a British Duke. The Duke was so impressed that he gave the Irishman money to open a shop in Dublin.

Four sourdough bread bowls on a board

They came to prominence in the 1980s in San Francisco where they would serve Chowder in Sourdough Bread Bowls.

These days they are very common in all of Central Europe, served up with various stews.

They are also common at many restaurants.

The dough in this sourdough bread bowl recipe


Total weight1000 grams
Prefermented flour9.0%
Yield4 bread bowls

The dough

The dough for these sourdough bread bowls is a pretty standard sourdough recipe.

The hydration is on the low end (for a sourdough bread) at 70%. It’s to make it easier to just bake all the bowls at the same time in the oven without the use of a dutch oven.

There is 20% whole grain in the bread. I’ve used spelt in this case, but you can substitute with any whole grain that you prefer and like.

Four sourdough bread bowls on a board in front of a brick wall

If you’d like to use a higher proportion of whole grain, I’d recommend that you use a regular wheat whole grain, so that you’ll have more gluten to help you keep the bread together.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
105gstarter (100% hydration)19.8%
423gbread flour80.0%
106gwhole-grain spelt flour20.0%

As always you can play around with the formula, change proportions or quantity in the bread calculator here.

The conclusion of this sourdough bread bowl recipe

If you love sourdough bread, and who doesn’t? It’s a perfect match for almost any meal.

But in this case it’s part of the meal. It’s the tableware.

Is it gimmicky? Yes, a bit. Is it over the top? Yes, maybe. Is it awesome? Hell yeah.

If you make a good sauce, the best part is wiping it up with the bread, right? Well in this case you pour the sauce into the bread. That is so great.

Of course it matters what you put in it. I usually put my very special Hungarian Goulash in my sourdough bread bowl. It’s so good!

Hungarian goulash served in a sourdough bread bowl

Please share this recipe for sourdough bread bowls on social media

This is my recipe for sourdough bread bowls. If you like the recipe please consider sharing it with like-minded bread lovers on social media.

If you make it and post it on Instagram, please tag me as so I can see it. That would make me very happy.

Sourdough Bread Bowls

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: All
Keyword: bread bowls, cold weather dinner
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Proofing: 8 hours
Total: 12 hours
Servings: 4 sourdough bread bowls
Calories: 512kcal
Author: Sune Trudslev
Nutrition Facts
Sourdough Bread Bowls
Amount Per Serving (1 sourdough bread bowl)
Calories 512 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Sodium 1074mg47%
Carbohydrates 101g34%
Fiber 6g25%
Protein 17g34%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Small round boules perfect for serving up a delicious stew inside! What's not to love?
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  • 105 g starter
  • 423 g bread flour
  • 106 g whole-grain spelt flour
  • 354 g water
  • 11 g salt



  • The night before make sure you feed your sourdough starter so it’s good and ready.

Mix the dough

  • The next morning mix all of the ingredients: 423 grams of bread flour, 106 grams of whole grain spelt flour and And 11 grams of salt.
  • Mix it up.
  • Then add 105 grams of sourdough starter and 354 grams of tepid water.
  • Mix the dough until all the flour has been hydrated. Then cover it and leave it to rest for one hour.

Bulk fermentation

  • Perform three sets of stretch and folds spaced out by 30 minutes.
  • After the third set do a windowpane test.
  • If the dough passes put it in a bulking container and let it grow 25%. If it fails let the dough rest 30 more minutes and then put it in a bulking container.
  • To speed things up I put mine in my proofer set to 30°C/86°F.
  • Then about two hours after I put my dough in the proofer it’s grown 25%. Proceed when yours is ready.

Divide and shaping

  • Divide the dough into 4 equally sized pieces and preshape them into balls.
  • Then let them rest on the counter for 20 minutes.
  • Then final shape them and make them pretty
  • Depending on how wet your dough is you can shape them with your bench scraper or your hands. I decided on hands.
  • Put them in 16cm/6 inch bannetons and put them into bags.
  • Put all the bannetons back in the proofer for an hour. If you aren’t using a proofer go for 2 hours.
  • Then turn on your oven to 260°C and move the bannetons to the fridge for an hour. In the oven put an oven proof dish and a baking steel.
  • When the hour is up, they are ready to bake.

Bake the sourdough bread bowls

  • Put the dough balls on a large peel on a piece of parchment paper.
  • Score them.
  • Then put a rolled up towel in the oven proof dish and pour over a kettle of boiling water.
  • Add the boules to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes turn the oven down to 230°C/450°F.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes more. If you made them larger go for 15 minutes.
  • Then take them out of the oven and let them cool.

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