Thursday, March 1, 2012

Better Than Boudin? French Bread Bowls & Chesapeake Clam Chowder

There's nothing like a Bread Bowl with some creamy soup inside to warm you on a cold winter's day!

I've had Panera's and I've had Boudin's, but to be honest, I'm not a big fan of Sourdough.  I think the sour flavor interferes with the flavor of the soup.  I'd rather have a French Bread Bowl!

Doesn't that look GOOD?
Want to try?  Both the Bread Bowls and Chesapeake Clam Chowder are super easy to make for dinner tonight!

French Bread Bowls (adapted from Country Momma Cooks's French Bread Recipe)
1 Packet Yeast
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Warm (not hot) Water
2 teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Butter Flavored Shortening (melted, but not too hot)
4 Cups Flour

In a glass measuring cup, add the Water, Sugar & Yeast.  Allow the yeast to Proof (foam up) for 5 minutes.

In your mixer, add the Salt, Shortening, Yeast & 2 Cups of Flour.  Mix at low speed for a minute, until well incorporated.

Keeping the mixer on low, slowly add the remaining 2 Cups of Flour until the dough sticks to itself and not the bowl. The dough will still be slightly sticky.

Spread some Flour on your counter-top and knead the dough until it is smooth (about 3 minutes).

In a large bowl, add 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil.  Coat the dough ball with oil, cover and put in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes.  (Hint: When I start mixing my dough, I usually turn on the oven to 350 degrees for 1 minute then turn it off.  When I'm ready for the dough to rise, I put the covered bowl in  the warmed oven).

When the dough has doubled in bulk, cut it into four equal parts.

Shape each part into a ball and place on a greased pan.  Cover and let raise for an additional 30 minutes.  (Back in the oven, if you wish).

When you're ready to bake, make sure your towel is removed from the oven and bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.  (Hint: Put a small pan of water on the bottom rack while your bread is baking.  This helps make the crust more crisp.)

To be sure your Bread Bowls are done, check to see that the tops of the breads are golden brown and they have a hollow sound when you knock on them.

Allow the bowls to cool for 10 minutes, cut open the tops, dig out some of the bread inside (to dunk in later) and fill with your favorite creamy soup!

Chesapeake Clam Chowder
1 Package Cream of Potato Soup
2 Cups Water
2 Cups Milk
1/4 Cup Dry Cooking Sherry (this is the secret ingredient)
2 Cans Chopped or Minced Clams
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

This couldn't be easier!  Simply dump all of the ingredients into a crock pot, stir until the soup mix is dissolved, and cook on the low setting for 5 hours (high setting for 3 hours).  Spoon into your Bread Bowl and enjoy!


  1. Do you have to use butter flavored shortening or can you just use real butter?

  2. Oooo! That looks DELICIOUS! I agree, sourdough does mess with the flavor of the soup. Great posting!

  3. This looks fantastic! But... we don't have soup mix packs like that, as far as I know... Where did you get the soup mix??

    1. Hi Caroline! I picked up the Potato Soup Mix at Aldi, but I've also seen it at regular grocery stores - I think the brand is Bear Creek? Cheers!

  4. Why on earth would you knead it by hand instead of using the bread hook on the mixer?

    1. Because you can't feel the dough while it's kneading on the hook and it's important to not over-knead bread.

  5. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    I was wondering if you used self rising flour, or plain flour for your bread?

    Thank you!

    1. You never use self rise flour for a yeast bread recipe. :)

  6. Just checking to make sure my assumption is correct - your temperature for the oven is in Fahrenheit right? For the metric kids, this is approx 190 degrees Celsius.
    Great recipe, thank you so much :D


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