The best part about ordering soup or chili from a restaurant is the bread bowl that generally accompanies it so to make our weekly chili feel more special we made these homemade pretzel bread bowls that were just as delicious on their own as they were covered in chili. Although the steps look overwhelming, this recipe calls for basic cupboard ingredients and is pretty easy albeit time-consuming waiting for the yeast to rise.
Homemade Pretzel Bread Bowls (via):
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
8-10 cups water
1/3 cup baking soda
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons coarse grain sea salt
In a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons butter, 2 cups hot water, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar until butter is melted. Sprinkle 2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast on top of the water mixture and let foam/bubble for 5-6 minutes. Using a dough attachment on a stand mixer or by hand, mix 3 cups of flour and 2 teaspoons salt to the water/yeast mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the last 3 cups of flour, forming the dough into a ball. Place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let sit for 1 hour. Since my apartment was a smidge cold, I warmed an oven for 2 minutes, turned it off, and place the bowl inside to allow the dough to rise.
After an hour, punch down the dough, form into a ball, and cut into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
Bring 8-10 cups of water to a boil into a large pot. Stir in a 1/3 cup of baking soda. Keep the water at a low boil and place each dough ball into the pot for 45 seconds each, flipping over halfway through (I did two at a time). In the top of each dough ball, cut a small “x”. Brush the tops with the 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes until golden brown. Use a sharp knife to cut an inverted pyramid out of the center of the bread and scoop out as much as desired. Fill with soup or chili and enjoy!