Renata of Testado, Provado &Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringktichen.com!
I was excited for this challenge because bread bowls have been on my “to make” list since January, when part of an over-sized batch of chili went into the freezer for the specific purpose of saving to fill bread bowls.
As I was thinking about this challenge, I wondered, “Would it be possible not to just make a bread bowl for the chili but to create a bowl out of the natural bread-mate for a hearty bowl of chili – cornbread?” What I found out is that you can indeed make yeast-raised cornbread, and I decided to try my hand at transforming a loaf of yeast-raised cornbread into bowls.
I really liked the method Renata gave for making bread bowls, which involved rolling the dough out into 1/2 inch thick circles and then placing the circles to rise and bake over an inverted muffin tin. This version was different than the gutted out crusty roll version that I am used to seeing used as a bread bowl. So, armed with Renita’s methods and a recipe I devised by combining my go-to cornbread recipe (from the trusty Doubleday Cookbook) with a recipe for yeast-raised cornbread I found on 101 cookbooks.com – I embarked on this adventure of firsts.
The cornbread took a bit longer to rise than normal bread, but with the added rising time it was easy to work with and rolled out nicely. I used three different sized bowls, as opposed to the inverted muffin tin, just to experiment with bowl shapes for the final bread bowl. The result was a sturdy bowl of a perfectly grainy and slightly sweet cornbread that held up well when filled with a thick chili and tasted scrumptious. I’m excited to give this yeast-raised cornbread recipe a try in the loaf or dinner roll version (the sample dinner roll I tried out from leftover dough turned out very promising).
Yeast Raised Cornbread (Cornbread Bread Bowls)
Yield 3-4 large bowls or a 4×8 loaf (double recipe for a 9×5 loaf)
- ¾ c warm water (110ºF)
- 1 Tb white sugar (use 2-3 Tb if you like sweet cornbread)
- 1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 c yellow cornmeal
- 1 Tb active wheat gluten
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1/8 c oil (vegetable or olive)
- 1 egg, beaten, at room temperature
- 1 c all purpose flour
1. Mix sugar with water to dissolve. Sprinkle yeast over sugar water and allow to set 10 minutes, until foamy.
2. Stir yeast mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients. Add flour last, using just enough to make the dough come together.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 15-20 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1.5-2 hours or until doubled.
4. Punch the risen dough down and knead a few times. (If you are making a loaf, now would be the time to shape into your loaf and place in a greased loaf pan to rise a second time before baking at 375ºF for 30-40 minutes or until hollow when tapped.)
5. To make bread bowls, divide dough into three or four sections and roll into balls. Let set for 10 minutes before rolling the dough into circles ½ inch thick. (If your dough springs back as your roll it out, let it set, covered, for 5 minutes and then continue rolling.) These circles will be placed over inverted, well greased, oven safe bowls (or an inverted muffin tin), so roll out to a diameter that will cover your chosen bowl. (I found that a deep bowl with steep or near vertical sides works best.)
6. After placing your dough over your bowls and the bowls on a cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled (1.5 – 2 hours). Above are my bowls pre- and post-rise.
7. Bake in a preheated 350ºF oven for 20 min.
8. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 min before gently removing the bread from the bowl to continue cooling right side up. (If the bowls were greased well, you should not have much trouble, but even so, a little extra care may need to be given to coax the bread off without breaking the bowl. These bowls will remain soft and fragile until they have cooled completely.)
9. Once cool, fill the bowl and enjoy!