Here is the perfect bowl for serving dip at the Superbowl. Why? Because it’s festive, delicious, and you don’t have to wash it after the crowd leaves.
French bread is the easiest bread there is to make. It takes a little more time because it requires two risings before it’s shaped, but it is the closest thing to a “no-fail” bread I’ve ever tried. I usually put a pan of hot water in the oven to get it all steamy, which makes the crust more crispy, but this time I left that step out so it would be easier to slice the top off to make the bowl. It still came out crackly and crisp, but cut easily.
This recipe will make two large loaves. Even if you only need one dip bowl, go ahead and make them both footballs. That way you can pick the prettiest one for display, and a football is a pretty traditional French bread shape anyhow.
Once the bread has cooled, slice off the top and scoop out the insides. You may be able to turn the excess bread into croutons or bread crumbs, or just nibble as you work! Fill the bowl with your favorite dip and put the top back on until it’s time to serve. Then break up the top and use it for dipping.
|Football Dip Bowl|| |
- 2½ cups very warm water
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6 cups all-purpose flour (or bread flour)
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- In a large bowl (a stand mixer is best) combine the water, yeast, and sugar. Allow it to it until bubbly - about 5 minutes.
- Add 3 cups of flour and the salt and beat well.
- Remove ¼ cup of dough and put it in a plastic zipper bag. Don't zip the top, just set it in the refrigerator for now.
- Switch to a dough hook and add the remaining flour. Knead with the machine for 5 minutes, or if you're kneading by hand, put dough on a floured surface and knead for 7-8 minutes. Dough should be slightly sticky and very elastic.
- Place dough in a large greased bowl, turning the dough to coat evenly. Cover and allow it to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough, cover, and allow it to rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and divide it into 2 pieces. Shape one piece into a slightly skinny football. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Put both loaves on an ungreased baking sheet (you may sprinkle with cornmeal first if you wish) then cover and let rise until almost doubled.
- When the dough is partly risen, heat the oven to 450 F. Give it plenty of time to get hot.
- When the loaves have risen, remove the bag of soft dough from the refrigerator. Snip one of the corners off and squeeze side stripes, a center seam, and lacing on each loaf.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the loaves are a rich brown.
- Cool thoroughly on a rack.