The above bread bowls were not made by me. They were made by my bestie, who has little baking experience, and has never made anything yeast-based in his life. Early in March, I went to Texas and spent two weeks baking and making food for starving college students. I wanted to show them how not expensive, and how supremely tasty it was to make things from scratch! One of the biggest hits was the bread bowls.
These magical little balls of bread transform pretty much any soup from regular faire to… “Oh wow! Check that out!”
Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Let sit 10 min if using traditional yeast, move onto step 2 if using instant. (It does not make a difference to the final product which one you use!)
Mix in 1 C of the flour, then add salt and oil. (Adding the salt straight to the water mixture will kill the yeast, always wait until you have some of the flour mixed in to provide a buffer)
Start adding the rest of the flour, mixing in with a fork until it's too difficult to continue.
Flour the counter and dump the mixture out, using your hands to knead in the rest of the flour. (approx 6 minutes)
Cover with a tea towl and let rise for 40 minutes. You want the dough to about double.
Divide into 3 equal chunks. To make the bun, keep tucking the bread into the bottom, using the same sort of motion as folding socks over. You want a nice smooth, somewhat tight skin of dough across the top.
Set the buns with the folded bit down on a baking sheet. Cover with the tea towel and let rise for 35 minutes.
Bake @ 400F for 15-18 minutes. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting into!