I had sourdough starter that I’d pretty much put on hold, and decided that I wanted to just make some sourdough rolls out of it. It’s much harder to find a simple sourdough roll recipe than I expected – most “recipes” say something like “adapt your sourdough bread recipe and bake for X minutes”, but I don’t have a sourdough bread recipe yet! I came across a tutorial for bread bowls that I thought would be fun, particularly since I wanted to make chicken soup from the remnants of my roast chicken.
I hadn’t learned the proper way to feed my sourdough starter yet at this point, but I also hadn’t messed it up too much yet, either. I’ll discuss my starter at some point in the future. I’ll summarize what I did for the recipe:
I wanted to make 2 bread bowls, so I combined 1.5 cups AP flour, 1/2 tbsp salt, 1/2 cup starter, and 1/4 cup water to make a dough. I kneaded it a while, and then longer, and then longer, and finally decided to put it in the stand mixer with the dough hook because it still wasn’t ready even though my hands and wrists hurt from kneading it so much. This process took 20 minutes. I set the dough aside and let it rise for 2 hours, maybe longer. Before bed, I punched the dough down, formed 2 dough balls out of it, and put them in 2 bowls to rise in the fridge overnight and all day the next day. [I probably let them rise some before that, too. I honestly can’t remember right now.] When I got home from work, I pulled them out of the fridge and let them warm up a little bit before I baked them. They hadn’t risen much. I baked them at 425F for 15 minutes, and then at 375F for another 30 minutes – 45 minutes total.
While the bread bowls baked, I made soup. I had made a stock out of the chicken I made. I came across this recipe for Chicken Wild Rice Soup that seemed promising. I was very happy to discover that I had wild rice in my pantry (buying ingredients on impulse sometimes pays off), so I could make it.
I decided not to use all of the onion it called for since Alex has (legitimately) complained that a lot of the recipes I’ve made have been onion-heavy. I chopped up a little celery to put in it, but no carrot since I knew the stock had carrots in it. I cooked the onion and celery in oil instead of butter, and as always the oil almost always completely disappeared before I could add the flour and pepper. Next I added chicken stock and 2% milk. I probably had about 2 cups of chicken to put in it, and I added cooked carrots, fresh thyme, and the cooked wild rice. The recipe didn’t say to cook it much after that, and I didn’t have the time to, although I thought it should have been thicker.
My bread bowls hadn’t really risen like I thought they should, and so they were rather small, still roll-like. I decided they would become bread bowls anyway. I sawed off the tops, hollowed them out as best as I could, and poured soup into them. I served additional soup in regular bowls as well.
I tore the bowls as I cut them so soup drizzled out a little. I thought they were kind of cute, even if they were a little disappointing since they didn’t rise. They tasted good – if anything, the bread bowls might have been a bit salty. I realize now that my starter had been underfed, and that contributed to the lack of volume of the bread. I may try these again, with well-fed starter.
I should have done a better job on the soup. I used too much water when I made my stock, so it wasn’t as strong a chicken flavor as it should have been. I should have used the full amount of onion (and sauteed carrot as well) to get a better depth of flavor for the soup. I didn’t do a very good job of making the roux (butter and flour – I’m pretty sure I should be able to use oil here); my oil almost always cooks away before the flour is added, defeating the point of the roux. I had the same problem with this when I made chicken pot pie (even though I didn’t mention it). If you’re not using cream in this recipe, I think you’d need to compensate with a little extra flour because my flawed version turned out a little thin. I didn’t like the thyme in the soup, but that wouldn’t keep me from trying it again. I’d actually like to make this recipe again to be sure to give it the full chance that it deserves, because I’m pretty sure it’s a good recipe.