Onion, Dill, Sour Cream Bread Bowls {mini boule loaves}

Onion, Dill, Sour Cream Bread Bowls or Mini Boule Loaves foodiewithfamily.com #artisanbread #homemadebread

It’s not too big a stretch to say my existence is build on bread and soup. Bread is sustenance, to be sure; it’s the staff of life. It’s also one of the foods that provides unending inspiration to me. I got so caught up yesterday with some bread I was working on that I lost track of time and ended up running my youngest to his tap lessons with my hair pulled back into a messy wad with an orange hair tie, no make-up on, mud-covered brown boots, wearing cuffed jeans and a parka. It didn’t matter, though, because the bread turned out great. I might look like a hot mess, but my bread is always well put together.

Forget matching shoes and belts and accessories and outfits, I like to match my bread to my meal. That’s my kind of accessorizing. For instance, I knew I was going to make fish chowder with that lovely Alaskan Cod I received a couple weeks ago. What do you serve with chowder or any soup, for that matter? Bread, of course. Since I knew the flavours of my chowder, I decided to echo them with the bread bowls I intended to use to hold the chowder. Is there anything more fun than a bowl you can eat and dunk into it’s own contents? Perhaps riding a unicorn over the rainbow might top the experience, but until that happens, I’m sticking with the far more achievable amusement of eating the bowl in which my soup was served.

In my mind, the perfect fish chowder starts with finely diced onions softened in butter, then moves onto both diced and grated potatoes simmering in white wine, and clam juice, and milk, then big pieces of cod and heavy cream cooked in the thick broth just until the fish is done. A big handful of chopped fresh dill is stirred in at the very end. That makes me sigh many happy, deep sighs.

Onion, Dill, Sour Cream Bread Bowls or Mini Boule Loaves foodiewithfamily.com #artisanbread #homemadebread

Just about any bread is going to be grand with that, but adding onion, dill, and sour cream to the bread dough and making it into mini boule loaves (translation: little round loaves) that can either function as individual loaves or the actual vessels for the soup? Shoot. That’s enough to make me giddy. Granted, I don’t get out much, but still… I take joy where I can find it.

Onion, Dill, Sour Cream Bread Bowls or Mini Boule Loaves foodiewithfamily.com #artisanbread #homemadebread

And I take massive joy in this bread. It is done in one hour from start to finish. ONE HOUR! This bread is no stress bread. It’s bread that beginning or fearful bakers can make easily. OH what a payoff!

Tender but chewy, studded with fragrant dill and onion, with a drizzle of olive oil and some coarse sea salt flakes on top, this bread is hard to beat as an edible vessel for fish, potato, or corn chowder, clam chowder, or potato leek soup. It’s also wonderful when sliced and buttered or toasted and served with eggs.

Onion, Dill, Sour Cream Bread Bowls or Mini Boule Loaves foodiewithfamily.com #artisanbread #homemadebread

Cook’s Notes:

  • In the recipe, I specify using 3 cups each of all-purpose and bread flour. While I prefer the loft the bread achieves with this mixture, you can substitute all of one or the other, depending on what is available to you. If you’re a beginning baker, I would like to point out that I do not recommending subbing in other varieties of flour in this recipe (whole wheat, pastry, self-rising, clear, spelt, etc…)
  • This recipe can also be made in 2 large loaves rather than the 4 small ones as directed in the recipe.
  • Because of the salt on the crust, I do not recommend storing the bread in plastic bags. They’re best stored at room temperature wrapped in a clean towel.
  • The bread is best eaten the day it’s made, of course, but is also great for serving soups/chowders/stews for 48 hours after being made. If you’re going to slice and toast the bread, the window of quality is a day or two longer.
5 from 1 reviews
Onion, Dill, Sour Cream Bread Bowls {mini boule loaves}
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • ¾ cup sour cream (do not use no-fat sour cream)
  • 3 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sucanat or regular granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
  • 1½ teaspoons dried dill seed
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse sea salt flakes (I prefer Maldon)
Mixing the dough by Stand Mixer (my preferred method):
  1. Combine flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, dill weed, dill seed, onion flakes, and granulated garlic in the bowl of the stand mixer that has been fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds.
  2. With mixer running, slowly pour in the water and sour cream at the same time. Continue mixing on low until the dough comes together and becomes smooth, about 4 minutes. Remove bowl from the stand mixer, scraping any dough that remains on the dough hook into the bowl. Pull dough from bowl with your hands and form a smooth dough ball. Replace in bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Mixing the dough by Food Processor:
  1. Combine flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, dill weed, dill seed, onion flakes, and granulated garlic in the bowl of a food processor that has been fitted with a blade or dough blade. Pulse 10 times. With the food processer running, pour the water and sour cream into the feed chute. Continue processing until the dough forms a cohesive ball. Spin the dough ball 20 times and shut off the food processor. Remove the dough, form a smooth dough ball and place in a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Mixing the dough by Hand:
  1. Combine flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, dill weed, dill seed, onion flakes and granulated garlic with a whisk or fork in a large mixing bowl. Pour the warm water and sour cream into the flour mixture and use a sturdy spoon to combine into a shaggy dough. Use your hands to knead for 8 minutes*. After kneading for 8 minutes, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
  2. *If you find it difficult to knead in the bowl, you can turn the dough out onto a clean surface to knead it. After kneading, just return the dough to the bowl and allow it to rise as instructed above.
  3. Turn dough out onto a clean surface and divide into 4 equal pieces. Form each half into a ball and place 5-6 inches apart on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silpat, or has been lightly greased. Drizzle the top of each dough ball with about a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, then sprinkle with coarse sea salt flakes. Use a sharp knife to slash the top of the loaf about ¼ of an inch deep. This allows the steam to escape the baking loaf without the loaf tearing.
To bake the loaves:
  1. Arrange the racks in your cold oven so that one rack is on the very bottom and one is positioned in the center of the oven. Place the baking sheet with the loaves on the center rack and a bread or cake pan that is full of very hot tap water on the bottom rack. Close the oven and turn your oven on to 400°F. It is imperative that you start this in a cold oven! Set your timer for 40 minutes. That 40 minutes is all that stands between you and fresh bread.
  2. The crust should be a deep brown and quite firm when you remove the loaves from the oven. Transfer the loaves to a rack to cool completely before slicing.
To use as a bread bowl for soup:
  1. Use a sharp knife to cut a circle about ¾ of the way deep into the top of the bread loaf, leaving an edge or rim of about ¾-inch all the way around. Use your fingers to pry out the center plug of bread, keeping as much of it intact as possible so you can butter it, toast it, and use it as a crouton. Heat the bread bowl in the oven as you toast the crouton. Serve and enjoy!

Looking for more 1-hour breads?


  1. Brenda E. says

    This looks wonderful! How can I make it with whole wheat flour, or even half whole wheat/half rye (or something like that)? Is it a 1-1 substitute? Would other flours behave differently? Thank you for sharing these recipes!

    • says

      Whole grain flours do behave differently. They take longer to hydrate and usually have an improved flavour when left to rise far longer. The amount of yeast in this recipe is geared toward the fast rise. That being said, play with it a bit! See how it turns out for you! If I were trying to add rye or whole wheat, I’d start with a smaller proportion and see how things went!

  2. jeri says

    That bread looks delicious, but I had to tell you that I just made your mayonnaise fish (that’s what we’re calling it) for the second time this week. The mayo really adds moisture and deliciousness. This time I mixed the crumbs with olive oil before breading, and skipped the pan browning step. They were just as brown and crunchy, plus one less pan. I can’t wait to try this with a variety of different flavored mayos. Thank you so much.

  3. Inara says

    My poor husband is sick and wants nothing more than soup. I can do soup! I’m just delving into making bread too, but my biggest question is… Can you substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream? We always get the fat free kind (because that is all my local costco carries) but I would be fine with getting the 2% or a regular full-fat kind. However, if that would make things turn out wonky, then I’d get sour cream! Just wanting to know if I’d need to make an extra store run for the one ingredient, or if I could give it a go with the greek? Please let me know!

  4. sandy troy pennington says

    Question…. I see onion in the ingredients.. but don’t see in the recipe what you did with them? Rehydrate with water then add? or add dry? thanks

  5. says

    Good catch, Sandy! I think I backspaced through them while typing up the recipe. I fixed it, but I’ll just mention here, too, that the onion flakes are not rehydrated before being added at the beginning with the yeast, salt, garlic, etc…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe: