Beer Pretzel Bowls

Last week I had a sudden desire to serve soup in bread bowls. It was one of those strange things that I just suddenly needed in my life, even though I’d never had soup in a bread bowl. I just loved the idea of it. Warm comforting soup or chowder served in freshly made bread, how much better can it get? Being a last minute idea I wasn’t prepared to whip up my own, so I went on the hunt.

I threw out a tweet asking where to find bread bowls and received multiple responses suggesting bakeries and local grocery stores should carry them. Of course living where we do, or rather… living near the store we do, our options are limited and I’m usually taken by complete surprise when they have something I want that is anything slightly out of the ordinary. Well…apparently bread bowls have been discontinued. *Insert shocked and very sad face.* Bread bowls… discontinued?! It just seems weird. I mean it’s bread!

I did however receive confirmation that Panera does indeed have bread bowls for purchase but our nearest location is some 30 minutes away…strangely enough in the town we use to live in. That trip would have to wait for another day when I had more time to spare.

Fast forward several days, bread bowls were still very much on my mind. Have you ever had that happen…get a recipe or idea stuck in your head that you just have to make happen? This was the case. I knew it’d be my mission to make bread bowls sometime over the winter but when I set out to make a soup for Oktoberfest, it needed to be sooner than later. And specifically needed to be pretzel bowls… because beer, cheese, sausage, beer and pretzels just plain go together.

These take your standard time to whip up and require minimal patience but overall this recipe is cake. Do not fear the yeast! Use a stand mixer or food processor to pull the dough together. Two reasonable rising times, a quick soak in a bubbly baking soda bath followed by a generous helping of butter and salt before going in the oven. Out comes a fantastic, flavorful pretzel bread that is perfect to hollow out for soup or eat as a snack with spicy mustard.

Beer pretzel bowls

Prep Time1 hour 35 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time2 hours
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beer, Bread


  • 3 C bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 C beer
  • 2 1/4 tsp rapid rise yeast
  • 1/3 C baking soda
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • Course salt for topping


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt and sugar.
  • In a heat safe measuring cup, microwave  beer in 30 second intervals until it reaches 110-115F°. Add yeast, allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to begin activating.
  • Turn mixer on low, slowly pour beer mixture in. Mix until dough pulls away from bowl and begins forming a ball.
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil. Transfer dough ball to prepared bowl, cover and allow to rise until double in size - roughly 45-60 minutes. Divide into four equal portions, forming each into a smooth ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise for an additional 20-30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375F°.
  • Add 3 inches of water to a large stockpot, bring to a boil. Carefully add baking soda (*this will bubble up immediately). Using a sharp knife, slash an 'x' into the top of each ball of dough. Carefully add to boiling water, cooking each side for 30 seconds. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
  • Generously brush with melted butter and sprinkle with course salt.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a dark golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Remove dome top and hollow out all but 1 inch around the exterior if using as a bowl.


An original recipe from Baked by Rachel
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32 Responses to “Beer Pretzel Bowls”

  1. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — October 8, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I’m coming over. Great. Now I want bread.

  2. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — October 8, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Now this is my kind of bread bowl!!

  3. #
    recipes videos — October 8, 2012 at 7:42 am

    i’m going to try it,looks good.

  4. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — October 8, 2012 at 8:24 am

    These are gorgeous!

  5. #
    nicole @ I am a Honey Bee — October 8, 2012 at 8:52 am

    ooo i want that. I want that for a cheddar broc soup.

  6. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — October 8, 2012 at 9:01 am

    This my dear, is a fantastic idea!!

  7. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — October 8, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I definitely need to make these soon. Perfect with so many fall soups and stews!

  8. #
    Linda @ My Foodgasm Journal — October 8, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    Being a carb addict – this looks like a fun recipe. So gonna try it.

  9. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — October 8, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    I’m drooling. Seriously. I want that bread in my mouth like now. I’ve never actually had a soup bread bowl either. Every time I’m in Panera I look longingly at them but for some reason never actually order it!

  10. #
    Carlas Confections — October 8, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I cant believe bread bowls have been discontinued! So crazy!!! I am going to need to make these soon, bc I LOVE soup in bread bowls. Mmmm, its the best!

  11. #
    natalie@thesweetslife — October 8, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    these are a must make this winter!!

  12. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — October 8, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    wow your bread bowls are GORGEOUS and so perfect looking!! i need to make these soon for all the soups im about to make!!

  13. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Ive been researching beer bread the past couple weeks – and you have me convinced I just need to make some, asap!

  14. #
    Julia — October 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    This bread looks so good! Makes me want to bake my own bread, too.

  15. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — October 8, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Come. To. MAMA!!

  16. #
    Kim - Liv Life — October 9, 2012 at 12:14 am

    The look of the bread alone has me wanting to make a batch and not share it with anyone. It’s been a long time since I had anything in a bread bowl, and though I’ve been trying to cut the carbs a bit,I’m thinking I will have to make an exception for these beauties!! Pinning!!!

  17. #
    Tracey — October 9, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Wow, seriously gorgeous Rachel! Bread bowl perfection, I can’t wait to try these!!

  18. #
    Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — October 9, 2012 at 8:30 am

    YUM! I need some mustard and beer cheese- asap!

  19. #
    Angela @ AnotherBitePlease — October 9, 2012 at 9:05 am

    ok I am super excited to make these now that you said they are easy to make…makin’ bread always scares me for some reason….but pretzel bread bowls I must have!

  20. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — October 9, 2012 at 10:18 am

    These look amazing!!

  21. #
    Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} — October 9, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    These bread bowls are too cute (Not something I’ve even considered making until now)! Your beer and sausage soup really looked great in them! Mmmmmmm.

  22. #
    kita — October 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Ok – need. Not just want, but need. The moment I saw these I had to have them, now I need to figure out how to work them into my soup kitchen line up.

  23. #
    lee — January 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    You are so inspiring for be to be a great cook! love your ideas looking forward to more awesome recipes

  24. #
    Joanne - Inspired Taste — March 8, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Oh my goodness, these are amazing. I love all of your bread recipes so much.

  25. #
    Lauren — January 13, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I just discovered this recipe and made these this afternoon. I filled them with cheddar potato soup; they were such a hit!
    Thank you for all your amazing recipes. :)

    • #
      Rachel — January 14, 2014 at 7:19 am

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing :)

  26. #
    Veronica — February 23, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Can these be pretzel bowls be made a dad ahead? These look great.

    • #
      Rachel — February 24, 2014 at 8:36 am

      You should be able to. Just keep in mind they won’t have quite the same freshness but will still taste great. Don’t store them in a completely airtight container.

  27. #
    Veronica — March 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Tomorrow is the day. Making pretzel bowls and your recipe for crock pot cheddar ale soup. Have you ever made that soup with Boston Lager? Thanks.

    • #
      Rachel — March 3, 2014 at 7:56 pm

      I haven’t. I’d suggest using a beer you enjoy the flavor of.

  28. #
    Veronica Ann Barth — October 22, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    Have made these several times. Very good. I need a batch of 8. Should they turn out if I simply double ingredients, or best baked in two separate batches? Thanks

    • #
      Rachel — October 23, 2020 at 12:27 pm

      You can do it either way! Enjoy! :)

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