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Monday, October 27, 2014

Homemade Bread Bowls and Loaded Potato Soup w/Campbells Cream Starter

Recently, I was given an amazing opportunity to try out some new Campbell's products from CrowdTap and Campbells. I have had the opportunity to try out lots of cool things over the past few months, but I think for sure this is the one that has been the most fun. I got a tote bag, a spoon, a cutting board, and a lot of their new products to try! Well, the cream starter had a beautiful soup in a bread bowl pictured on it, and I really wanted to go all out. This is a great way to have a fancy meal, worthy of an upscale restaurant, but at a fraction of the cost.

We are going to start with the bread bowls. I recommend doing this in the morning of the day you are going to make the soup. Any homemade bread is going to cut much better after it's been able to sit for a while. So, that's what we will work on first.

I used:
2 1/2 warm water (about 110 degrees, think not hot enough to burn you, but a bit warmer than your kids head when they have a high fever)
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar (to make the yeastie beasties happy during proofing)
and 2 packets of yeast

Go ahead and proof the yeast. That's a fancy way of saying to put the water and sugar in a bowl and put the yeast on top, cover the bowl and walk away. The yeast will start out looking like this.

As it proofs, it'll start to look more foamy, like this...

That picture is after I stirred it, but it is definitely some happy yeast.

Now, I added
2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons oil (I used vegetable, but you can use your preferred oil here)
and about 6 cups of bread flour

The flour is going to a YMMV sort of thing. The original recipe I had based this off of recommended 7, but I started with 5 and worked my way up. You want the dough to be easy to knead, but you don't want it to stick to the counter. So, work your way up slowly, knead and knead and knead until you have a wonderful smooth ball of dough, that bounces back when you poke it. 

Now, here I cheated a bit, I was baking some cookies and banana bread, so I put the dough in an oiled bowl, covered in a towel, right by the stove on the counter. So the little bit of heat raising up just kept the yeast in a really good mood.

Sneaking a peak about 30 minutes in. We are going to leave this for about an hour or until doubled in size.

Then, once it has doubled in size we are going to punch the dough down.

Haha, seriously, punch it, we are basically burping the dough, and then knead it a bit more, and separate it into 6 balls. Roll each ball around until nice and smooth.

Ok, this is dough, not play dough, perfectly smooth is probably not happening in this house. But if they look like the above picture, you are on the right track! Put them on a greased baking sheet, cover again with a towel, and let sit for about 35-45 minutes until doubled in size again.

If they meld together on the edges, just cut them free of each other very gently (we don't want to push the air out this time) before baking.

While the second rise is happening, make sure you have your oven preheating to 400 degrees F.

Then we are going to take one egg white and a tablespoon of water and whisk it very very very well. We don't want snot in the water, we want it all to be a nice watery mix of egg and water. I hope that makes sense. When you lift the whisk out, if snot is flowing off of it, keep whisking. If you rub that on the bread like that, you will leave little egg whites to bake on the bread, and that's not what we are after.

Once the bread is done rising the second time, dip your fingers in your egg white mixture, and then rub them all over the top of the dough balls. Remember to be careful, we don't want to lose too much air from the bread. Cover the top and sides with the egg white mix. This will give your bread a nice crust that makes it hold it's shape better as a bowl.

Bake in the 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, remove, wipe again with the egg white mixture, and bake for 15 more minutes.

6 huge bread rolls!

Don't they look delightful?

Now let them cool. Once cool, you can place in bags to keep from getting stale between now and dinner. Do not cut them open until you are ready to use them. I'm a chronic fresh-bread cutter...and I ruin it every time. When the bread is still warm, it is so easy to break all the little bonds of the innards...and it'll make it crush and smush and just be ruined.

Then it was time to make dinner (fast forward about 6 hours). Campbells and Crowdtap provided me two different recipes for the same soup, and they varied greatly, so I'll just tell you how I made it.

1/2 pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 onion diced
2 sticks celery diced
6 yellow potatoes
1 container of Swanson Cream Starter (traditional)
1 cup - 1 can of chicken broth (again, this is an add as needed thing)
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar (oh yeah)

I cooked and crumbled the bacon, diced the onion, and diced the celery. I put the onion and celery into my pot and allowed them to start sautéing (with a dribble of oil or leftover bacon grease). I peeled the potatoes and diced them into about 1/2 inch cubes and also added them to to the pot to let them get just a tiny bit of brown on the edges. When the onions and celery were cooked and I had a little bit of browning on the potatoes, I added the cream starter. It wasn't quite enough to cover the potatoes, and it was quite thick and I still needed to simmer a bit so I added chicken broth. I used about a cup, but save the rest of the can, you may need it. I allowed the soup to simmer until the potatoes were done, stirring every once and a while to prevent sticking. I added salt and pepper to taste, added in the bacon, and then about 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. 

The soup turned out very very thick. And it was just perfect for the bread bowls. Cut the top of the bread off like you would a pumpkin. Then reach some fingers in there and remove some more bread guts. Make sure to still leave a thick wall of bread so that the bowl remains intact, but you want to remove enough breading to get about a cup of soup in there. Serve with the top on the side :).

My husband is not accustomed to such fancy meals and was using his spoon to go straight through the bread and try and eat it with a bite of soup and a bite of bread....oh dear. So, the best way is to just eat the soup. And then when the soup is gone, you have this wonderful bread that is just covered in the sauce of the soup (but not soggy, just covered in it), then pick up the empty bowl and enjoy it! :) 

Hope you enjoyed the "tutorial"
Until next time,


Thank you Campbells for the opportunity to try this product (as well as the rest that you sent) and thank you Crowdtap as well for choosing me! We are definitely enjoying this sampling for sure. #DiscoverCampbells #CampbellsTasters #sponsored

I received the campbells products for free in exchange for my review and sharing the product.

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