Andreas and Nikki gave me a bread bowl for Christmas. I was thrilled – THRILLED! – to get one of these. I was making my bread in a wooden bowl that was not at all intended for that use and it was falling apart. Bread bowls (real ones) are hard to find and a treasure to own. Nikki heard me talking about this on our family vacation last summer and managed to track one down for me.
Bread bowls were used a long time ago to make bread. They weren’t cleaned with soap (just like cast iron pans) and often a lump of dough was left in the bowl to use in the next batch of dough as the leavening.
My bowl was hand-carved from one solid piece of maple. It’s gorgeous. I was almost afraid to use it yesterday because I was afraid of hurting it! But we needed bread and bagels so I dived in, used it, and loved it. The bowl is fairly large, oval, and pretty shallow. It was really easy to knead my bread right in the bowl – much easier on my wrists than my other bowl.
Here’s the bottom of the bowl:
The paperwork that came with the bowl says that he (the bowlmaker) hopes that I’ll get a couple hundred years of good work out of it! I’m excited to have this heirloom in our family now. Here’s the website for the artist – JP Madren.
Thank you Nikki and Andreas and thank you Mr. Madren!
(And yes, the bagels and bread came out beautifully! And yes, I did wash out the flour and dough – not with soap, but just with water. I figured that since I won’t be using it again for a couple weeks, I probably wanted it to be clean. So I’m not quite like the pioneers!)