This Spider Bread Bowl is the ULTIMATE Halloween dish! It’s super easy to make and perfect for your favorite dip! Spook all of the ghouls and goblins in the most delicious way!
Hey, all your ghouls and goblins, it’s the time of year where we all get to dress up in a costume (or depending on your age bracket – wear as little as possible), get spooky, stuff our faces with candy, and watch Hocus Pocus on repeat. Okay, maybe I’m the only one that does the latter but I do love Halloween.
Before moving here, we used to hold BooFest parties for years. It was adult-only with 3-8′ long church bingo tables spanning my dining room full of food. Folks would dress up in their craziest of costumes and we’d drink, dance, do really bad karaoke, and stuff our faces. God, I miss those parties! This year we had hoped to restart that tradition in Arizona but for one reason or another, we couldn’t. But that didn’t stop me from getting festive.
This Spider Bread Bowl is SPOOKTACULAR and honestly, I had the best time making it!
Grab Your Ingredients
This recipe is just a basic bread dough that uses:
- Bread flour
- Instant yeast
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Egg Wash
Make the Dough
The dough is super simple to make thanks to my Bosch Universal Plus Mixer. Cake/Cookie/Bread/Pizza/Dough makers – you need this mixer!
- Add the flour, water, yeast to the mixer and mix just until combined. Add the salt, mix for a few then add in the oil.
- Mix until smooth ball forms and the dough pulls away from the sides.
- Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and proof until doubled in size.
Grab your kitchen scale
Baking is a science and a kitchen scale is a must. So yes, even though I give you the measurements in cups, measure it out and weigh it in grams.
- On a lightly floured board, tip the punched-down dough onto it. Give it a light knead and then cut the dough into 3 pieces.
- 182 grams for the head
- 600 grams for the body
- 818 grams for the legs. *See note for making 1 huge spider with no baby spiders
- Divide the 818-gram piece into either 8 balls (when making baby spiders) or 4 balls (for making 1 large spider)
- Roll the 8 smaller leg balls into long ropes.
- On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, place the dough body and dough head. Leave about a 2-2.5″ space in between the 2 balls as this is where the legs will go.
- Place the 2 shorter legs on the large cookie sheet– one curling around the head and going up and another curling around the body and going down. The longer legs place on top with one going up and out and the other going down and out.
- For the remaining logs, divide the log into a body, head, and 4 little legs and shape accordingly, placing them on a second large cookie sheet.
- Lightly spray the dough with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 30-45 minutes to rise again.
- When the spiders have risen again, preheat the oven to 400F.
- For the large spider, place 2 coffee beans for the eyes.
- For the baby spiders, use peppercorns for the eyes.
- Brush the large spider with egg wash and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temp is 200F.
- For the baby spiders, brush with the egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack
Just like making any bread, as soon as it comes out of the oven, remove it from the pan and transfer it to a cooling rack.
Since the spiders are fragile, I used a metal pizza peel to transfer mine to the rack. If you do not have one, use a couple of large thin spatulas. Just be careful to not break the spider apart. Warm bread tears easily.
Caught in a web
These things are so stinkin’ cute! I was giddy when they came out of the oven.
Mr. Fantabulous… not so much. The man HATES spiders with a passion! Like I swear he snuck “…and to kill all spiders until the day we die” into my wedding vows.
Let them cool
While I know the first thing we all want to do when bread first comes out of the oven is tear it apart, slather butter on it, and stuff it into our mouths, allow this to sit for about 20 minutes or so before slicing into it.
This is why I made baby spiders folks. One *might* have been sacrificed to the butter gods while I impatiently waited for this to cool.
Cut the Bread Bowl (or kill the spider as Mr. Fantabulous called it)
Aside from eating it, THIS was his favorite part. LOL Like I said folks, he really can’t stand them.
- Using a serrated knife, cut a hole into the body without going all the way through the bottom or sides, pulling out as much bread as you need to fit the dip.
When hollowing out the bowl, you want to get it as even on the bottom as possible (if you’re putting your filling in a bowl). Since the spider is wider on the sides, you can pull out a bit more filling from there.
I saved the lid as when I served it, I removed the lid to showcase the dip below. It gave it that “WOW!” factor!
Don’t Throw Away The Bread
When you cut the lid off and then pull out the insides to make the bread, don’t throw those pieces away. Right before serving, drizzle them with just a tad bit of olive oil and salt, pop them into a 350F preheated oven for 5-10 minutes just to toast them up. Those ‘insides’ are great for dipping!
Add Your Dip
Right before serving, add your dip. You can add your favorite warm or hot dip. You can add it directly to the bread bowl itself or, if you prefer your spider to not get soggy inside, simply fill a bowl that fits the hole and add the dip-filled bowl to the spider.
While it’s always best to make this the day of, you can make it a day or two ahead of time, stored in plastic wrap on the counter.
Right before filling with dip, uncover, spritz lightly with water, and place in a pre-heated 350F oven for 5-10 minutes to ‘freshen’ it up.
Other Uses for the Bread Bowl
When you serve this, serve it with the baby spiders (if you made them), toasted bread bowl ‘guts’, and other chunks of toasted bread, veggie sticks, and chips.
Not wanting all the bread but love the bread bowl idea?
- Fill the bowl with your favorite hummus, chip dip, or cheese sauce and serve with veggie sticks, radishes, various chips
- Fill the bowl with warm caramel sauce and serve with sliced apples and pears
- Add a bowl and fill with a very thick warm tomato soup (that’s like a dip) and serve with mini grilled cheeses on the side
Items I recommend using for this recipe
Bosch Universal Plus Mixer – seriously, it’s THE BEST mixer I’ve ever used!
This Bread Proofer – I’ve had mine for years and love it!Print
- 900 grams (almost 7 cups) bread flour
- 550 grams (2.3 cups) water, warm
- 7 grams (2.5 teaspoons) instant yeast
- 15 grams (2 2/3 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 20 grams (1.5 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 coffee beans
- 8 peppercorns (if making baby spiders)
Make the Dough
- In the bowl of a mixer, add in the flour, water, and yeast. On low, mix just until the flour is almost all pulled in. Stop the mixer and add in the salt. Mix for a minute on low then pour in the oil. Mix for about 8 -10 minutes or until the dough forms a somewhat smooth ball. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but still be wet/tacky to the touch. If needed, add a tablespoon of flour or so to help combine. If it’s too dry, you may need to add a few tablespoons of water. Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a very lightly floured surface. Give it a few kneads to form the dough into a smooth ball tucking the ‘ends’ underneath.
- Place the dough in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and set it in a warm, dry place to double in size. This can take anywhere from 60-90 minutes depending on the ambient temperature. If you have a dough proofer, set it to 100F for 1 hour and place the covered bowl inside.
Assemble the Spider
- Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. *If making baby spiders, you will need a second cookie sheet. If desired, sprinkle lightly with semolina though it’s not necessary. When the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. With a kitchen scale and bench scraper, divide the dough into 3 sizes – 182 grams for the head, 600 grams for the body, 818 grams for the legs. *See note for making 1 huge spider with no baby spiders.
- Take the large dough piece and form it into a smooth ball. As best as possible, palm the dough with a slightly cupped hand. Gently start to push down on the dough ball while rolling the ball round and round under the palm of your hand. Be sure to use the cupped sides of your hand to keep the ball centered under your palm. I find this part easier to do on a not-so-floured surface. You want just a very slight tackiness to the dough. Once the ball is formed, place it on the parchment paper (about two-thirds of the way down on the large cookie sheet). See the image for an example.
- Repeat the same process for the dough for the head. Leave about a 2-2.5” space between the head and the body on the parchment.
- Take the dough for the legs and divide it into 8 pieces (or only 4 if not making baby spiders). For 8 legs you’re looking at Roll them into long logs (making 2 pieces shorter 2 longer for the big spider and the same for mini spiders). Place the 2 shorter legs on the large cookie sheet– one curling around the head and going up and another curling around the body and going down. The longer legs place on top with one going up and out and the other going down and out.
- For the remaining logs, divide the log into a body, head, and 4 little legs and shape accordingly, placing them on the other large cookie sheet.
- Lightly spray with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise a 2nd time for 30-45 minutes or until the spiders have puffed up. Again, the ambient temperature will affect how fast/slow the rise is.
Bake the Spider
- Preheat the oven to 400F. When ready to bake, uncover the large spider, place the coffee beans into the head for the eyes, and brush the whole thing with egg wash. Bake fo4 20-25 minutes or until the internal temperature is 200F. Remove from the oven and CAREFULLY transfer the spider from the parchment to a cooling rack. For the mini spiders, use the peppercorns as the eyes, brush with egg wash, and bake for 15-20 minutes. Place on the cooling rack as the large one.
Carve the Spider
- Using a serrated knife, cut a hole into the body without going all the way through the bottom or sides, pulling out as much bread as you need to fit the dip. Toast up the bread that was pulled out as dipping pieces along with the mini spiders. Fill with your favorite dip and enjoy!
For 1 large spider the dough weights are:
- 294 grams for the Head
- 900 grams for the Body
- 406 grams for the Legs
Recipe time does not include proofing or cooling
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