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This is the ultimate Halloween party bread bowl, you can serve any dip in this Black Spider Bread Bowl to spook and delight your friends and family! This recipe is a simple recipe that anyone can make, and it won’t even dye your teeth black because it features activated charcoal powder which gives the bread it’s gorgeous black color.

Whether you are planning a Halloween party for friends, or just looking for ways to make the holiday fun for your family, some of our other favorite spooky ideas are Poison Candied Apples, Mummy Jalapeno Poppers, and this Haunted Halloween Gingerbread House.

A cute Halloween spider bread bowl appetizer on a white plate.

We love bread bowls and thought it would be fun to share a spooky appetizer version for Halloween. This little guy is creepy in the cutest way and ready for your Halloween party! Fill up his abdomen with your favorite dip and watch everybody dig in!

The entire body, legs, and eggs of the spider are edible with hints of garlic and herbs from the egg wash. It makes a frighteningly fun centerpiece and vessel for holding marinara (perfect if you plan to tear off his legs and devour the whole thing), ranch dip, spinach dip, cheese sauce, or any other dip you can think of.

Surround him with carrot sticks, celery, mini sweet peppers, jicama, raw broccoli florets, or other veggies perfect for dipping and this spider bread bowl makes a healthy and delicious centerpiece to any Halloween spread!

Why this recipe works

  • Activated charcoal powder is a natural option to dye things black without using food dyes that stain your teeth!
  • The bread itself is simple, delicious, and 100% edible!
  • It’s surprisingly easy to shape this spider if you follow the step-by-step pictures below.
A black spider bread bowl filled with marinara sauce for dipping.

Ingredient Notes

  • Flour: We like using bread flour for the chewiest texture, but regular all-purpose flour works just as well if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Yeast: This recipe was made with active dry yeast, which requires proofing, but instant yeast or rapid rise yeast will work just as well and will cut down your prep time.
  • Activated charcoal powder: You’ll need to order this online at Amazon or visit a specialty cooking store, but a little goes a long way and can be used in all sorts of ways to dye baked goods black without affecting the flavor at all! Black hamburger buns, black cinnamon rolls, and black pancakes would all be fun ways to use it!
Labeled ingredients for a spider bread bowl.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Start by proofing the yeast in warm water with a little bit of sugar until foamy.
  2. Add some of the flour along with the activated charcoal powder, olive oil, and salt. Mix with the paddle attachment until smooth, then switch to the dough hook and knead in enough remaining flour to clean the sides of the bowl. Knead for 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, turning it to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  1. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a clean surface and divide it in half. Use a bench scraper or pizza cutter to divide one half into two balls with one being slightly larger than the other. This will form the head and body of the spider. Divide the other half of the dough into 8 pieces.
  1. Roll the 8 small pieces of dough into ropes and use them to make the legs of the spider on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Some of the legs will be too long, and that’s totally okay! Just cut them off to be similar sized and use the leftover pieces of dough to make little balls that can be the “spider eggs” for dipping.
  2. Roll the body and head pieces into balls and place them on top of the legs.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30-45 minutes.
  1. Make the flavored egg wash by whisking together an egg with parmesan cheese and seasonings.
  1. Brush the body, legs, and additional balls of dough (the “eggs”) with the egg wash. Bake until done.
  1. Use a sharp knife to carve a hold in the body of the spider to act as a bowl. Fill with your favorite dip and serve! If you want, you can stick some googly eye sprinkles on the head of the spider to make him more cute than creepy!
A Halloween spider bread bowl appetizer on a white plate.

FAQ’s

Is it safe to eat foods with activated charcoal?

Yes, this is a food-grade product and you may have seen black ice cream, black burgers, black waffles, and all sorts of Instagrammable delights. It’s perfectly fine to use in small amounts like in this bread bowl, but if you want even more info this article goes into even greater detail about activated charcoal and its uses.

Can this recipe be made without activated charcoal powder?

Sure! This little guy is almost just as cute made with plain bread dough. Just leave out the activated charcoal powder and make the recipe without it. It won’t affect your bake or taste.

Expert Tips

  • If you want to avoid soggy bread, find a small bowl to fit inside the hole for the sauce, then fill it with your favorite dip!
  • Make sure to proof your yeast first if using active dry yeast. If it doesn’t get foamy after 5 minutes or so in warm water with a little sugar, there is a chance you will need to go to the store to buy some fresh yeast.
  • Don’t skip the egg wash. Not only does it add to the appearance, but it adds yummy flavor to the outside of the bread.
  • This bread bowl is best eaten the same day it is made. Although you could make the spider a day ahead and wait to fill it with dip until just before you plan to serve it. Just keep it wrapped tightly in plastic wrap on the counter until then.
A spider bread bowl with sprinkle eyes.

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Halloween Black Spider Bread Bowl

This is the ultimate Halloween party bread bowl, you can serve any dip in this Black Spider Bread Bowl to spook and delight your friends and family! This recipe is a simple recipe that anyone can make, and it won't even dye your teeth black because it features activated charcoal powder which gives the bread it’s gorgeous black color.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 221kcal
Author: Amy Nash

Ingredients

Bread

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons food grade activated charcoal powder
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Candy eyes for decoration (optional)

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon milk or water
  • 2 teaspoons powdered Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer pour in the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Stir gently and let sit for 5 minutes to bloom. 
  • Once the yeast looks foamy, add in the salt, charcoal powder, olive oil, and 1 cup of the flour. Mix until fully combined 
  • Slowly add in the remaining flour and knead for 3-4 minutes using the dough hook. 
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, lightly grease the bowl, then shape the dough into a ball and place back into the greased bowl. 
  • Cover the bowl with a towel and leave in a warm area to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper. 
  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly greased surface. Using a bench scraper or a butter knife, gently cut about ⅓ or a little more of the dough off. Shape this piece into a ball, it will be the body of your spider. From the remainder of the dough cut another piece off for the head of the spider, it should be smaller than the body. The dough that is left can be cut to make 8 legs, 4 should be long and 4 should be shorter. Shape the head into a ball and the legs into skinny logs. Any remaining dough can be made into sticks that you can call “legs” or little balls that you can call “spider eggs”. 
  • Assemble all the pieces of dough onto your prepared pan, start with the body of the spider, then drape the long legs and short legs, and lastly place the head into position (Tip: have the head and body of the spider sit on top of the legs to hide any seams.) 
  • Let the dough rest in the spider shape for 10 minutes. While the dough is resting mix all of the egg wash ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • When the dough has finished resting, brush all sides of your spider with the egg wash.
  • Bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, until the top is golden and bread is cooked through.
  • Let the bread cool. Once cooled you can cut a hole out of the top of the body piece, and pull out as much bread as you need to fit the dip you want to put in it.
  • If you would like to add eyes, you can cut spaces for them on the face and insert the candy eyes.
  • Carefully transfer to a serving platter, serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you want to avoid soggy bread, find a small clear bowl that will fit inside the hole you made for the sauce, then insert the bowl and fill the bowl with the sauce!)
  • The charcoal is easy to purchase and work with! It has no flavor so this bread is just a wonderful chewy breadstick with hints of garlic and herbs from the egg wash.
  • Make-ahead: While best when served the day it is made, you can prep the bread bowl a day in advance and keep covered with plastic wrap on the counter until ready to serve. Don’t fill it with dip until just before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 84mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 52IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
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