1Place the warm water in a large bowl, add the sugar, and stir to combine.
Add the yeast to the water, and let stand until foamy, about 5 to 8 minutes.
2Chef's Note: This step, called "proofing" the yeast is essential to the process, because it tells you that the yeast is active. If it does not get foamy, throw it away, and get some newer yeast.
Chef's Tip: Keep your yeast is a cool, dry place. To extend it's life, I place my in the freezer.
3Fit your electric mixer with a the paddle attachment.
In the mixer bowl, add salt, oil and 4 cups flour to the yeast mixture; and mix until throughly combined.
Chef's Note: This recipe does not require the use of an electric-stand mixer. It can be done by hand.
4Remove the paddle attachment, and replace with a dough hook.
Add in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, about 45 seconds on medium speed, or 2 minutes by hand.
5When the dough has pulled together (if you are using an electric-stand mixer, it will begin climbing up the hook), turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.
6Chef's Note: Keading the dough is the fun part, you get to take out all your frustrations on the dough.
Depending on the humidity, and even the state of the flour that you are using, you might need to add more flour as you knead.
If the dough is still a bit sticky, reach into your flour bag and sprinkle a bit of flour over the wet dough, and continue to knead. Stop adding flour when the dough is elastic enough that you can pull and stretch a small bit, and it doesn't fall apart.
7Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 40 minutes.
8Remove the expanded dough from the bowl, punch it down (another great way to take out your frustrations), and divide into eight equal portions.
9Shape each of the portions into a round bowl shape of about 4 inches, and then place on two parchment-lined baking sheets.
10Cover and place in a area that is free of drafts, and let rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
11Place two racks in the bottom and middle positions and preheat oven to 400f (205c).
12Beat the egg white with a tablespoon of water, and lightly brush the tops of the bread bowls with half of the mixture.
Chef's Note: The new silicone brushes that you can get at stores like Williams-Sonoma, are perfect for this.
13Bake for 15 minutes, and then brush on the remaining egg white.
Chef's Note: When returning to the oven turn the baking sheets reverse them front-to-back, top-to-bottom.
14Bake for an additional 15 to 18 minutes, or until the bread bowls are a golden brown.
Remove from the oven, and then allow to cool on wire racks.
15To make the bread bowl, cut about a 1/2-inch slice from the top of each bowl, and then using your hands, scoop out the centers, making sure not to get too close to the outside shell. Leave the shell about 3/4-inch thick.
16Fill with hot soup, or use them to serve dips, or whatever you choose to fill them with.