I saw these adorable rolls on Pinterest last week. I knew my young grandsons would love to see these on the Easter table next weekend and I think they will bring a smile to the adults too :)
I did a test run on Saturday - which did not go well. First, the dough did not rise very well, then I over-baked them! "Add insult to injury" as they say.
Sunday, I tried them again with different yeast and made sure my timer was set (and actually running). Success! I only wish I had made the ears a little longer as I think they could be mistaken for mice. By the time I make these for dinner next weekend, I think I'll have all of the wrinkles worked out :-)
The idea for the bunny buns shape came from this blog. I decided instead to use a recipe for egg buns formulated for bread machines which I found in my copy of Bread Machine Magic. They are really good! Just the right amount of buttery sweetness and soft and fluffy in the center.
In preparation for Easter, the decorations have come out of storage (some old, a couple new) and eggs have been colored. Spring has teased us with some lovely days and even some Easter-y outdoor flowers! (We won't talk about the snow in forecast later today.)
I hope this spring season of birth and renewal brings you joy! Happy Easter!
Makes 16 Bunny Buns or 18 Regular Buns
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, mixed together lightly
1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons active, dry yeast (I used quick rising yeast)
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash)
Please a large piece of parchment paper or silicone liner on a 18 x 13 inch baking pan (half sheet).
Place all ingredients except egg wash egg, into bread machine in the order recommended by your bread machine. Select the Dough cycle and press Start.
When the dough cycle is finished (my machine takes about 1-1/2 hours), turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Gentle roll and stretch the dough into an 18-inch rope. With a sharp knife or bench scraper cut the dough first into 6 pieces and then cut each of those pieces into 3 pieces. Each piece should weight about 1 ounce if you have a digital scale.
For bunny buns, roll 16 pieces into a ball and then stretch slightly (2 pieces of dough are reserved for the 'ears' and/or 'tails', if desired.) Place on the prepared baking sheet. For the bunny shape, I squeezed one third of the ball between my thumb and forefinger to form the head area. To make the ears, pull off a small piece of one of the reserved dough pieces and roll it into a thin rope about 4-5 inches long. Cut the rope in half and bend each piece into an 'ear' and place between the head and body. With a toothpick dipped in flour, press the base of the ears firmly into the dough to keep them in place. Then, poke two eye holes deep into the head with the toothpick. Continue with the rest of the dough balls.
When finished, covered the pan lightly with a tea towel or parchment paper and allow to rise until doubled - about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375F. Brush rolls lightly with beaten egg/water wash and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
May be served warm or cold.