Bunny Bread

Let us observe the Easter Bunny in his natural habitat…

See how relaxed he is in the vegetable patch? The serene  -if vacant- look on his face?  He is surrounded by his favored nourishment; cucumbers, peas, carrots and his own entrails.  Wait. His own entrails? How can this be? The Easter Bunny’s tummy has been removed to make way for a *horrors* bowl.

A bowl full of dip!  Oh no! Something has eaten the Easter Bunny!

What madman or woman would do this to the Easter Bunny? Who could be so callous?

In a word? Me.

This dish (and the above narrative) are an Easter tradition in the Foodie With Family house. I’ve been making this since my eldest was a bonnie wee boy in diapers. And seeing as he is now a full-fledged, card-carrying, certified (and certifiable) teenager -pardon me while I go hyperventilate for a couple minutes- I think you could call this a truly ingrained holiday tradition.

Here’s how Easter Sunday works Chez Foodie With Family…

The boys wake up early. The Evil Genius and I lay down the law about only eating two pieces of candy from their basket, look the other way and drink something highly caffeinated while they eat six, make a protein heavy breakfast to offset the sugar, hose them all off (or run them through the shower), tell them to get dressed (and pray no one gets to church shoeless like they did that one year…), load up in the van, attend church, return home, take off church clothes, put on our fat pants and lay into the annual bunny bread with wild abandon.*

*Please pardon my run-on sentence. Which is better than a fragment. Oh dear.

That bunny doesn’t stand a chance against this ravening horde.  And this is the honest-and-for-true** reality of it; My kids look forward to the Bunny Bread more than they do their Easter Baskets. The whole ride to church, time at church and ride home from church is punctuated with our own call and response, either squawked or whispered, “We ARE having a bunny bread, right, Mom?” “You saw it on the counter, right? Yes. We’re having one.” and “How much longer is this service? I’m dying for Bunny Bread” “They haven’t even started the service. And you’re not dying. Just hang on.”and “Can we eat it as soon as we get home? Do we really have to change clothes?” “Yes. You have to change clothes because I said so.”

**You get extra super-cool points if you tell me which character says, “Honest and for true?!?”…

‘Round here, this is a strictly Easter dish (which accounts for the year old photos), but I can see this going over a treat at a bunny-loving child’s birthday party or a get together for friends.You don’t have to be a bunny-bread withholder like I am. Feel free to bust out Bugs whenever the muse strikes.

Don’t let the idea of shaping bread scare you away. This is quite simple. While I start with approximately two pounds of homemade bread dough (I recommend this recipe!) you can your favorite standard bread dough or even thawed frozen bread dough. It’s just a matter of breaking it down into steps, and I’ve done that for you.

As for the dip, put whichever one best floats your boat. I love this one the best, but use whatever makes you drool!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go whip up this year’s bunny bread. It’s about that time. Happy Easter, all!

Bunny Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer, Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12
 
This golden brown, soft bunny bread filled with dip is irresistible. Be sure to position yourself closest to the ears so you can nab one when you give the go-ahead! (While I lost the copy of Taste of Home where I originally read this recipe, a little trial and error and years of experience yielded a bunny bread perfect for devouring.)
Ingredients
  • Approximately 2 pounds homemade bread dough [or 2 loaves (1 pound each) frozen bread dough, thawed]
  • 2 pieces of dried fruit (raisins, currants, cherries, blueberries, etc...)
  • 1 egg, beaten
For serving:
  • Your favorite dip
  • Vegetable sticks or florets (carrots, celery, cucumbers, pea pods, cauliflower, broccoli, etc...)
Instructions
  1. Cut your ball of dough into two pieces that are approximately 1 pound each.
  2. Set one piece aside.
  3. Cut about ¼ off of the remaining hunk of dough.
  4. Roll the piece into a ball and then flatten slightly on a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet to form the bunny's head.
  5. Roll the other ¾ of the dough piece into a ball and flatten into a large oval that is about 6-inches across. This will be the bunny's body.
  6. Place the body directly below (and in contact with) the head on the cookie sheet.
  7. Cut the second dough ball into four equally sized pieces and roll into balls.
  8. Roll two of the pieces into long, snaky ropes (about 15 or so inches long) and then fold the ropes in half.
  9. Place on either side of the head as ears and tuck the ends slightly under the head.
  10. Take a third dough ball, split into two equally sized pieces and roll into balls.
  11. Position one ball on either side of the base of the bunny's body like back paws.
  12. Use a bench knife or butter knife to cut two slits at the outside edges of the back paws to form bunny toes. What? They have toes.
  13. Divide the last remaining portion of bread into 3 equally sized pieces.
  14. Roll two of the pieces into balls and place against either side of the upper third of the bunny's body to serve as front paws.
  15. Take the remaining dough and cut off ¼ of the dough.
  16. Roll the tiny piece into a ball and position on the bunny's head to serve as the nose.
  17. Cut the final piece of dough into two equal pieces.
  18. Roll those pieces into balls and position under the nose for the bunny's cheeks.
  19. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy and almost doubled in bulk (about an hour in a warm room.)
  20. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  21. Remove plastic wrap, brush lightly with beaten egg and push the two pieces of dried fruit into the bunny's head for it's eyes.
  22. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the bunny is golden brown and lovely.
  23. Let rest on the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  24. Transfer the cooled bunny bread to a serving platter.
  25. Cut a hole equal to the size of the bowl you will use for your dip from the belly of the bunny.
  26. Set the bowl of dip down into the bunny bread.
  27. Arrange vegetable sticks and crudites around the bunny and serve!
Notes
You can, alternatively, line the hole in the bunny's belly with lettuce leaves and put the dip directly into it. We prefer to put the bowl of dip in to better salvage any leftover dip after we devour the bread. This would also be preferable if you think you may have leftover bread.

 

Comments

  1. “Which is better than a fragment. Oh dear.”

    Har. Har.

    Now, you know I ain’t makin’ this for just the two of us, but anyone considering it? Listen to the bread queen: do not fear shaping the dough. Shaping risen bread dough is a cinch. And the hilarity of this on your table would be SO. WORTH IT.

  2. This is GREAT! I wanted to do something special with bread this year. Thanks for the GREAT idea!!

    Stef at TooMuchToDoSoLittleTime.com

  3. Honest and for true…hmmm. Was it Bugs Bunny?

    Bunny bread looks delicious! Happy Easter to you…

    • Well, ya know, Melissa… You could halve the recipe… Or halve the bunny, which would lend a whole new hilarity to it. And if you do the bowl of dip, you could freeze leftover bread. Peer pressure. Peer pressure. Peer pressure.

      Stef- You’re MORE than welcome!!

      Yasmin- You are officially extra super cool. At least to me and my kids. :-) It WAS Bugs.

  4. Love the new title banner (loved the old one too) but the right side gets cut off on my monitor – don’t know if it is just my settings or what but there you go :)
    bunny shaped hot cross buns are my family’s tradition

  5. This looks less time consuming and just as cute as the honey bunnies I’ve made for Easter. I’ll have to try this one.

  6. I tore that same bunny out of Taste of Home years ago. Made it with my toddler for years – but no gluten this year, so no bunny bread (gluten free popovers instead)

  7. This is an adorable tradition!!!!

  8. Hi!
    I’m de-lurking to say thanks for this recipe and post! I was really inspired by your tradition, and can’t wait to make this for my family, and establish our own tradition.

    Thanks so much,
    A

  9. Elise- Thank you for the heads-up. Did I fix it?

    Kathryn- Honey bunnies? Do tell!

    Karen- Have you tried Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free all-purpose baking mix? My sister makes wonderful bread with it!

    Bellini- Adorable or disturbing? :-)

    Alice- I sure hope you get a chance and like it!

  10. Darling! Hoppy Easter to you & yours!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] and Baked Chocolate Custards. Christmas Eve is our potsticker extravaganza. Easter always brings Bunny Bread. Just as much as we can count on these dishes making an appearance to help mark the passage of the [...]

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