That's the only explanation for my bread bunny massacre.
Actually...no. That's not the only explanation: It is my ingrained desire to recreate whatever foodish item that's tickled my fancy, in hopes that I can then have it whenever I want.
Wait...one more reason: I felt the need to put my Fine Arts degree to good use...even if my degree was in Art History, I have years of studio work under my belt (mostly in painting, but some in sculpture).
You see, the other week I was in the SwankyFooderie and they had little flyers pinned to the cash till advertising Ace Bakery's bread bunnies. While I was queued, balancing containers of Portuguese olives, hunks of Stilton and Roquefort and Guinness Cheddar, packets of breaded portabellos and jalapenos, sushi and a box of Maldon salt (umm...I went in for the salt, that's it), I stared at the photo of the bread bunny.
"Gosh...That is cute--and creative," thought I as the sushi tried to make a break for it. "It can't be that difficult to fold bread...it would be great at Easter."
(Yes, here's where you're allowed to go "No Duh...it is Easter time.")
I thought about the photo...and the cuteness surcharge on what really amounted to a couple of whorls of dough. It became my mental wander of choice for the ensuing days. Let's face it, when I'm super busy, my brain needs a break and meanders to a different puzzle that needs solving.
Well...I couldn't figure it out without actually seeing one. Unfortunately, they were special order breads, only available this weekend. So I broke down and ordered a couple of bunnies, which I picked up on Holy Saturday.
When I got home, I closed my blinds and out came the paring knife.
Mwah-ha-ha...I felt like one of those early anatomists, forced to learn the intricacies of form by scavenging cadavers from public hangings or insane asylums or something. After looking at them, back and front, and then carving out the nearly Möbius strip-like construction, I pretty much had it sorted...after I figured out that each bun was made of two bits of dough.
So Now that I had the form figured out, I needed to recreate it. I chose my favourite hot cross bun recipe, as previously blogged about. Except this time, omitting the fruit and just using the spiced dough--each hot cross bunny would get a raisin eye, though. It was pretty easy, even if Beelzebub gave me black-bottomed bunnies (yes, out of pure stubbornness, I re-made them).
So, for those of you who want to make bunny-shaped bread, here are my step-by-step photos. I didn't give them enough room to rise, so many of them look rather...Quasimodo-like...but the few who were given ample growing room look rather bunny-like...even if in a Picasso-esque way.
After the first rise, divide the dough into as many pieces you wish. For the Delia recipe, I divided it into 12 pieces, and snaked them out. Divide each into two pieces, with one piece roughly twice the length as the other. The longer bit will be the bunny body, the smaller will be the head and ears. Then put them onto a baking sheet and allow them to rise until doubled in size. About 30 minutes before you pop them into the oven, place a current or sultana in the head for its eye:
And the final result...isn' t he cute?