23 March 2008

Bread bunny massacre

It was one of those ideas that grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let go. It was just so...cute.

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?


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Gretchen Noelle said...

These did come out very cute! What a great idea to buy it and take it apart to learn how to make it. Smart!

Anonymous said...

Wow, it is cuter than cute! I wish I could have had one! Great job - as always.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Brings back memories of high school biology class! Your bunny is adorable, and the glaze (egg wash?) makes it look like a giant cinnamon bun. Thanks for the dissection and step-by-step photos.

Anonymous said...

Very cute!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Totally fabulous Jasmine! And so well written! What a wonderful laugh to start my morning. I must copy your step by steps for maybe one day to make for grandchildren!
Love that Maldon thanks for the reminder, I used my all last week.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely ADORE the bunny bread! It may be past Easter but I think one of the loaves of bread that gets made next weekend is a bunny bread. Thanks for the "how to" photos!

K and S said...

this bunny is adorable! Happy Easter!

Sara said...

Oh Jasmine that is adorable! Very well done. My cousin tried something like that a couple of years ago, but it came out of the oven looking like an unidentifiable blob.

Marcela said...

You did a great dissection job! :D
Thanks for the work and the step-by-step.

glamah16 said...

Your the Michelangelo of the kitchen! I'm thinking of him dissecting cadevers in order to draw and paint with perfection.Next year you can outsell them on Bunny Bread.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Very impressive and cute! After all that work, I feel like biting off that ear. ;-)))


Sarah said...

I think thats the cutest little bunny I have ever seen! Very creative!

Gigi said...

Very adorable! I love the part where you close the blinds and grab a knife! Too funny! The end result was worth it.

Jenny said...

Holy cow! Sorry, bunny!
Now that is what I call dedication to your baking!

Joy said...

Very sweet! Worth the poor sacrificial bunny to work out how to make it.

Mama Squirrel said...

I love it--will link.

Ruth Daniels said...

Great post and super cute little bunny....almost too cute to eat!

jasmine said...

Hello all

Glad you like the bunny. I figure it will work well for any dough you can shape.

Right...next thing to do is get some Play-Doh and start figuring other shapes to bake...