You will need
1 pint of very warm water
(you could use 50/50 milk and water for added richness if you like)
1 1/2 ounces sugar
1 /2 ounce of granulated yeast
3 Ibs of bread flour
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of sea salt or normal salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil or soft butter or margarine
Making your bunny bread
Mix the water and sugar in a large mixing bowl and then sprinkle the
yeast on the top. let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes to "proof"
After 10 minutes, it should begin to look a little foamy...that's good.
it means your yeast is alive and growing!
Add the sea salt (or regular table salt if that's what you have) and the oil
and begin to mix in the flour. you want to use enough of the flour to form a
moderately stiff dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until it's smooth
(more or less) and elastic. this will take about 5 minutes, in a stand
mixer and until you think your arms are falling off, by hand!
Gather your dough into a ball, and place it into a large well oiled bowl,
roll the dough around so it's covered lightly with oil on all sides, cover
with a clean towel and put aside in a warm place to rise.
When your dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down, turn it out onto a lightly
floured surface, cover with the bowl and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Divide your dough in half. out of the first half, you'll shape a large oval
of dough. this will be the bunny's body and a smaller round lump which
will be his little head. put the pieces on a well oiled cookie sheet and pinch
them together a bit.
Divide the second half of your dough into 7 pieces. shape 4 of them into
little round balls for your bunny's arms and legs and pinch them onto his
body. roll two of your pieces into long ropes, for his ears, fold them in
half and attach to the top of his head.
Out of the remaining piece of dough, roll out 4 large marble sized balls and
2 larger walnut sized balls. these will become his eyes, nose, mouth and the
little parts where his whiskers will go. you can attach these bits
with toothpicks (which you will remove before serving) because they are
likely to roll off during the final rise or baking if you don't.
Brush your bunny with a little milk, or soy milk or beaten egg and set him
aside to rise for a bit. preheat your oven to about 375. after 30 minutes
or so, he should have begun to puff up nicely. He'll rise even more during
his first few minutes in the oven, so don't let him rise too much now.
Put your bunny into the oven (middle rack) and after 5 minutes, pull him
back out and brush him with more milk, or beaten egg (this will give him
a nice slightly shiny look) and put him back in the oven to finish baking.
this will take about 15-20 minutes. He will sound a little hollow, when rapped
with your knuckle, when he's done.