Light, airy, and adorable bunny buns are a must for any Easter celebration.
Airy and sweet croissant-like buns that are perfect for Easter. These bunny buns are so cute the whole family will love them.
However, these cute bunnies do take quite a bit of work to prepare and are best made at least a day before being enjoyed. Preferably, begin two days ahead so the dough can be chilled overnight before the bunnies are shaped and baked.
This dough is typically used to make croissants, so if bunnies aren't for you, making a batch of croissants is a great alternative. On the final rollout before cutting, roll the dough until it's about 1/4-inch-thick or less, cut the dough into triangles then roll them up. Rise, brush with egg wash, and bake as instructed in the directions.
(Makes 8 servings)
1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
1, 3/4 cups bread flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 packet (2 teaspoons) dry active yeast
3/4 cup unsalted butter, frozen and grated
1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tablespoon whole milk
In a small microwave-safe bowl, add the 1/2 cup whole milk and microwave for 20 seconds. Stir and test the temperature. The goal is to warm the milk to body temperature. If still cold, microwave in 10-second bursts, until the milk is just warm. Set aside.
In a small, cold, metal mixing bowl, grate the frozen butter. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Gently whisk to combine. Add the grated butter and warmed milk. Using a spoon, gently mix until the dough starts to come together. Ideally, the butter will still be visible as pieces.
Lightly flour a flat work surface and turn out the dough. The dough will still be somewhat dry, soft, and flaky. With clean hands, press the dough together and form it into a flat square. Wrap the dough in clingwrap and refrigerate for 90 minutes.
Lightly flour a flat work surface and rolling pin. Roll out the chilled dough into a rectangle about 14-inches x 10-inches. Fold the short ends in to meet in the middle, then rotate with a quarter turn and roll out to lengthen. Again, fold the short ends in to meet in the middle. Flip the dough over to put the seam underneath, then roll again, repeating the folding twice more. As you roll and fold the dough will get more elastic. If the butter starts to soften too much, rewrap and freeze the dough for a few minutes to firm it up before continuing to fold and roll. After the last fold, wrap the dough again in clingwrap and refrigerate overnight (or a minimum of 6 hours before continuing).
Prepare two sheet pans lined with parchment paper and set aside.
Lightly flour a flat work surface and rolling pin again, then roll out the chilled dough to form a rectangle about 12-inches x 10-inches. Using a long knife or bench scraper, cut 8 strips of dough 10-inches long x 1/2-inch wide. Form each strip into a spiral and place onto the sheet pans leaving as much room around them as possible.
With the remaining dough (a piece roughly 8-inches x 10-inches should be remaining), cut 2 strips 8-inches long x 1/2-inch wide. Cut these strips into 2-inch-long pieces and form them into "V" shapes. At the bottom of the "V" pinch to flatten out a tab that will tuck under the adjoining dough and help join these "bunny ears" to the rest of the bun. Set aside.
Cut 4 more strips 8-inches long x 1/2-inch wide then cut these strips in half. Roll up each piece into small ball and again, in one spot along the bottom edge, pinch some dough to form a tab. Tuck this tab under the spirals of dough to give each a bunny tail.
With the remaining dough, cut equally into 4 strips then cut the strips in half. Form these pieces into larger balls, again, with a tab. Tuck the tab under the spiral on the opposite side from the tail. Attach the "V" shaped ears to the tops of the larger balls of dough. This will form the body of the bunnies with head, tail, and ears. With a very sharp knife, poke a hole in the head where the eye would be and insert a raisin into the hole.
Lightly grease two sheets of clingwrap large enough to drape over the sheet pans and cover the bunnies. Set aside in a warm place and let rise for about 2 hours. After 2 hours begin preheating the oven to 450°F / 230°C.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg and tablespoon of milk together. Remove the clingwrap from the bunnies and using a pastry brush, brush the tops of each bunny with the egg wash.
Bake the bunnies for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 375°F / 190°C and bake another 10 minutes or until the bunnies are golden brown. Transfer the bunnies to a wire rack to cool before serving.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 300 | total fat = 18.33g | saturated fat = 11.33g | cholesterol = 45.75mg | sodium = 82.56mg | net carbohydrates = 28.8g | dietary fibre = 1.02g | sugars = 7.61g | protein = 4.71g