easter baking

Honey Bunnies

Honey Bunny

If you are looking for a fun dish to serve for Easter, you might want to bake a batch of bunnies. They can be served with Easter dinner, or with breakfast or brunch.

The honey-sweetened yeast dough is rolled into ropes, and then the ropes are formed into these bunny shapes. Once the rolls are baked, they are brushed with a mixture of warm honey and melted butter. This is a fun recipe to make with kids.

I make them every Easter. Sweet and so cute, they are sure to be a hit when you make them.

The dough is chilled before rolling, so you can mix up a batch in the evening- put in the fridge- then roll them out the next day. They are actually pretty easy to make.

You can add raisin “eyes”, if you like. It is an option.

 

Honey Bunnies

 4-5 c. flour

2 packages yeast

1 t. salt

2/3 c. evaporated milk

½ c. each water, honey and butter

2 eggs

Raisins, optional

Honey glaze

1/2 c. honey and 1/4 c. butter or margarine heated together until warm.

In bowl combine 1 c. flour, yeast and salt. Heat together milk, water, honey and butter until very warm and beat into the flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes on high speed. Beat in 1 cup flour and eggs. Beat 2 more minutes, until batter thickens. Stir in enough flour to make a stiff batter and chill, covered with plastic wrap for 2-24 hours.

Place dough on lightly floured surface and divide into 15 equal pieces. Roll one piece of dough into a 20- inch rope. Cut rope into a 12- inch piece, a 5-inch piece and 3 one-inch pieces. Coil 12 inch piece to form body, five inch piece to form head and one inch pieces to form ears and tail. Place the body on greased cookie sheet and then place the head next to the body, making sure they are touching. Place ears and tail on the bunny, making sure they make good contact with the rest of the “bunny”. I tuck them under a little. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let rise, covered until doubled, about 25 minutes. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove to cooling rack and brush with honey glaze. Place raisins on each to make eyes, if you like. Brush with additional glaze before serving, if desired. Makes 15 bunnies.

 

Dough is rolled out and cut into pieces for each of the bunny parts

Dough is rolled out and cut into pieces for each of the bunny parts

Unbaked bunny

Unbaked bunny

A colony of rabbits!!

A colony of rabbits!!

Brushing baked bunnies with honey/butter glaze

Brushing baked bunnies with honey/butter glaze

 

Classic Babka

Classic Babka

What can I say? I am in a nostalgic mood this week. I have been working on my Easter menu and all sorts of favorite foods are being prepared. Babka is one of them.

Babka is a different bread from most others that I make.  For starters, the recipe makes 6 loaves of bread at once. Great for gift giving in those quantities. Babka also uses much less flour than most of my bread recipes. Only 8 cups of flour for the 6 loaves. I can use close to 8 cups of flour for 2 loaves of other breads.

The babka dough is really a batter- so sticky you have to oil up your hands to divide the dough into the bread pans.  This very tiny amount of dough rises to fill  9×5-inch bread pans. The result is a bread that is very light with a crunchy exterior and tender interior.

I can’t remember where I got this recipe. I still have the original handwritten recipe, but it isn’t handwriting I recognize. I made it for a baking class the other night and people seemed to really like it. I hope you do, too.

 

Babka

3 packets active dry yeast
1 c. warm water
1 c. sugar
8 c. bread flour
1 t. salt
5 large eggs
1 stick butter
2 T. oil
Grated rinds of  an orange and a lemon
2 c. warm milk
1 c. raisins
1 egg mixed with 2-t. milk

In bowl combine yeast, water, sugar, 1 c. flour, and salt. Allow to stand 10 minutes. Beat in eggs, butter, oil and grated rinds. Add remaining flour alternately with milk, beating a total of five minutes. Stir in raisins. Dust a large bowl with flour and put in dough. Cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Generously grease loaf pans. This recipe will fill 6 standard loaf pans – 9×5 – inch. Lightly oil hands and divide dough into portions, smoothing tops as you place dough in pans. Cover and allow dough to rise until more than doubled, about 1 hour. Brush loaves with egg and milk mixture. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours or until bread is well browned and sounds hollow inside when tapped. Mine is normally done at about an hour and 15 minutes. Cool a few minutes in pans before removing to racks to cool. Babka in great eaten warm from the oven.

Babka dough rising

Babka dough rising

Fresh from the oven

Fresh from the oven

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

These rolls are a nice addition to your Easter breakfast or dinner. They are easy to make and taste better then anything you are likely to find at the store. I could tell you that you can also freeze leftovers, but who are we kidding? There aren’t going to be any leftovers.

Hot Cross Buns

 2/3 c. sugar

1 t. salt

2 packages active dry yeast

About 5 cups bread flour

1 ½ c. milk

½ c. butter

2 eggs

1 c. raisins

Icing

¾ c. powdered sugar

1 T. milk

In bowl combine sugar, salt, yeast and about 1 ½ c. flour. Heat together milk and butter until very warm. Beat milk mixture into to flour mixture and beat 2 minutes with electric mixer. Beat in 1 egg and 1 cup flour and beat 2 more minutes until batter thickens. Stir in raisins and enough additional flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top, cover with a towel and allow to rise in a draft free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Place dough on floured surface and divide into 15 equal pieces. Cover with towel and lest rest 15 minutes. Meanwhile grease a 9×13 inch pan. Form dough into smooth balls and place in prepared pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat remaining egg. Cut a cross in each bun and brush with the egg. Bake for 25 minutes or until buns are golden. Remove buns to wire rack to cool 15 minutes. Make frosting, place in decorating bag and pipe onto buns. Makes 15.

Honey Bunnies

Honey Bunny

Honey Bunny

I make these sweet rolls every year for Easter but they are so good you can enjoy them any time. Sweet and so cute they are sure to be a hit when you make them. The dough is chilled before rolling so you can mix up a batch in the evening- put in the fridge- then roll them out the next day.

 

Honey Bunnies

 4-5 c. flour

2 packages yeast

1 t. salt

2/3 c. evaporated milk

½ c. each water, honey and butter

2 eggs

Raisins, optional

Honey glaze

1/2 c. honey and 1/4 c. butter or margarine heated together until warm.

In bowl combine 1 c. flour, yeast and salt. Heat together milk, water, honey and butter until very warm and beat into the flour mixture. Beat 2 minutes on high speed. Beat in 1 cup flour and eggs. Beat 2 more minutes, until batter thickens. Stir in enough flour to make a stiff batter and chill, covered with plastic wrap for 2-24 hours.

Place dough on lightly floured surface and divide into 15 equal pieces. Roll each into a 20- inch rope. Cut rope into a 12- inch piece, a 5-inch piece and 3 one-inch pieces. Coil 12 inch piece to form body, five inch piece to form head and inch pieces to form ears and tail. Place on greased cookie sheet and let rise, covered until doubled, about 25 minutes. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove to cooling rack and brush with honey glaze. Place raisins on each to make eyes. Brush with additional glaze before serving, if desired. Makes 15 bunnies.

Roll dough out into a rope

Roll dough out into a rope

Cut dough into pieces for the bunny

Cut dough into pieces for the bunny

Assemble into bunny shapes

Assemble into bunny shapes

Let bunnies rise before baking

Let bunnies rise before baking

Brush baked bunnies with warm honey glaze

Brush baked bunnies with warm honey glaze

 

 

 

 

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