Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bunny buns

This could very well be the best distraction ever, that which kept my mind off several up and comings from the preEaster setup to countless meals on the day of- no, we simply aren't satisfied with one, are you? That yesterday should've seen me through half a dozen things and the ten loads of laundry, yet didn't, mustn't entirely be my fault.  I'll just ignore the 500 plastic eggs and triple the amount of candy that now occupy a room in my house and need to be ready in probably the next 24 hours. No,  I'm not perturbed. My ability to remain in that haze of aloof, with zero urgency, is a dysfunction I believe I am lavishly gifted with. One that ushers in bouts of inspiration such as these, having nothing to do with the present tasks/travails of my everyday, all the while keeping me from going stark raving mad.

So this was the day's saving grace, lovely bun-rolls impersonating rabbits, which, by the way were completely formed, done, photographed and halfway eaten through before my dynamic duo came home from school. A thesis should be written up on the number of ways you can surprise yourself with uncharacteristic super productivity amidst tremendous pressure, and I think I should author it.

These are accompaniment rolls, with a dough structure comparable to any decent iftherollsaregoodeveryone'shappy sort of holiday meal. More often than not, it's what you claw for at the table, soft gluten clouds touched with smears of melty butter and giving off undeniably fresh bread fragrance. 

So, it is imperative that you have in your arsenal a righteous collection of this  sort of flourandyeast glory. And it's not that we haven't mentioned this before, you know. I've chronicled more ways than ten on how to recreate la patisserie in your very own kitchen. That'd be my cue to begin the recipe index promised once, several eons ago.

This project carries far more impressive weight than any ho-hum soft bun. Add to that, the noble charge of a one hour construction, start to finish. How can that not be persuasion enough? To prove or disprove that a knead/roll/shape/wait and bake stance could truly be simple enough for the masses, and the make/manufacture of bread animals within a 60 minute frame may as well be your personal mandate, one you possibly might not ever regret.

There is the one wee disclaimer, since by nature most of us aren't rabbit sculptors, the task may extend your hour by maybe a mere ten, hopeful not more than twenty minutes. Unless you take it upon yourself to masterchef your dough crafting skills as if it be your life's calling and structuring grand dough edifices may in fact be your future, there is no need to go that far.

Because once said and done, the herd of these look mighty splendid. Amidst the crowd, questionable looking ears, flat faces all go unnoticed. And if you're like me, you enjoy the veritable zoo your hands have produced- where my twisted forms came in the likeness of cats, cows, slugs, even pigs. Though we did manage to pull out those two few that were recognizably bunny-like, maybe more in line with Pikachu meets Sonic as opposed to Peter Cottontail.

Lastly, owing to more than a touch of sugar in ingredients, these tag on to a slightly sweeter side than you're regular yeasty bun and lends perfectly to many savory accompaniments, maybe paired alongside that spectacular roast chicken, or much like my dinner last night, two to a plate of a certain stylized Kerala beef.  

So my dialogue ends here, and I bide you well in your own sixty minute rabbit-whispering journey.

But not before I wish you a very happy Easter.

Here comes Peter Cottontail, sans tail, and hopping on a much divergent route than the bunny trail. 
( Recipe, inspiration: Kirbie's Cravings)
  • 1 cup plus two tbsp warm water (temp 100°F)
  • 1/3 cup canola or any other neutral tasting cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 4 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp honey, warmed
  • In the bowl of the stand mixer, place water, oil, sugar and yeast. Leave alone for 5-8 minutes
  • Using dough hook attachment, mix in salt, egg and bread flour. Knead all ingredients for 5 minutes on medium-high speed until smooth and elastic.
  • Turn dough out on the countertop. Divide it roughly into 24 equal size pieces. Roll the smaller dough pieces on a hard surface into smooth oval shapes (I roll these two at time, one under each hand on the kitchen countertop.
  • Elongate the ends to create an egg shape, narrower on one side for the head and plump on the other for the bottom.
  • Leave to rise, covered with clean kitchen towel, 10-15 minutes until almost double in size .
  • With a sharp pair of kitchen scissors, facing away from you, nip two triangular shapes toward the narrower end, for the ears. You will have two pointy triangles. Tuck the sharp tip under each triangle, and form the ears with your fingers. Gently pull and smooth out each ear to resemble bunny ears. No worries if you're not perfect. Repeat for all bunnies. See Kirby's step-by-step photos. 
  • Using a skewer or toothpick, poke two smallish but deep holes in the front just below the ears to form eyes. 
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Let buns rest for a final 5-8 minutes. If the shapes have puffed out, go over them once again and define ears, poke eyes, etc.
  • Bake for 10-13 minutes.
  • Combine the butter with honey.
  • Brush warm buns with the honey-butter mixture.
Be sure to make the cuts for the ears and holes for the eyes deep otherwise they will "fill in" as they  rise in baking,
Leave a good space between the rolls, otherwise bunny bottoms meld with the bunny heads and totally disfigure them, voila instant pig snouts! I used three large sheet pans to distribute the 24 rolls.
My Kitchenaid walked across the counter and would've plunged to destruction, had I not seen it in time. This was during the longish kneading session when it was left unattended. Sooo, I'm never doing that again, especially when I googled "violently shaking kitchenaid" and it came back as a top hit. 
Just curious, has it ever happened to you?

I am submitting this post to Susan Tenney's yeast spotting, well, because it contains yeast.
Piled and stacked, these fine bread specimens lasted in this bowl exactly 6 minutes.
Rocky. His greatest nemesis is the bunny. Especially those he considers potential threats, the ones that eat his backyard. He runs with a vengeance and barks with a brutal echo, chasing each and every grass invader away. So it may not be wrong that he begs for a few bites of this edible hoaxer.
Previous Easters~

The  Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Psalm 23 (KJV)


  1. Bunny buns look too good to be eaten... they look cute :) Happy Easter in advance

  2. These bunny buns look so adorable, Tisa. Great job!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!