EASTER BRIOCHE BREAD BUNNIES
• 2½ cups flour (all purpose)
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 2½ tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1 zest lemon
• 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
• 1 large egg (room temperature)
• 2 tablespoons salted butter (softened)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• ½ cup + ½ tablespoon full cream milk (room temperature)
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon water ( In a small bowl beat together the egg and water)
1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt, lemon zest and sugar, add the yeast and mix gently. Make a well in the middle and add the egg, butter, vanilla and milk mix with a fork until it is almost combined.
2. Knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes, until smooth, the dough will remain slightly sticky.
3. Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface and form into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 40 minutes.
4. Remove the dough from the fridge and form the bunnies.
~ To form the bunny ~
1. Remove a piece of dough (about 1¼ ounces / 38 grams) and roll into a long rope (10 inches / 25cm) Roll up the rope from the left to the right leaving a piece sticking out to form the front foot.
2. Remove a piece of dough (½ ounce/14 grams) and roll into a ball to form the head attach it to the body.
3. Remove a piece of dough (⅓ ounce / 10 grams) and shape into an oval with a slightly pointed top, slice in the middle 3/4 the way down, do not cut through, shape the 2 pieces into ears, attach to the head,
4. Remove a small piece of dough (2 grams) and make a small round ball and attach to the body for the tail. It makes approx 12 small bunnies, 7 medium bunnies, or even a large one. Weight is just to give you an idea of the sizes of dough you will need.
5. Place the bunnies on a parchment/baking paper lined cookie sheet or 2. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm draft free area for approximately 1-2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
6. Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).
7. Brush the bread with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar if desired and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes check for doneness (depending on the size, could be more or less time, check after 15 minutes). Immediately move the baked bread to a wire rack to cool completely. They are now ready to serve! Happy Easter!