Bunny Rolls – A Family Easter Recipe
Easter Recipe: Sharing our version of Easter Bread (Paska)
Another Easter baking tradition for my family is Bunny Rolls. These are not sweet rolls for any brunch or breakfast, but dinner rolls shaped like bunnies, bunny butts to be exact :-). I have been making these rolls for my girls and family as long as I can remember. I even make 3 dozen for a friend whose family can’t imagine their Easter dinner being without the Bunny Rolls.
As a young Mother, I searched for the perfect recipe to make into the bunny rolls. Many were tried but just didn’t seem right for the Easter Tradition I was trying to create for the family. Then a dear friend gave me her recipe for Russian Paska Easter Bread. She made the recipe into loaves to serve to her family. It was chocked full of eggs, yellow, and very yummy. She also had the tradition of cutting a cross in the top of the bread loaves before they baked.
That was when I chose Russian Paska for my recipe for Bunny Rolls. As a child I remembered that my grand mother, Easter or not, ALWAYS cut a cross into the top of each loaf of bread as a blessing before serving it to her 13 children, numerous grand children and husband. So … this recipe seemed perfect to me.
I want to share this tradition with you and yours hoping you too will enjoy, not only the taste, but begin remembering to cut that cross in the top any bread your make and serve to your family as a blessing.
These bunny rolls have been a real family project. The girls help me to create the bunnies from the strips of bread dough and place them on the baking pans. But, it is Reddy Kilowatt, Dad, that perfected the rolling of the bunny butts. He considers himself the “Bunny Butt King” around here, each bunny butt created especially for each bunny using his skill of rolling the bread dough into balls. (Don’t be fooled; I taught him how to do it).
I share this tradition for you to enjoy creating and eating for your Easter. And, consider making this yummy bread any time of the year. I have even rolled it out as I would dough for cinnamon rolls and spread olive oil on it, garlic, fresh herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary and rolled it up, cut into “cinnamon roll” shapes and arranged on a baking sheet as a Christmas Wreath, Christmas tree, or just herbal rolls for a special dinner. Each time I serve these herb and garlic rolls we wonder why I don’t make it all the time … but, would it be special if it were served daily?
3 C milk scalded
2 Tsp Salt
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 C lukewarm water
1/2 C sugar
1 C salted butter
3 pkgs of dry yeast
12-14 C flour
Put the milk into a Pyrex measuring cup and microwave the milk on full power for 4 minutes to scald the milk. To this hot liquid then add the butter to melt, the water, sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm, about 110-115 degrees.
Pour milk mixture into your mixing bowl. Add 1 cup of flour, beat into the warm liquid.
Then, add the 3 pkgs of yeast and another cup of flour. Beat until all ingredients are dissolved and combined.
Slowly add each additional cup of flour alternating with the beaten eggs until all the eggs and flour are added. (I usually find my old Kitchen Aid mixer reaches it’s maximum flour at about 10 cups).
Using the dough hook helps in adding the rest of the flour. Knead in mixer if it will hold all of the ingredients or by hand working in the rest of the flour until dough is smooth and elastic.
Turn out onto a floured surface, cover with a dish towel and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Punch down the dough, cut into 6 equal sections to be rolled.
Use extra ends for the dough to create the bunny “butts”. Use the pizza cutter to shape the ends of the bunny ears.
Cover and place baking trays in a warm place so the rolls will rise. Before baking brush on to each roll with a mixture of 1 beaten egg + 2 T milk mixed together. This gives each roll a rich shine.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until done. Let cool on baking racks.
These can be baked and then frozen ahead of the holiday.
Beware: You will freeze a few less than you bake because the family will each consume one at least per person as they come out of the oven.