An Easter bread - Orange Bunny Buns

Many years ago, I came across an Easter bread recipe that was for yeast dough shaped into bunnies. It was an orange-flavored yeast bread and called for the use of a dough hook that is equipped with many heavy-duty stand mixers. Over time, as recipes often do, they disappear and we wonder whatever happened to them. This was one of those recipes! A few years ago, I remembered this bread and did an internet search. And much to my surprise, I found it. Now, I'm presenting it to you!

This recipe, "Orange Bunny Buns", is a fun yeast bread to make for the upcoming Easter holiday. This will be great fun to make with a young person, as he or she would enjoy forming the dough into the parts of the bunny. Though a dough hook may be used for mixing and kneading this dough, it's not necessary. In fact, the directions I found in my websearch were adapted for mixing by hand. But if you're fortunate enough to own one of these wonderful machines that can knead bread dough, by all means use it.

The bunnies can be made into "twist bunnies" where the dough portions are twisted and put together to form the bunny. Or, you can make "curlicue bunnies" where the dough is coiled and put together to form the bunny. Either way you make them, they're cute, fun to make, and a great-tasting yeast bread with an orange flavor.

So, invite "somebunny" into the kitchen with you and have great fun making these edible bunnies!

Orange Bunny Buns Recipe

  • 1 Pkg. Dry Yeast
  • 1/4 C. Warm Water
  • 1 C. Milk, scalded
  • 1/3 C. Sugar
  • 1/2 C. Shortening, such as Crisco
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 5 to 5-1/2 C. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Large Eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 C. Orange Juice
  • 2 Tbls. Grated Orange Zest (the colored portion of the orange)
Soften yeast in warm water; blend milk, sugar, shortening, and salt; cool to lukewarm; stir in 2 cups of the flour and beat well; add eggs and beat again; stir in yeast, orange juice and zest; add enough flour to make a soft dough; let rest 10 minutes.

Knead dough until smooth and elastic; place in a warm area, covered, until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour; punch down dough and let rest 10 minutes; shape into bunnies as directed below; let rise in a warm place until double; bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes until browned; frost while warm with Sugar Glaze (recipe below). Makes about 2 dozen.

To make "twist bunnies": Roll out a 14 inch pencil-thin strip of dough with your hands; fold in half and twist twice; place on greased cookie sheet and spread "ears" on top; roll a very small piece of dough into a ball and place on bottom round part of bunny for a tail.

To make "curlicue bunnies": Roll out a 10 inch and a 5 inch long pencil-thin strip with your hands; coil the 10 inch strip for the body and place on a greased cookie sheet; coil the 5 inch strip and place next to the other coil for the head; roll out a 3 inch pencil-thin strip of dough with your hands and cut in half; place the cut end of each piece under the bunny's head and spread to form ears; roll a very small piece of dough into a ball and place next to the body for a tail.

Sugar Glaze:

  • 2 C. Confectioner's Sugar
  • 1/4 C. Hot Water
  • 1 Tsp. Butter
  • 1 Tsp. Orange Extract
  • 1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
Mix the above ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.

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