Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Brioche Easter Bunnies

Easter is just around the corner, so it's time to bake some Easter treats. Baking some kind of sweet yeast bread for Easter brunch is a very common tradition in Germany. Usually it comes in the form of a braid or wreath. It can be plain and enjoyed with butter and jam or filled with nuts or dried fruits.

I wanted to make some different shape this year so I made some Easter Bunnies. But you can use the same dough for making a braid or wreath as well. The dough is great to work with and tastes really good.

If you are like me you probably don't want to get up really early on Easter morning to prepare your baked goods. You don't have to. You can prepare the dough the night before and let it rest in the fridge overnight. Then you just have to shape and bake the bunnies in the morning. I made a note in the recipe, at what point you can interrupt the process.

My little bunnies were so well liked that I am gonna make at least two more batches until Easter. I hope you will like them too.

Brioche Easter Bunnies

- makes about 8 pieces -

250 ml milk
500 g flour
20 g fresh yeast (you can substitute with 2 tsp. dry yeast)
75 g sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
75 g butter, at room temperature

egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tbsp. milk)

sliced almonds, raisins and coarse sugar to decorate the faces

Warm up the milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm. Fill the flour in the bowl of your standmixer. Crumble the yeast in the middle and pour about a quarter of the milk and the sugar on top of it. Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand for about 10 minutes at a warm place.

Add the remaining milk, the egg and salt and knead at low speed for about 3 minutes. Then gradually increase the speed and knead for another 5 minutes. Cut the butter in cubes and slowly add to the dough while still kneading. Keep kneading until the butter is incorporated and you have a smooth dough.

Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rise at a warm place for about one hour. After the dough is raised you can either continue with the recipe right away or store the dough in the fridge overnight and bake them in the morning.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 pieces and form round balls. Then form some bunny ears on each piece.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the formed bunnies on the baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise for another 45 minutes at a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Brush the bunnies with the egg wash and decorate the faces with the almonds, raisins and coarse sugar. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. If they are getting to brown cover with aluminum foil for the last 10 minutes.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!

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