These hot cross buns shaped as bunnies are very fun for the kids, and very easy to shape. My mom always makes these for us for breakfast on Easter morning. She used to ice our initial with icing on the stomach of the bunny. The glaze in this recipe is optional - we never bother. NOTE: rising time is not included in prep/cooking time. **I have changed the # of bunnies - after making them this year I realized they made a lot more then I remembered!
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 cup low-fat milk, scalded (skim milk also works well, heat milk in microwave until almost boiling)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 1⁄4 cup margarine or 1⁄4 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon allspice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (or white bread flour)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (or all purpose or whole wheat bread flour)
- 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- In a small bowl, add yeast to warm water and 1 tsp sugar, Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, cream margarine and brown sugar, add scalded milk, lightly beat the two eggs and add to mixture.
- Add the yeast mixture to the large bowl of liquid ingredients.
- In a medium bowl, mix 1 cup flour with spices, add to liquid ingredients, mix well.
- Add raisins to the dough.
- Add enough of the remaining three cups flour a little at a time to make a soft but not sticky dough.
- Turn out and knead on a floured surface, incorporating more flour until smooth, about 10 minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl; cover and rise until doubled.
- Punch down and roll out dough to 3/4 inch thickness.
- Cut bodies with a large biscuit cutter (about 3" diameter) and the heads with a small biscuit cutter (about 2" diameter), place the head so it right up against the body on a baking sheet.
- Form 2 feet and 2 arms by attaching small balls of dough on the left and right side of the body for the arms two small balls of dough on the bottom area of the body.
- Form ears by forming 2 small balls of dough into 2 small egg shapes, attach on to the top of the head.
- If eyes are desired, press two raisins into the dough of the head.
- When placing bunnies on greased baking sheet, leaving some room in between each bunny.
- Cover bunnies and let rise till double.
- Bake for about 20 minutes at 375°F, or until browned on the bottom.
- Cool on wire rack or add OPTIONAL GLAZE.
- For the OPTIONAL GLAZE, combine milk and sugar in small saucepan on med heat and boil till syrupy, brush the buns with glaze as soon as they come out of the oven, Cool on rack and brush twice more with glaze while buns are still hot.