Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hot Cross Bunny (with chocolate in her tummy)

Dear readers. This was going to be my most beautiful post ever. I've been thinking about it for ages. The idea was to make hot cross buns, but in bunny shapes. I thought I'll make them look like the Lindt easter bunnies, complete with ribbon and bell. And to reproduce the photo, the one with the one bunny in front in focus, and all the others faded in the background (except I don't know how to do that with my camera).

Anyway, let's just say I had problems. I never got round to making them in South Africa, and back home we're in full recovering from jet-lag/getting ready for camping-mode. And working with yeast in between all this didn't work out at all. I can't blaim the recipe. It's Australian Women's Weekly's, and we all know they never make mistakes. It must have something to do with leaving the dough for several hours before getting round to it again. The buns tasted very yeasty and not sweet enough without the added chocolate.

I also had trouble with the different shapes. They had flat sides where they touched each other while baking. In the end I only had one body shape that was actually round, except the chocolate I hid inside beforehand had leaked out during baking. The glaze turned out one big mess, so I'll defenitely use another recipe next time.

I really want to have another go at this, as I think they can be ultra cute. Unfortunately I won't have time before leaving for the weekend tomorrow, so I'll give you the recipe and ideas of how I will do it next time, based on what I learned making this batch. This post is for Bread Baking day #28, this month hosted by Tangerine's Kitchen. The theme is Buns, and I don't think anything says Easter like hot cross buns. I hope you have some nice ones.

Hot Cross Bunnies
Should make about 8, depending on the size

4 teaspoons (14g) dry yeast
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
1 cup (250ml) warm milk
4 cups (600g) plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
80g butter, chopped
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/3 cup warm water
100g milk chocolate

Combine the yeast with one tablespoon of the sugar and all of the milk in a small bowl, whisk until the yeast is dissolved. Cover the bowl and stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is frothy.

Sift the flour, spices and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter, and stir in the remaining sugar, yeast mixture, egg and enough water to make a soft dough. Cover the bowl and stand in a warm place for about one hour, or until the mixture has doubled in size.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

To form the bunnies:
Make 6 rounds of about golf ball size, wrapped around a couple of blocks of chocolate. (start with 6 to make sure you have enough dough, you can always make some more later). Make 6 more rounds of about big marble size for the heads, 6 balls slightly larger than peas for the tails, and about 2cm long log shapes with tapered ends for the ears. Keep in mind that the dough will still rise, so make it smaller than your desired outcome. Keep all shapes on oiled baking trays, but don't let them touch each other, as you will lose the nice round shape. Keep in a warm place for 20 minutes or until the dough has almost doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220C.  Bake the buns until they sound hollow when tapped. Keep in mind that the smaller shapes will bake quicker. For the bodies, check between 10 and 15 minutes, and for the tails and ears just over 5 minutes. The heads should be done somewhere in between. Brush with glaze (I didn't like the AWW one, and can't really comment on any others), and cool on wire racks.

To assemble:
Melt the rest of the chocolate and spoon it into a sandwich bag with a small corner snipped off (or whatever you use). Stick the head and tail to the body, and the ears to the head, with the chocolate. I had a tough time getting the ears to stick, and ended up using toothhpicks to anchor them. Maybe it will help to cut off the bottoms of the ears to make a flat surface. Pipe on little faces on the heads, and crosses on the body (otherwise it will only be hot bunny, and is it just me, or does that sound more like a Valentine's day treat?).

Some extra tips:
  • If you want fruity bunnies, add 1 cup sultanas and 2 tablespoons chpped mixed peel to the mixture.
  • Make sure the dough is comnpletely wrapped around the chocolate, so that it doesn't leak out.
  • Leave plenty of space around each shape on the baking sheet, otherwise the end result is out of shape.
  • I love cardamom, and added some to the mixture. Of course you can use whatever spice you want.
I'll try this again next year, and will do another post then on the outcome. Hope everybody has a lovely Easter!


  1. I think they look cute!!! What an original idea.

  2. Wow, they are so cute. My daughter would love this... Thank you for sending this in for the event.

  3. Oh wow, they are so cute .
    I need to try something creative like this...
    Love them...

    By the way are you Adele Cotton??

  4. Awww, they are cute, an inventive take on hot cross buns, i must say. I had specaular failure with another recipe for hot cross buns last year, I'm still nervous about trying them this year, but I do love them so.

  5. Hallo everybody. Thanks very much for the lovely comments. I definitely want to try it again next Easter. Hopefully I'll be more successful then.

    Arlette, yes, that's me. Hallo!

  6. I loved the bunny what a innovative idea, and of course the heading, Hot cross bunny (with chocolate in her tummy), :) I had a nice laugh so rhyming!!, That bunny is so cute!!, I will try this!!, btw.., thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a beautiful comment, most appreciated.

  7. Super cute!!! I also made Easter bunnies for my kids this year (haven't posted them yet), but yours are adorable. I'll bookmark them for future reference!

  8. OMG..too dang cute and filled with chocolate no less? I wish I could bite into one now. Pain au chocolate bunny stye :O lol Amazingly creative, lovely and fun!

  9. Thanks very much ap269 and Lisa Michelle! Great to meet new people.

  10. OMW so cute! Amazingly creative idea!

  11. I know I am repating what all the others have already said but the bunny is so cute! I always have to have some easter bunnies for easter sunday breakfast! I will bookmark the idea for next year.

  12. Oh, so cute! I love the bunny! Thank you for your participation in BBD.

  13. Oh, I am desperately in love with those! Too adorable :)

  14. WoW! What a cute bunny bread :)Great idea,I'm loving it, it inspire me to make one too, thanks for posting the recipe and instruction on how to make it. :)