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How to Bake a Bunny Bun

Easter will be here very soon. There is no way you can miss it. Shops and supermarkets are full of Easter related goodies and decorations in the shape of eggs and bunnies. I like chocolate and I love marzipan but sometimes Easter can be a bit too sweet. As it is, many chocolate bunnies and caramel eggs end up in the disposal bin rather than in a hungry mouth due to the over-abundance of Easter sweets.

Instead of wasting precious Swiss Francs on mediocre chocolate (the one exception in my humble opinion being the Lindt Goldhase) I decided to create my own Easter bunny. For this purpose I adapted  the recipe for a traditional Swiss Christmas treat, the Grittibänz. It's a human shaped sweet bread very similar to the braided Zopf bread but a bit sweeter and of course smaller.

However, instead of baking a Santa Claus shaped bread roll, I decided to try my hand on baking a bunny shaped bread roll. You may call the result Zopfhäsli (which basically means Zopf in the shape of a little bunny) or Osterbänz (a pun on the Swiss German words Easter and Grittibänz).

Here is how you make your own Zopfhäsli:

1. Mix the following ingredients in a bowl and knead thoroughly. Important: Dissolve the yeast in the milk before adding to the mixture!
  • 1 kg regular flour or Zopfmehl
  • 1 (42g) cube yeast
  • 6 dl milk
  • 100 g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
2. Cover dough, put it in a warm place and let it rise for about an hour.
3. Divide dough into even portions and form bunnies. You can either create your own style of bunnies or follow this short video instruction (in Swiss German only). If you are not into bunnies, you could try forming  another Easter related symbol (eggs, bells, flowers, etc.) 
4. Preheat oven to 220 C.
5. Cover the formed Osterbänze and Zopfhäsli and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
6. Crush and egg yolk (no egg white!) and brush on the bread rolls.
7. Bake for 12-15 minutes. They will turn nice and brown! Tast best when fresh from the oven and still a bit warm! :)

PS: If you prefer to make regular plaided Zopf you'll find directions here: Zopf - A Swiss Braided Bread



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