Bunny Bread

As soon as I posted my first easter bunny bread here, I found a much cuter bunny bread here. This one cannot be made with sour dough, only with yeast dough...and I found the recipe not very reliable, I had to use much more flour than was specified. 
Still, this one turned out cuter than my first try, right?
While researching which German flour to use for the "bread flour" in the American recipe, I read the following on Wikipedia: "All bleaching and maturing agents (with the possible exception of ascorbic acid) have been banned in the EU[10], making cake baking a difficult proposition as heat treated flours that mimic the effects of chlorination are to date available only to bulk bakeries. The home baker in the EU must struggle with the unbleached flours that typically do not lend themselves to the making of light fluffy cakes." 
Well, I really didn't know that us poor home bakers in the EU cannot bake a proper cake because the evil EU prohibits the treatment of flour with all kinds of chemical crap (chlorine gas, Benzoyl peroxidePotassium bromate etc.). Sure, and that's also why the American cakes are much better and more renowned than, say, French and German ones??
Well, enough with that, I congratulate every EU citizen who ever managed to bake a light fluffy cake despite the difficult conditions withouth the chemically "improved" flour!
I ended up using spelt flour, German type 630.

1 1/4 cups water 
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast 
1 tablespoon sugar 
13 1/2 ounces (about 2 3/4 cups) bread flour (I needed much more)
1 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoon olive oil

Energy:  2084 kcal per bread of ca. 800 g

Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl, stir and add the flour. Knead with the dough hook or hands until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add salt and oil and knead until the dough is smooth, shiny, and very elastic. Cover the bowl with cling film and set it aside until the dough has doubled in size, about an hour.
When the dough has risen, line a baking rack with baking paper and preheat the oven to 350°F.

Knead the dough briefly, then cut off about 2/3 of the dough, and form it into an egg-shaped ball. Place this piece on the baking paper.
Divide the rest of the dough in halves. Form one of the halves into a teardrop shape for the the bunny head and ears. Roll the thin end, such that you get a ball about 3 inches in diameter on the big end attached to a thick rope about 6 inches long. Cut the rope in half and form the two resulting pieces into ears. 

For the the front paws, cut about 1/3 of the dough off of the remaining piece of dough. Form this into a rope about 6 inches long. Form it into a U-shape and slide the U under the narrow end of the egg-shaped piece of dough on the parchment. Leave the loose ends sticking out about 2 inches.

For hind paws and tail, form the last piece into a rope of 9 inches.Leave a fatter bit in the center then thin it out, and leave the ends fatter. Fold the dough in half and form that center fat bit into a ball. This will be the bunny's tail.

Position the tail at the back end of the bunny, then tuck the thin portion under the body, leaving the thicker parts - the bunny's back legs - sticking out on either side of the bunny.

On the narrow part of the body, make an indentation for the head, place the head on the body, and adjust the paws and ears. 

The original recipe suggests to let the dough rise for 30 minutes. I thought that a bad idea, as my bunny only got wider and wider and the pictures in the original recipe suggest strongly that the bunny was not set to rise at all, but baked instantly! If at all, I'd let it rise only 10-15 minutes next time! 

Use small scissors to snip the ends of the paws to form toes and on the head to form lashes. Form a tiny nose by pinching the dough and adjust body parts which have moved too much during the rise.

Bake at 175°C/350°F about 40 minutes. Let it cool completely on a rack before slicing. Happy Easter!
Update: I've made the bunny bread again for "Post aus meiner Küche". Actually, I made it three times, two half-sized bunnies each time. One pair for my first parcel, which got lost in the mail. They were a little fat, but okay. The wrinkles in the bunny to the right are from lifting up the body, which had already risen while I kneaded the paws, to slide the paws under it. Hence, I decided to change the order in which I assembled the bunny body, starting with the paws and ending with body and head instead of starting with the body.

To substitute my lost parcel, I made another pair of bunnies (second time), but the bunnies looked very fat and ugly (I mean look at them, they can't even get their paws on the ground due to a huge belly!). I think that's because I didn't let them rise (the dough was very soft and I was afraid that the would get flatter and flatter). Instead, the got really round, probably due to the dough rising fast while baking.

And thus, I made the last pair. By then, I'd nearly run out of normal spelt flour (German Type 630) and substituted half of the 550 g with spelt flour German Type 1050 - and these bunnies turned out very trim and fit, and the dough was better to work with, too! I also let the bunnies rise for about 10 minutes before putting them in the oven, you can see the difference below. 

So I guess I'll use and research that dough mix further the next time I feel like baking bunnies ;-)

You can virtually see them running (not hopping) off! Fast bunnies!

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