I make a point of having these tender bird rolls "fly in" for Easter dinner. With their slightly sweet flavor, the grandchildren can't help but gobble them up.
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
- 16 whole unblanched almonds
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the butter, brown sugar, 2 eggs, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into 16 pieces. Roll each into a 12-in. rope; tie each into a knot.
- To form birds' head, tuck one end back into knots. With a sharp knife or scissors, cut two slits on opposite end to form tail feathers. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Beat egg with water; brush over dough. Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Insert an almond into each for beak. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 16 rolls.
Originally published as Bird Rolls in Best of Country Breads 2000, p89
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