Bread Birds Recipe

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These dinner rolls are made special by innkeeper Iris Karl for honeymooners or couples celebrating anniversaries. Iris uses currants for the eyes and a slivered almond for the beak.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + rising Bake: 25 min.
MAKES:16 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + rising Bake: 25 min.
MAKES: 16 servings


  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups bread flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 16 slivered almonds
  • 32 dried currants
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 173 calories, 7g fat (4g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 214mg sodium, 24g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add milk and water; heat to 120°-125°. Add to flour mixture and mix well. Stir in extract and egg; beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  2. 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.
  3. Punch the dough down; divide into 16 pieces. To shape birds, roll each piece into a 10-in. rope; tie into a knot. Cut one end a few times with a scissors to form tail feathers. Tuck in the other end of the nose to form beak. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
  4. Bake at 350° for 17-20 minutes or until golden brown. Combine honey butter ingredients; brush over the hot rolls. Return to the oven for 3 minutes. With a toothpick, make small holes for the beak and eyes. Insert a slivered almond for the beak and currants for eyes. Serve with remaining honey butter if desired. Yield: 16 rolls.
Originally published as Bread Birds in Country December/January 1994, p53

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klu52 User ID: 6834336 38282
Reviewed Mar. 30, 2013

"These little bird rolls are both cute and delicious. My daughter brought them to Easter dinner several years ago and now they are favorites. We use honey or orange butter with them."

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