I had lots of fun making this adorable bread with one of our granddaughters. I kept one loaf and sent the other home with her. She was so proud of it and kept it in her bedroom! Finally, she reluctantly brought it out to share with her family.
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1-1/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5-1/4 to 5-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 12 raisins
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Ribbon, optional
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, salt and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff 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 four portions. Cut one portion in half; shape into balls. Cut another portion into 14 pieces; shape into balls. Shape remaining two portions into balls.
- To form bear body, place each large ball in the center of a greased baking sheet. Place a medium ball above body for head; flatten slightly. Place two small balls on each side of head for ears. Place one small balls in the center of head for nose, and four small balls around body for arms and legs. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- With a sharp knife or scissors, cut slits for ears, eyes, nose and belly button. Insert raisins into slits. Beat egg and cold water; brush over dough.
- Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. If desired, tie a bow around bear's neck with ribbon. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).
Originally published as Teddy Bear Bread in Best of Country Breads 2000, p89
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