Can you possibly think of a cuter way to eat bread rolls? These adorable bread animals are simple to make and a perfect accompaniment to soup at lunchtime or for a little one’s sandwich. I have to say I had great fun making these with Wee Food Adventurer and his friend when they had a playdate this morning. You can’t help but smile as you snip the dough to make the hedgehog’s spikes or adding ears to the tiger! Safe to say the rolls when down a storm with both boys, and us mums! Let your creative juices flow and create as many different animals as you can think of!
INGREDIENTS (from a recipe by Jo Wheatley) Makes 10 rolls
300g Strong White Bread Flour
1tsp Caster Sugar
1tsp Fast Action Yeast
100ml warm Water
50ml warm Whole Milk
10g Unsalted Butter (softened)
Currants (20 if you’re decorating all of your rolls as hedgehogs)
1 large Egg (beaten)
Black Food Paste (if you wish to make some tigers or bears)
- Place 300g Bread Flour into a bowl (if you’re using a food mixer, just use the bowl that comes with it). Pour your 1/2tsp of Salt in one side of the bowl and 1tsp Yeast on the other side and rub both into the flour separately (salt kills off the yeast which is why you need to keep them separate!). Now pop your 1tsp of Caster Sugar into the bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Mix your 100ml warm Water and 50ml warm Whole Milk in a jug then add the softened Unsalted Butter and mix until it starts to melt. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and then slowly pour in the warm liquid and mix well to combine.
- If you’re using a food mixer then insert your dough hook and allow it to knead for 7 minutes, if you’re doing this by hand it will be around 10-12 minutes until you reach a point when the dough is soft and smooth.
- Put your dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm before leaving to prove for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. You’re looking for the dough to double in size.
- Lift out your dough onto a work surface (no need to add extra flour) and knead for 1 minute (this is called “knocking back the dough”) before dividing equally into 10 balls. You can now shape them however you like depending on the animal you have planned! I’ve described each in Hints and Tips at the bottom of the recipe.
- Divide the 10 rolls between 2 baking trays and then cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to prove for another hour.
- Around 10 minutes before the end of proving, preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°Fan / 400°F / Gas 6
- Once the rolls have finished proving, push a couple of currants into the dough for eyes if making the hedgehogs and then brush them all with egg wash before using a pair of scissors to snip little spikes onto each roll (if making hedgehogs).
- Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until golden and have a hollow sound when tapped. Once done, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until ready to eat!
Hints and Tips
To make the Pig – pinch a small amount of dough off the ball and form 2 little ears and a nose. Dip your finger into the egg wash and then stick them onto the main ball of dough using the egg wash as a glue. Once the dough has had it’s 2nd prove, and after they’ve been brushed all over with the egg, place 2 cocktail sticks into the nose to make the nostrils (this allows the holes to stay open while they bake).
To make the Hedgehog – form the dough into a pinecone shape before proving for the 2nd time. Make sure you leave the snipping of the spikes until just before you place them into the oven to keep the spikes as sharp as possible.
To make the Tiger – pinch a small amount of dough off the ball and form 2 little ears, again using the egg wash as glue to stick them on. Once baked and cooled, squeez a little black food colouring paste into a bowl and use the end of wooden skewer to create the eyes and the stripes (a small firm paintbrush will work equally well).
Melanie, Food Adventurer