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Easter Bunny Dinner Rolls (Lion House Rolls) from The Food Charlatan
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Easter Bunny Dinner Rolls (Lion House Rolls)

The best dinner rolls you will EVER put in your mouth, rolled up into a bunny until they are almost too cute to eat. (Almost.) Don't be intimidated; if you can make cinnamon rolls, you can make these. A fun Easter project!
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 24 Servings
Calories 159kcal
Author Karen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water 110-115 degrees F
  • 2/3 cup nonfat instant dry milk
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar *
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter softened
  • more soft or melted butter for rubbing/brushing on baked rolls

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm water, powdered milk, and yeast. Let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast begins to foam--if it doesn't, you may have killed your yeast. (start over if it doesn't foam.)
  • Add sugar, salt, 1/3 cup softened butter, 1 egg, and 2 cups of flour. Use the paddle to beat on low until combined.
  • Switch to a dough hook. Add 3 more cups of flour, one at a time, stirring in between.
  • You can add up to 6 cups of flour, or until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, and it is tacky but not sticky. It is a soft dough. If it is humid you will need more flour.
  • Knead with the dough hook for about 5 minutes.
  • Scrape the dough into a large greased bowl, cover with a cloth, and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled. I like to turn my oven on to warm (170F), turn it off, then put the bowl in the oven with the door ajar.
  • Lightly dust a large workspace with flour. When the dough has doubled, punch it down and knead it together with floured hands a couple times. Split the dough in half, one half slightly larger than the other. Add the smaller half back to the greased bowl, cover and set aside.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll the larger half of the dough into a 11 x 24 inch rectangle.
  • Spread about 2 tablespoons of very soft butter over the dough.
  • Roll up, starting on the long edge. (You should have a roll that is 24 inches long).
  • Use a very sharp knife or floss (see photos) to cut the roll into 24. These are the bunny bodies :)
  • Prepare 3-4 large baking sheets with nonstick spray, silpats, or parchment paper. Place the rolls on the sheets, making sure there is plenty of space for the head and ears, plus rising. I put 6 rolls on 4 sheets. Cover each baking sheet with a cloth. If you have room, refrigerate them so they don't rise while you prepare the head and ears. If you don't have room, do the next steps fast!
  • Divide the remaining dough. Pull off how much you think you need (definitely less than half) to make 48 bunny ears. Set aside.
  • Roll the remaining dough into a 24x6 inch rectangle. Spread with about a tablespoon of soft butter. Roll up the dough starting from the long edge (you should have a 24 inch roll).
  • Use a sharp knife or floss to cut the dough into 24 pieces.
  • Have a bowl of water handy. Dip the bottom of the "head" into water, and tuck gently underneath the top of the body. Just enough so that they will stick together. I like to put the head on the opposite end of the "tail" of the spiral of the body, so that it looks a little like a bunny tail. (see photos) Repeat with remaining bunny heads.
  • Use the remaining dough to form ears for the bunnies. I just rolled little pieces of dough in between my palms, dipped the end in water, and tucked it under the head. Don't forget to make a few of the ears floppy!
  • Cover each baking sheet with a cloth.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Let the bunnies rise for 15-30 minutes, until they look puffy. Remember they will rise more in the oven.
  • Bake the bunnies 2 sheets at a time for about 10 minutes, or until golden on top and the bottoms are brown when lifted with a spatula. Halfway through baking time, switch the baking sheets (move the one on top to the bottom, and vice versa).
  • Soon after removing the bunnies from the oven brush with melted butter. Or you could rub the hot rolls with a stick of softened butter.
  • Let cool on a cooling rack. Or eat 5 of them while they are hot. Bust out the honey.
  • These rolls are great for freezing. Bread freezes so well. You could make these a few weeks before Easter, pull them out on the day of, let them thaw on the counter, then bake at 350 F for 2-5 minutes until warmed.

Notes

*Many versions of the recipe say to use 1/3 cup sugar. Personal preference I think!
Source: This recipe is from The Lion House restaurant in Salt Lake City. As seen on Taste and Tell, The Girl Who Ate EverythingMel's Kitchen Cafe, and many others. I found the bunny-shape idea on Taste of Home.

Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 246mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 166IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 1mg