If you have children at home who need a baking project, here’s an easy recipe for Swiss bread rolls shaped like bunnies. You can shape them like below or just use your imagination. Known as Zopfhasen on the German-speaking side of Switzerland, they’re a popular treat in the springtime around the Easter holidays.
Makes 6 large rolls
450 grams (about 3 to 3 1/2 cups) white flour (type 400 or 550)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
55 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg white
1 teaspoon dry yeast (or 9 g fresh yeast)
240 ml (1 cup) milk, lukewarm
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of milk
1. Whisk together the dry ingredients—450 grams (or 3 cups) of flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add the softened butter in pieces. Make a well in the center of the bowl. Separate an egg. Add the egg white to the bowl, and place the egg yolk in the fridge for later. Set the bowl aside.
2. Separately, add the yeast to the lukewarm milk, and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, whisk until the yeast has fully dissolved. Pour the yeast mixture into the well in the center of the bowl with the egg white. Next, stir together all the ingredients until a dough forms.
4. Knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes, or use an electric mixer with a dough hook, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Add additional flour (up to 1/2 cup), as necessary, if the dough is very sticky.
5. Place the dough in a bowl, cover it with a damp kitchen towel, and let it rise at room temperature for about 2-3 hours or until it has doubled in size.
6. Divide the dough into six equal portions. Form them into bunny shapes. To create the body, make a three-strand braid and wind it into a ball. Then form the head, cutting the dough at the top to make two long ears. Place a small ball of dough on the side of the body for a tail (for additional shaping instructions, check out my IGTV video). When you’re finished, let the dough bunnies rest for about 30 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or an oven-safe baking mat.
7. Whisk together the egg yolk and milk until smooth and brush this mixture on top of the bunnies. Place a raisin in the dough to make an eye and sprinkle with coarse-grained sugar.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 200°C/400°F until they turn golden brown. Place on a wire rack to cool.