A rabbit bread tutorial- shaping bread- making fantasies in dough

My friend Celia, from the blog Fig jam and lime cordial, recently made a bear bread using

my last tutorial and she requested some other bread shapes.  Specifically a rabbit.

It is coming up Easter, soon, so I decided to add a couple of more animal shapes for

you to try if you are interested.

First of all, though- Celia was getting a little carried away, and said , “A Dragon!  Can you

make a dragon?”

Now I like dragons myself – and my grandson, Aidan is a little dragon crazy!

So I tried my hand and imagination for a dragon.


What do you think?

OH wait I forgot his flaming tongue!


Not bad for a first try- I’m going to work on this one just a bit!

Now on to the rabbit…

Go here for a recipe for honey whole wheat bread if you are looking for similar results.

There are also instructions for the basics of building a gluten cloak so that your bread will

keep his shape and not become all globby.


Here is a rabbit – all ready for an Easter Basket!

Make your dough and let it raise once.  Then portion out pieces to make the rabbit-


I used to weigh these out when I was selling them- so I knew exactly how many I

could get out of a batch of dough.  Now I dole out the pieces according to proportion.

the body is twice the size of the head-let’s say 3 ounces.  That makes the head  1 1/2 oz.

The legs are 1 ounce each about 1/3 the size of the body.  The arms are half the size of

the legs- 1/2 ounce each-  and the ears  – just a little smaller than the legs-3/4 oz.


Start off with the body and shape it into a long circle with a smaller top than bottom’


Pinch the bottom together between each shaping and tightening of the dough.


It should be oblong- wider at the bottom than the top- place on your sheet.

Now do the head the same way- only it can be round rather than oblong.

Place it on the sheet on top of the smaller part of the oblong.


Now start on the feet and think “Thumper” making the foot shaped like an exclamation point,

but flat on the edges so you can slide it just a little behind the hip part of the bunny.


Do it on both sides.


Now do the same thing with the arms and place them between the head and the body.



The ears come next- and you want to roll them into a small snakey little shape.


leave a little lip on the base of each ear so that you can place them slightly under

the head for support.

016Make his puffy cheeks – roll the balls as tightly as you can-


021place in the middle of the face and then using a bamboo skewer

start to tighten up and attach all the pieces.  Push the dough together at the edges and then into the

larger mass.  Do this with all the pieces, ears, legs, and arms and also between the head and body.


Now when working on the ears, shape the tips to be cute- and add definition.


Poke a hole for his bellybutton, and add dried currants for nose and eyes.



Bake at 350 to 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes- until golden brown.

Add a bow, a paper cut out carrot and a marshmallow or white chocolate tooth-

AND you have a bread rabbit.

I also made a few other animals while I was at it-


a dinner roll bunny, a ST. Patty’s guy,  a turtle


And a cat.

27 thoughts on “A rabbit bread tutorial- shaping bread- making fantasies in dough

  1. Heidi, I absolutely love it!! You are the queen of bread shaping, all bow!! Thank you for this – will do some deep breathing to build up my chi, and try to give it a go! xx

  2. I tried those snipped ear bunnies with a sweet roll dough and they ended up looking like Pokemon, Celia. You may need to use a more flexible dough without all the eggs for those.

    • Thanks- I sent you some instructions for the dragon via email- hopefully you can get the gist from the pics and short explanations. 🙂

  3. I was so excited by the dragon that I rushed off to tweet dragonsilk and forgot to leave a comment – butterfly brain. I always wonder if American wholewheat is like English wholemeal flour, yours looks as if it is more evenly ground than the sort we get which is full of large particles of bran and has a very earthy colour when it is baked up. I love your animal bread Heidi !xx

  4. Some of our whole wheat is a heartier brand with more large pieces- this particular grind is very small- I have a hand mill that I can use (when I have the strength and energy) and change up the grind from fine to coarse- but this flour works very well in shaping. I like the color of it baked and it shows the gluten cloak more than a white flour will.
    I was pretty excited by the dragon. myself- I was just going to give it a try and it turned out pretty good. I’m going to keep working on it and see if I can make him a bit more spectacular!
    Thanks Joanna!

    • Thank you, Lilly!
      I have just been making loaves of bread this winter- not even a bear since Christmas- so this was a lot of fun!
      I’m going to freeze the dragon and rabbit for my grandchildren who are coming to visit in April. And Aiden Voller will probably get the turtle tomorrow when we get together to celebrate Cynthia’s birthday.

  5. These are so fabulous Heidi – that rabbit is such fun, he has ‘attitude’. They would be wonderful I imagine for children sick in hospital. Imagine the delight and it might even encourage them to nibble on an ear!

    • That’s a good idea, Jan.
      I’ve made a few for the coffee areas at cancer clinics and for the local hospice facility, but hadn’t thought about a children’s hospital.

  6. I am astounded! These are the best looking bread animals ever. I like the dragon a lot, and the rabbit is so cute with his little belly button. I will definitely be thinking of these the next time I shape a loaf… the boring way.

  7. Thanks Siobhan, I started making these over 30 years ago- and I’ve gotten better over the years. Each animal is a small creation- each with their own personality and peculiarity- so that they are almost more art than bread- but no, they are bread and really delicious! Next time you have a little left over dough play around with it and give a bear or rabbit a try!

    • Thank you, Alison!
      Your bread is very lovely- and I’m sure delicious- and that is what is important!
      Thanks for dropping by!

    • Happy March ! I am working on getting an IMK post ready- and I feel behind even though it is just March 1st here today!
      I love creating art with bread and cookies- art for the mouth!
      My medium is already approved so adding a little whimsy just makes the bread more desirable!

    • Ahh- well thank you!
      I have always been enthralled with the look of a dish/bread/appetizer- and I’m really into garnishing. The breads and decorated cookies of my life have been an artistic outlet that appeals to me.

  8. eeek the bunny is so cute!!! Have been meaning to stop by for ages to say thanks for the tip on cleaning my new grill pan – a brush and hot water is working a treat – exactly the help I was looking for!

    • I was scrubbing out my cast iron skillet last night and almost scalding my fingers the water was so hot- and I thought of you and was wondering how your pan cleaning was going! ( My brush is low on bristles and I haven’t gotten a new one yet, so I was making do with a green scrubby.)
      Glad it is working out- I’ve heard a lot of nonsense about using special cleaners or having to re season your pan often and I can’t understand why people just don’t use hot water and a little scrubbing!

  9. I love the look of these bunnies! my friend just asked me to make a bunny loaf for her son. he is picky and she requested egg bread but i noticed one of your other comments mentioned enriched breads not turning out so well. would you recommend any other recipes for similar shaping results? not sure he will like the whole wheat. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    • You can use an egg bread or a white bread dough- the results will be a little different. Egg bread would probably be a good choice, although it isn’t as heavy as a whole wheat. I have never had a child NOT like the whole wheat, however. It is a sweeter dough and not too stodgy in texture. Good luck- I’d love to see the result you get. Email me a picture at heidiannie@gmail-com .

  10. I just wanted to say a huge thankyou for a very inspirational post. Last week I took a holiday club group of 8-13 year olds for baking tuition and I needed a healthier project than chocolate eggs or cakes to make with them. After seeing @CeliaFigJam post some pictures of the bread bear and bunny she was kind enough to point me to your brilliant page. I knew immediately this would be the perfect project for the children to make. I simplified the bunny a little to make it easier for the younger ones but the project was a huge success and they all went home very happy and proud of what they had made. It was perfect fun and I’ll certainly be trying the bears next time I have a group like this for an afternoon. Sadly I don’t have any images of what was made but I think one of our other helpers may have taken some. If I can find any I will post a link. Thanks indeed.


  11. Hi Toby!
    I’m so glad this worked out for you! I would love to see pictures if you can find some- kids always love the bunnies so much!

  12. I want to make the turtle bread for my son – he’s away at college but will be home for Thanksgiving 🙂 Any helpful hints would be MOST appreciated – love your work!!

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