This is a simple basic white bread recipe to use, as it eliminates eggs both in the dough and as a wash, which is convenient when working with younger children. Use your favorite bread dough recipe and follow instructions for shaping bears.
Makes about 10 servings, or about 4 medium sized bears.
What you need:
1 package (.25 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 ½ cups water, warm (about 110° Fahrenheit)
3 tablespoons sugar
½ cup milk, warm (about 110° Fahrenheit)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
5 cups bread flour (plus up to 1 additional cup for kneading)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
Optional: raisins or chocolate chips
How you do it:
In a large mixing bowl, gently whisk together yeast, water and sugar until dissolved.
Add milk, butter, salt and half of flour. Combine ingredients using a spatula or wooden spoon. Gradually add more flour until dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a solid surface dusted with flour and knead for 6-8 minutes.
Oil a bowl and coat dough with oil. Cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for an hour.
Punch down risen dough and knead gently. Cut into four pieces to make four bears.
To shape into bears: split each piece of dough in half—make a large oval to form the bear’s body. Split the other piece into two pieces—one for the head, and one for arms and legs. Take the piece for the head and divide it into 4 pieces–one large, and three small to form ears and nose. Take the piece for limbs and separate into 4 equal pieces, rolling them into logs.
Build bears directly on parchment paper or foil pan. Let rise for about 15 minutes.
Brush with melted butter.
Preheat oven and bake at 400° Fahrenheit for about 17-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Use chocolate chips or raisins as eyes and a nose. Slit openings after the bread has cooled slightly.