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October 23, 2008

Bread Week: "Bear" Bread

"Bear" Bread: Baked

If you've been a reader of Dianne's Dishes for a while, you know I'm all about letting kids be involved in the kitchen. Alexis has been involved in one way or another in the kitchen since day one. (You can read more about that in my FAQ section.)

One of my fondest childhood memories was baking "bear" bread. I think we baked it once or twice, but it was so much fun. I knew that when I had a child of my own I'd want to bake "bear" bread with them. I have my mom looking for the picture of the bear loaves now. If she finds it I'll have her scan it in so I can share it with you! But that's neither here nor there...

A while back when we were studying B in Miss G's lessons we baked bear bread. Get it? B...Bake...Bear...Bread...Oh never mind! ;oP Alexis had a blast! She's been wanting to do it again so I think we may make a pumpkin shaped loaf soon, or maybe we'll do a cat or a moon? Who knows? The point is, this is a very easy recipe to follow and kids really love the process!

There really isn't anything that is special about this bread, in fact you could make it with any bead dough that was shapeable. (You could really make any shape you wanted...I even made Santa bread one time!) The one I use though is really fabulous and has such a light airy texture. It's just perfect! Not only is the bear adorable, but it tastes good too! What's not to like about that?


What You'll Need:
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of water
4 - 4 1/2 cups of all purpose or bread flour, divided (Note: You can use white whole wheat flour instead if you prefer.)
4 teaspoons of yeast
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 eggs, beaten for the egg wash
Raisins for decoration

In a large bowl mix 2 cups of flour, salt, sugar and yeast until well incorporated. Set aside.

"Bear" Bread: Dough

Mix sour cream and water and heat to 110 F over low heat and check the temperature using a thermometer. Pour into bowl with flour mixture. Continue to add flour until dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 1 to 2 minutes until dough is elastic.

Cut dough in half and then cut each half into separate pieces: 1 large piece for the body, 1 smaller piece for the head, 2 small circles for the arms, 2 small circles for the legs and finally 2 smaller pieces for the ears:

"Bear" Bread: Body Parts

Next assemble bear on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper:

"Bear" Bread: Arms and Legs

Shape the body first, then shape the head and lay it above the body. (Note: As long as the pieces are touching firmly they'll bake together. No need to man handle the dough or anything.) Then add the arms, legs and ears.

Once the bears body is assembled add raisins for eyes, ears, mouth and belly button:

"Bear" Bread: Ready to Rise

Mash the raisins slightly into

Posted by Dianne at October 23, 2008 7:17 AM

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Wow. I am very impressed. Your teddy bears are so cute!

It sounds easy but the kneading scares me.
I have a bread machine, I guess I could try it in that. What do you think?

Also, I love your idea of letting dough rise in the oven with the light on. Genius.

Posted by: annie at October 23, 2008 9:17 PM

Cute! That took me back! My mom and I always made teddy bear breads as Christmas gifts for my teachers when I was in elementary school. We'd tie a big holiday ribbon around the neck for a tie. So fun!

Posted by: Cheryl at October 23, 2008 9:33 PM

It was so cute to see your daughter's little hands in the photo!

Posted by: Noelle Markus at October 23, 2008 9:52 PM

Too cute, I am totally going to try this with my girls, they would love it! Great photo of her hands! :)

Posted by: Deborah at October 24, 2008 5:25 AM

Annie, you could definitely let the bread machine do the kneading for you! :o)

I'm glad you guys liked the pictures of her kneading the dough. I wish I could post a picture of Alexis' face so you could see how much joy she gets in actually being in the kitchen, but sadly I can't. A few years back, on another blog I had, we had several instances that really freaked me out (one person was copying her pictures and posting them somewhere else, another person was copying the pictures, posting them AND pretending she was their child, and there were some vague threats in there toward her too) so I don't feel comfortable posting pictures of her face. I really hate that people have to be that way, because it would be so much fun to share her with you all in pictures and not just in words! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at October 24, 2008 4:20 PM

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