Easter bread comes in all different shapes and sizes, from hot cross buns to the Greek Tsoureki I grew up with — but it's never been quite so adorable or easy. These Easter bread bunnies are quick to make and finished with a delicious surprise.
Frozen vs. Fresh Dough
Here's the trick to keeping this recipe fast and fun: Use store-bought pizza dough as the base. The easiest dough to work with is the kind that comes in the refrigerator tube; it's soft and pliable — far more limber than the "real" stuff. Just be sure to give it plenty of time to come to room temperature before working with it.
There are a few ways to defrost. If you have the time, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, and then let it come to room temperature. Otherwise, you can place in an oiled bowl, cover, and warm in a very low oven. If your oven has a bread-proof setting like mine does, even better. Another option is to seal the dough in an airtight bag and let it float around in some warm water for a bit.
Stretching and Shaping the Dough
A Funfetti Finish
Traditionally Greek Easter bread is sweetened with sugar, maybe some orange zest, and other spices. Since tradition is already out the window, for these bunnies I decided we might as well go totally crazy and flavor them like confetti cake! To get the full effect, brush the outside of the dough with melted butter, then top with sprinkles and confetti cake mix. The butter acts like glue and helps all the sweetness of the mix and sprinkles stick to the outside of the dough. Plus, it helps you get the perfect golden crust.
A final note: While anybunny would be happy to eat these on Easter Sunday (or whenever), these buns are best served warm. No one's ever swooned over a room-temperature cinnamon roll or cold croissant! Fresh from the oven, these bunnies are soft, steamy, and total perfection. And since we're using pizza dough as a shortcut, the dough becomes harder and denser the longer it sits out. If you need to, pop them in a low oven or the microwave to reheat. Eat them plain or slathered with butter and jam.
How To Make Easter Bread Bunnies
What You Need
1 pound pizza dough
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confetti cake mix
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut and stretch dough: Stretch the dough and cut into 6-inch pieces, about 2 inches wide.
- Make the ears: One piece at a time, use kitchen scissors to make a slice down the center of the dough strip, about 3/4 of the way. Separate the 2 halves to create ears. Arrange about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. (Optional: Roll up the bottom of the strips to create rounded bunny bottoms, pinching dough slightly to secure.)
- Add the toppings: Brush bunnies with the melted butter. Sprinkle with nonpareils and confetti cake mix.
- Bake: Bake about 10 minutes or until the bunnies are lightly golden-brown. Serve immediately.