When I was in University I didn't have a fondue pot.
But my roommate Erin did.
Not because she was Swiss, mind you, but because she was well prepared for any culinary situation that might present itself.
Milk foamer? Check.
Panini press? Check.
Avocado slicer? Check.
Waffle iron? You bet.
Thanks to Erin, we had the best-equipped kitchen around.
It was Erin who inspired me to be not just a person who loved to eat, but also a person who loved to cook and bake. With our trusty Canadian Living Complete Cookbook at hand, we made good use of our bevy of kitchen gadgets.
And one of the best parts about our kitchen under Erin's leadership, was its adherence to themes. Whether holiday foods or baking for occasions, you knew that on St David's Day there would be Welsh cakes, and on Valentine's Day there would be something heart-shaped. There were Galileo shaped cookies brought to discussion groups, and at our Olympics party everyone had to make a national dish from a participating country.
And at Easter there would be Bunny Bread.
I have tried to recreate Bunny Bread in my best estimation, using a dough similar to that of the Swiss classic, Dreikönigskuchen—but bunny shaped.
(I found out later, from Erin's mum Jeanette, that the recipe comes from the April 14 1987 issue of Family Circle (and it's probably quite different to this).)
100 g raisins
1 tea bag
500 g flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
20 g fresh yeast or 8 g dried yeast
300 ml milk, lukewarm
60 g butter, soft
pearl sugar and a hazelnut to decorate
Make the dough
First, plump your raisins. Put them in a small bowl with the tea bag and and pour boiling water to cover. Let sit while you prepare the other ingredients, or you can do this the night before.
In a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Add the milk, butter, and raisins, and mix on medium speed until it forms a smooth, stretchy dough—about ten minutes. Alternatively, knead by hand for about 20-25 minutes.
Let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
Form the bread
I used approximately the following proportions of dough:
Ears and feet: 75 g each
Head: 200 g
Body: 500 g
Form your bunny, then let this rest for 30 minutes.
When you are ready to bake
Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350 F / gas mark 4.
Whisk the egg and brush it evenly over the bread. Sprinkle with pearl sugar and place the hazelnut as the bunny's nose.
Bake for 30 minutes.
- I add my raisins before kneading the bread. When you use a mixer, this tends to break the raisins into little shards that get distributed through the bread. If you prefer whole raisins, just add them at the end of the kneading.
- Make it even more Easter-y by stuffing chocolate eggs into the bunny's feet and ears before you eat them.
Happy Easter, former roomie.