How to shape bread dough into a bunny bread bowl and buns!

This cute little bunny bread bowl will be the highlight of your Spring (or Easter) party! While you could easily use frozen bread {like this bread} to make this bread bowl, homemade bread is super easy to mix up and will taste so much better! I used a double batch of my favorite homemade roll recipe which I will share at the bottom of the post. The bunny uses about a batch and a half so you’ll have a little extra dough to make bunny buns as well! 

Gather together your bread dough ingredients; oil, hot water, salt, sugar, eggs, quick rising yeast and flour. Now this photo shows canola oil and regular all-purpose flour — I ended up substituting pure olive oil for the canola and bread flour for the all-purpose, either option will work fine for this dough. I like baking with olive oil, it really gives the bread some great flavor. The bread flour will just give you a tiny bit better texture.

bread dough ingredients

The dough is very easy to mix together – add everything but the flour to a big mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Then, add your flour, one cup at a time, until you have a soft dough that is starting to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

I like to set my mixing bowl in the kitchen sink while I’m furiously beating the flour in, it helps to contain the mess a bit.

wear an apron when you make bread dough

Once you have your ingredients all mixed together, it’s time to don your apron and start kneading! Scrape your dough onto a lightly floured surface. At this point it will still be slightly sticky, just be sure to flour your hands a bit before you start. Now my favorite part! the Kneading! My Gramma N. taught me how to knead dough, it’s so easy.

Start by grabbing the corner of dough that is farthest away from you – grab the edge and fold it up and over on top of itself. Then using the palm of your hand, firmly push the dough away from you across the counter. Lift up your hand and give the dough a quarter turn to your left, fold over again and push away. repeat this until it starts to get elastic and pillowy to the touch. You can also give it a few good whacks with your palm and/or knuckles – it’s a great way to get out your aggression ;).

This whole process shouldn’t need to use more than 1/4 – 1/2 cup of flour. As I said, it will be sticky at first but as you knead the dough, the stickiness will go away to leave a smooth ball.

how to knead bread dough

Now, if you were going to make regular rolls or bread, I would tell you to place your ball of dough into an oiled bowl, cover it and let it rise before shaping and rising again. We’re making bunnies though so we are going to skip the first rise. 

Divide your dough into thirds. Set aside one third and cover to keep from drying out. Divide another third into the body, head, nose and cheek shapes. The last third, you will use to form balls of different sizes to form the arms, feet, and ears {to form the ears, roll the dough into a rope with one end slight bigger, flatten slightly and then fold it so it looks like the crease of ear, attach the narrower end to the head).

Once you have shapes that look about right, place them onto either a baking stone or lightly greased baking sheet. They should be just touching to give room for the dough to rise. Our ears would have turned out better had my pan been longer so we could make them more upright, it was still cute though!

shape bunny bread

Cover your dough bunny with a light towel and let it rise for about an hour, or until almost double. For a nice shiny crust, you’ll want to brush your dough with an egg that’s been beaten with a bit of water. Bake him at 350 degrees for about 30 – 35 minutes or until he sounds a bit hollow when you tap his belly. Let him cool completely, or overnight before cutting the hole for dip.

To make our bunny’s face, we used 2 large chocolate chips {you could also use raisins}, 2 sliced almonds for the teeth and 3 dried fettuccine noodles {broken in half} for the whiskers. 

bunny bread bowl and dip

When you are ready to cut out the hole – use a sharp knife and make sure to leave a thin layer of bread on the bottom of your bunny’s belly so he doesn’t leak.

We lined our dip bowl with washed and dried leaf lettuce and then filled it to the brim with my homemade Overnight Dill Dip – yummy! My daughter decorated his platter by surrounding him with cut broccoli spears. We also served a platter of carrots, cucumbers, green peppers and sweet midget pickles alongside to dip into his tummy.

shape bunny buns

Are you wondering what happened to that extra third of dough that you set aside? After you form your bunny, you might as well make some adorable little bunny buns! I found this idea on Pinterest as well and they are so cute!

Divide your extra dough into 16 balls. Roll 12 of the balls into a long 12 – 14 inch ropes, fold the rope in half and give it two twists near the center. Place on a lightly greased sheet and spread the end apart a bit to form the ears. Using the extra 4 balls, make smaller balls to place on top of the looped part of ropes to form bunny tails. Cover to let rise for an hour, until double in size. They will bake up perfectly at 350 degrees for about 10 – 15 minutes and are good served warm or at room temp.

bunny buns

5.0 from 2 reviews
No-Fail Bread Dough recipe
Cook time
Total time
This dough is perfect for rolls, loaves, and bunny bread bowls! (use a double batch to make the bunny bread bowl)
Recipe type: bread
Serves: 24
  • 3½ - 4 cups bread flour
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ⅓ tsp salt
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 pkg quick rising dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg
  • 1Tbs water
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, water, salt, sugar, yeast and eggs until frothy and well combined.
  2. Stir in flour, one cup at a time, until a kneadable dough forms.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough 6 - 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place dough into a greased bowl and let rise about an hour, until double in size.
  5. Punch down dough, shape, place on greased pan, cover and let rise again.
  6. Beat together the egg and 1 tbs of water and brush over risen dough if you would like a shiny crust.
  7. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven. (12 minutes for small rolls, 25 minutes for larger pan rolls and 30 minutes for big bunny bread)

You can substitute canola or vegetable oil for the olive oil and all-purpose flour for the bread flour if you wish.

If you're in a hurry, you can eliminate the first rise, or cut it down to 20 minutes.




About the Author

Henrietta Newman is a self-loving empty-nester into smudging, nature, yoga, fitness, healthy living, hunting, camping, hiking, tech, video games, gadgets, recipes, reviews and more.
With a love for the outdoors and visiting local attractions in and around NW PA and Lake Erie, you never know what you'll find in my nest! Subscribe to A Hen's Nest so you don't miss the fun!



  1. 1

    He is just the cutest little guy ever. Definitely doing this next year!!

  2. 2

    We haven’t had our Easter yet (we are Eastern Orthodox so our Easter is on the 15th)…I am totally going to impress my family and make this!

  3. 3

    That is so cute. Mine would probably look like a blob…lol

  4. 4

    ADORABLE — pinning for next Easter!

  5. 5

    Love this idea! I wanted to make those bunny rolls for Easter, but for some reason I didn’t think my FIL would want them. Next year I will!!

  6. 6

    Oh my goodness, this is so super cute!

  7. 7

    I LOVE these. I can’t wait to try them. You did a really good job and I love the apron.


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