If your kids like to help you cook, they will love making these teddy bear rolls. Any yeast dough works great for making bears. With a sweet roll dough, try decorating the bears with pieces of raisins for eyes and a ribbon made out of icing. Or use your regular bread dough and make bears without any decoration at all.
The bears in these photographs were made with a whole wheat bread dough mixed in the bread machine and left to rise as usual until the dough had doubled in volume. These bears are approximately 4 1/2 inches tall and 3 1/2 inches wide.
To make bears this size, start with approximately a 1 3/4 inch ball of dough for the bear’s body. Next pinch off enough dough to make approximately a one inch ball for the bear’s head. Adjust the size if the balls of dough look too large or too small. Next make six smaller balls of dough… these should be slightly less than a half inch in diameter and will become the bear’s arms, legs, and ears. Flatten out the arms and legs or leave them rounded. Finally, add a tiny ball of dough for the nose. Make sure that all the balls of dough are in solid contact with each other. As the dough rises and is baked, the pieces will fuse and after the bear has been baked, it will actually be quite durable.
Let the bears rise on a lightly greased baking sheet in a warm place until they have almost doubled in size, then bake at 375°F until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Rub the bears lightly with butter while they are still hot.
It depends on how old your children are, but sometimes it’s easier to pinch off the appropriately sized pieces of dough yourself and let your children roll the balls and form the bears. Let them be creative, and remember, your children will be thrilled with any bear that THEY make. The beauty of these bears is in their differences, and imperfections make them even more adorable. These bears are just the right size for little hands, but don’t be surprised when the big kids and adults want some too!