The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fun With Buns

Grandma Dawn's picture
Grandma Dawn

Fun With Buns

After forty plus years of baking breads I decided to create "fun buns" for my grandchildren.  Each weekend I would make a batch of buns.  I kept notes about what worked and what didn't.  Since I wanted the option of using the buns for sandwiches I started with ones that were basically round in shape.

My first attempt was four turtles.

I then wanted a pig.  I thought it would be cute to serve pulled pork on a piggy bun.  Ironically, the pig proved to be the most difficult for me.  Even now I'm not confident the ears and nose will stay in place.  I tried to cut the ears in but couldn't secure the tips.  And then the nose . . . but for now I'll post pictures and talk how to's in a later post.  I did finally find a design I liked . . . but it's a rather difficult one.

At one point I got so frustrated with trying to make the quantity of buns I needed to feed a group that I even considered making heads and tails . . .

Since dough is a living organismI decided I needed some easy designs so I could make some difficult and some easy in the time frame I had to work in.  I created a chick and hedgehog that are relatively easy.

At this point I was using whole wheat dough.  I decided to try sweet roll dough for Easter bunny and chicks.  The dough raised so much after shaping that the designs were distorted.

Snails worked okay, the center raising up was actually desirable.

I continued on with the bunny and came up with options.  One has cut in ears and the other is basically two pieces, body and head with the ears cut with scissors.

Then came the fish.  Since my sons had aquariums I decided to start with tropical fish.  I wanted texture and tried grated cheese on top . . . but, I got "ick" . . . for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a fungus.

Being a Minnesotan, I needed more fish, lots of fish.

Then it was football for the guys.

I love frogs . . . one easy, one difficult.

Want to ruin my day?  Ask me how to keep ears on the mouse.  I sure don't know how . . .

Ahhhh, bears!  Who doesn't love bears!

How about a family of bears?

At this point I started looking on the internet for ideas.  I found the book Kids' Ideas with frozen dough by Rhodes.  I made several of their designs and learned some new techniques.

I especially liked the cat for Halloween.

And now the reason I bake.  My grandson's first batch of "fun buns".  HE LIKES THEM!





Przytulanka's picture

I wish I had such wonderful grandma. Your buns are amazing. I like them all.


susies1955's picture

WOW, so awesome. 


chefscook's picture

What lucky grandkids you are to have a grandmother that you have the rolls are absolutely adorable nice

breadsong's picture

Hello Grandma Dawn,
Your shaping skills are fabulous - your grandkids must love your little breads!
If you are willing to share some 'how-to's'...I would be most grateful...I'd love to try making something special for my little niece. 
The fish-shaped breads would be nice to make for a couple of 'big kids' I know, who love to fish... :^)
A friend of mine just got back from a cruise and took pictures of all of the fancy, shaped breads on display...and yours are nicer!
:^) from breadsong

Grandma Dawn's picture
Grandma Dawn

Thank you for your kind words.

I plan to give how to's and the tools I use on the next post.

I wish I could do a video because talking it through seems cumbersome but I'll do the best I can. 

The fish is ridiculously easy.  For the others with several pieces, getting the proportioning correct is the hardest part.  After that there are hints that will help ensure that the pieces stay together, etc. and help with the success rate.  Fortunately I like whimsical things so when mine don't come out right I still think they're cute.  And, if all else fails, they taste good!

MadAboutB8's picture

They are all so cuteeeee. You did so well with the shaping and are very creative.

Scrolling down the fun buns put smiles on my face. They are just lovely. What a great way to encourage kids to eat bread.


M2's picture

I love bread.  Simply looking at bread put a smile on my face.  Looking at your cute buns put a BIG SMILE on my face.

Thanks for the pictures.