Monday, March 28, 2016

Elephant Dinner Rolls for Easter or Any Occasion

Because I volunteered to take dinner rolls to our family Easter dinner and my granddaughter loves elephants, I decided to get creative making pachyderm rolls.  It was a huge success - elephant dinner rolls for Easter or any occasion!  These are very easy to make and no two are alike.  If you have any playdough experience, you can do this!

Elephant Rolls

Refrigerator Roll Recipe
This versatile dough is what I use for dinner rolls. This dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for a week and used as needed.

2 eggs
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tbsp salt
2 ¼ cups warm water
2 pkgs yeast (2 tablespoons)
7 ½  cups bread flour

I recommend a heavy-duty mixer for bread making. This will eliminate the need of hand kneading. With a heavy-duty mixer I can mix a batch of this dough in 10 minutes.

Beat together the first four ingredients. Add yeast which has been dissolved in the warm water then add 4 cups of flour. Mix very well for about 5 minutes. Stop the machine and let the dough rest for a few minutes. Continue mixing the dough, adding flour until the dough is still tacky to touch, and slightly clings to fingers when fingers are drawn away.  Depending on humidity in the air, it may be necessary to add a little more flour. It is not necessary to knead. Place in a greased bowl and cover tightly. Store in refrigerator over night or until needed. Punch down daily.

If making rolls after mixing the dough, place in a greased bowl, cover with a clean towel, and set at room temperature and allow to rise until double in size. Shape the dough into balls and place in greased pie pans or 8” cake pans. Cover and allow to rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes on the bottom shelf, then carefully move to the top shelf and bake for another 11 minutes.

Here are my step-by-step instructions.

Shape a piece of dough, hand roll it into a ball approximately 2" in diameter and flatten slightly.  Place onto a greased baking sheet.  You can see, pressed down a little, it measures about 2 1/4".  Next take a smaller piece of dough for the head.  Here is where your playdough skills come into play.

Elephant Head and Body

The dough will have a lot of elasticity.  It won't be too sticky, so you won't need flour to form your masterpiece.  Just roll limbs to the proportion you need and stick them onto the elephant body.

These are simple and fun.  For the elephant's ear, take a small piece of dough and flatten it to about the size of a quarter.  If the ear droops, wad up a small piece of tin foil and prop it up from behind.  Of course, leave the tin foil prop in place until after the elephant is baked.

For eyes, use about 1/3 of a raisin, ball it up and with a sharp object poke the eye into position.

Dough Elephant Construction
Fill your pan with elephants, cover with a clean kitchen towel, set at room temperature for an hour or two or until raised.   I lightly placed a small piece of tin foil over the elephant trunks so they would not bake too dark.  If you want the trunk lightly browned, remove the foil half way through baking. Bake elephants at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Because oven temperatures vary, I suggest you keep an eye on them to make sure they they bake until lightly golden in color.

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Submitted by Loretta Coblentz
March 28, 2016