Who doesn’t love fresh baked bread, warm out of the oven? And how irresistible is it if it’s shaped like kids’ favorite animals? Baking animal-shaped breads is such a fun weekend or stormy day activity, as my son Solomon and I discovered last week. The biggest challenge, we found, was eating his lovable creations—they took on such personality once baked!

Kitchen Explorers reader Amy Shaunette had asked me to do a post about fun-shaped breads like alligators, turtles, frogs and other animals. Since the cooler weather is great for indoor projects like baking bread, and my family is currently trapped in the house because of a big fall storm, we decided to take her advice and explore some of the adorable creatures we could shape from homemade bread dough.

My son Solomon had some free time, which doesn’t happen all that often with our teenagers, and he took me up on my offer to make animal breads. While I watched, he mixed and kneaded the dough, and after it rose for 10 minutes, he formed one half into a grizzly bear head, and the other half into a turtle. Then we let it rise again for 45 minutes, he added some detail, and we brushed it with egg wash and baked the loaves. We followed the recipe below from Become a Better Baker.

  • Solomon putting finishing touches on turtle bread.
  • Solomon’s baked turtle and bear bread

It was hard to rip off the first piece to try a bite because they were so cute, but once we tasted a bear’s ear, it was hard to stop. I feel so lucky that we were both home on this blustery day and that the power stayed on long enough to let us finish his creations. But most of all, I feel blessed that my 10th grade son will still bake with me, at least once in a while.

Here are some other recipes and photos of animal-shaped breads. I hope you and your kids will create time to give them a try!

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  • Kat

    So cute! Cannot wait to make one of these. Thanks for the fun post.

  • Jeanne Rossomme

    What fun! I can’t wait to try with my kids!

  • Kirsten W’ski

    Great idea! Looking forward to trying this at home with the kiddos.

  • Betsy

    Love these! I also love the matching bear hat. Looks like a great rainy day activity.

  • Amy

    Wow! What a fun thing to do with kids! Love the bear bread!

  • Sharon

    Amazing, and so inspirational. Thanks for sharing!

  • Deb Ford

    Super creative ideas – and thrilled to see your son participating. He will be an inspiration for parents with boys. My girls are excited too! Thanks.

  • http://www.recipeswithtwist.com recipes with twist

    You are excellent in designing breads..

  • Kathy

    Can’t wait to try these! Don’t know if I can wait for the grandkids, may have to try it first

    • Lori

      I’m with Kathy….love baking with my 5 yo grand daughter , but I don’t know if I can wait until then! So cute, has inspired me to get more creative with breads. Thanks for sharing your creativity.

  • http://www.empowernetwork.com/ragarm43/ Miss Jonie

    your smile says it all …the frog is a hoot the hedge hog family …wish you well in your baking fun