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Brown Bear Pumpernickel Bread

What do you get when you mix a little bit of yeast, some dark molasses, caraway seeds, some hearty rye flour and lots and lots of love? You get an adorable teddy bear bread that is sure to make your heart smile with a whole lot of lovin’ when you pull this Brown Bear Pumpernickel Bread out of your oven 🙂

When I’d heard of the worldwide teddy bear parade that was being formed on the Bread Baking Babes and Friends group on facebook, I thought it would be a fun way to expand a little of my creativity and bake a wonderful pumpernickel bread at the same time.

The recipe for this Brown Bear Pumpernickel Bread is relatively easy to make and the assembly of the bear takes hardly no time at all. Click here to meet Carola, the the woman who organized the teddy parade, and visit her blog: Sweet And That’s It for a simple visual instruction guide for putting together your own teddy bear bread, but feel free to improvise (as I did) and let your own creativity take over.

Yield: 1 large bear    Prep Time: 2 1/2 hours (including rise time)   Bake Time: 35-40 minutes

1  1/2 cups warm water, divided (110-115 degrees)
3 packages active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
2  3/4 cup rye flour
2  1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water)
2 raisins for the eyes

-In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup warm water and the yeast. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Add in the sugar, stir and allow the mixture to sit and get foamy (about 5 minutes).
-Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, combine the remaining 1 cup warm water, molasses, salt, butter, caraway seeds and the yeast mixture.
-Slowly add the rye flour into the yeast/molasses mixture and mix until almost incorporated.
-Add in the all-purpose flour and continue kneading with the dough hook until the mixture comes together into a soft, smooth dough ball. *Note-If your dough seems a little too stiff, add in a tablespoon of water at a time until your dough turns soft and smooth. If you’re dough seems a little too sticky, add in a few tablespoons of flour at a time until your dough is soft and smooth.
-Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for an additional 5 minutes.
-Lightly grease a large bowl. Add the dough ball into the bowl and turn it once to coat the entire surface with oil.
-Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise to double in a warm, draft free place. (approximately 1 hour).
-Punch the dough down and divide it into pieces to make your bear: 1 large one for the body, 1 smaller one for the head, 3 tiny ones for the snout and ears, 4 medium size ones for the arms and legs.
-Go ahead and have fun constructing your bear. Remember, there are no rules here. Just fun. *Note-I used a little bit of water on my fingertips (as glue) when attaching pieces of dough together.
-Once your bear is looking just the way you like, place him again in a warm, draft free place to rise in size (approximately 45 minutes).
-Brush the bear all over with the egg wash and push 2 raisins in place for his eyes.
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-Bake the bear in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until he’s a deep, dark brown and sounds hallow when tapped.
-Remove him from the oven and allow to cool completely before….well, you know…before you slice him up. There. I said it 🙂

If you’re a caraway see lover like I am, I urge you to check out some of the other recipes I’ve made using them over the years. Like my German Caraway Meatballs in Cream Sauce, St. Patrick’s Day Sourdough Rye Bread, Giant Everything Bagels and Pork and Cabbage Stew for the Slow Cooker. I just know you’re going to love them.

And now please allow me to show you something else that is beary, beary cute…and something that will last a lifetime, unlike Brown Bear Pumpernickel Bread  🙂

Beary Cute Little Girl Keepsake Box

Perfect for a little girls hair accessories and all her little valuables….

Beary Cute Little Girl Keepsake Box
If there is ever anything I can paint for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my shop which is located within the navigation bar. Custom orders are always welcome and I can work from any photo or description you send my way.

Kudos Kitchen By Reneé ~ Where food and art collide on a regular basis!

Until we bake again,

Tara Noland

Thursday 13th of March 2014

How cute is that, OMG!! Love it!!