There is something about shaping dough that I like. I remember well how much fun it was to get up early and make bread art. I did a giant shaped turkey for thanksgiving one year when I was growing up. Whimsy Bread was the recipe I used then. I believe it is from a 1970s sunset magazine issue...
I wish I had a picture of that giant Turkey bread loaf! This is a bear along the same lines, but not as cool...
Source: Ask .com
1 pkg yeast
1/3 c milk
¼ c warm water
¾ c soft butter
½ c sugar
½ tsp salt
About 4 ¾ c flour
In a mixer, blend yeast and water. Let stand 5 min. Add butter, sugar, milk, salt, and eggs. Add 2 c. flour and beat on medium for 10 minutes. Mix in 1 c. flour on low until thoroughly moistened. Stir in 1 ¾ c flour (do not knead). Cover air tight and let rise 1 ½ hours. Beat to expel air, turn out onto a floured board.
Overlap two baking sheets, cover with foil and butter.
Tips on shaping: The dough will expand, so make the shape skinnier. Butt pieces close together if joined, leave 2 inches if separate. Snip dough for surface detail. For attached stuff, set into holes in punched dough.
Cover shaped dough, let rise 30 min. Brush w/1 egg + 1 tsp water mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min. Let cool on pan 10 min. Slide onto wire rack to cool or tray to serve warm. Cool completely before wrapping. To warm: 325 degrees for 20 minutes.