Teddy Bear Gift Bread

2 pkgs rapid rise active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
6 cups flour, divided
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup warm water
3 eggs, divided
Butter for greasing cookie sheets

Preheat oven to 350°F. Measure the first 10 ingredients.

Dissolve yeast into warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add honey, sugar, and salt, and stir until blended. Stir in 3 cups of the flour, the butter, buttermilk, water, and 2 of the eggs. Beat until smooth. Blend in remaining flour to make a smooth dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until batch doubles in size; this should take 30 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, liberally grease two cookie sheets, and dust with cornmeal. Punch dough down and turn out to a clean, floured surface. Knead the dough a little, just until it’s no longer sticky. Divide dough into equal portions for as many bears as desired. Shape each bear as follows: make a big oval for the body and a ball for the head. Make smaller balls for the nose, ears, arms and legs; use raisins for eyes and maybe a belly button. Place on cookie sheets and brush with remaining egg beaten with a little warm water. Allow to rise 30 minutes.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool before serving. Makes 2 loaf-size bears or 12 small bears

Allergy Warning: Contains milk and eggs and wheat