View Large Image NJPerkins

(The Official Sky Manor Website)  View Large Image

Teddy Bear Bread

From the Kitchens of Goose Rocks Road, Cynthia has had a long standing tradition of baking Teddy Bear Bread on Christmas morning.  We finally requested the recipe of the legendary treat and recently prepared it in the Sky Manor Kitchens for the first time.  A  two bear classic!

  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup of warm water (about 110°)
  • 1/2 cup (1/4 lb) butter or margarine at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbl vanilla
  • 1/3 cup warm milk (about 110°)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 large eggs
  • About 4 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg beaten with 1 Tbl milk
  • raisins, cranraisins, and cinnamon sugar
Main Photo
Teddy Bears Rising and Baked


In a large bowl of and electric mixer, add yeast to water and let stand about 5 minutes.  Stir in butter, sugar, vanilla, milk, salt and 5 eggs and then beat until combined.  Stir in 3 cups of flour and beat on high speed until smooth and stretchy, about 6 minutes.  Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups of flour.  If using a dough hook, beat on high speed until the dough pulls away cleanly from the bowl sides.  If mixing  by hand, stir with a heavy spoon until the flour is fully incorporated.

Cover with plastic wrap or wax paper and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.  If you want to prepare the night before for early morning risers, you can allow the dough to rise overnight in the refrigerator.  This avoids the need to arise at 4am on Christmas morning!

Turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface and knead to release the air, adding flour as needed (kneaded) to prevent sticking.  Split the dough in half, one for each bear.  Then for each bear, split the dough in half again, using 1 half for the body, and the other half for the head, ears, nose, arms and legs.  Knead as needed to release air before forming the body parts.

The beaten egg and milk can be used to help secure the body parts.  I poked at the surfaces to be joined with a fork and brushed on the liquid.  Use raisins and/or cranraisins for buttons, eyes and nose.  Poke each spot with a knife to partially embed the raisins to avoid having them pop off while baking.

Loosely cover bears with plastic wrap or wax paper and let rise in a warm place until puffy.  The oven with a pan of warm water will serve well for this step.  Once puffy, gently brush the bears with melted butter (you can use any remaining of the egg/milk mixture, too) and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake in a 350° oven until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.  Cool on the pan for about 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.  Serve warm or cool, sliced or in chunks, toasted or as is!

Additional Bear-y Important Notes

We had wonderful results with this recipe at Sky Manor on our very first attempt!  That is always a good sign.  I am not sure I mixed the dough quite right because I had to add flour to get it to pull away from the sides, and the dough seemed stiffer than I thought it should be when I went to form the Bears.  I also discovered late in the process that I had neither raisins nor cranraisins on hand for the buttons, etc.  I did have prunes, however, and simply snipped them with kitchen scissors down to 1/4ths and pretended they were raisins! 

The incredibly sweet bread baked up wonderfully and the prune substitutes worked just fine.  There were no doughy or undercooked areas of the bread, and although I am not sure they were supposed to split the way they did for me the bears still met with rave reviews here at the Manor.  Thanks, Cynthia!