Bird Shaped Dinner Rolls

One of the weekend staples in my house is pav bhaji. Pav bhaji is a vegetable side served with dinner rolls. Bread hot out of the oven is always appetizing and paired with a mixed vegetable side allows me to clean out the refrigerator in preparation for a new week. I usually make one of the many rolls recipes I have on this blog. But sometimes I like to try something different. Today I shaped the rolls to look like birds.

There was no difference in taste but they are fun to shape and fun to eat. I had seen a picture of these birds on Pinterest a while back. They was no recipe or blog associated with it. It was just a picture. I saved it for a later day. Using the dinner roll recipe for these birds turned out to be a great decision. They were eaten for lunch and tasted great.

My daughter was very reluctant to eat the birds. She said they were too pretty to eat. My husband and I had no such problems.

You will need (8 birds)
1 egg or egg substitute of your choice
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. milk
3/4 cup water
1 tsp. instant yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 cup all purpose flour
3 cups whole wheat flour (I used chapati flour, you can use any whole wheat flour)
8 cloves for eyes
1 tbsp. heavy cream as wash (you could use milk instead of cream)

Beat the egg in a large bowl. Heat the milk and water together until lukewarm and combine the solution with the egg. Add the yeast, sugar, oil and salt. Sift in the flour and knead into a soft dough. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes. Cover and keep aside until it doubles in volume.

Divide the dough into 8 equal and 2 smaller portions. The 2 smaller portions will be used to make the feathers, beaks and legs. Take one of the larger portions. Roll it out as a long rectangle using a rolling pin. Now fold it along the long side and make a think rope. Keep rolling the rope to make it longer and a little thinner. Start from one end fold the edge of the rope and continue rolling it inward. Repeat from the other side. You should get something like this.

Keep aside on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Repeat for the other large portions. Ensure the shaped bird is covered with a damp towel to prevent it from drying. Using the smaller portions shape the legs, beak and wings. Use the picture below as a guide. Place the cut shapes under the main body.

Let the shaped birds rest for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 F. Just before placing the birds in the oven wash with the cream or milk.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until they begin to change color and are cooked through. The same recipe in the shape of a roll takes a little longer to bake. When shaped like a bird using ropes the bread cooks faster.

Transfer to a cooling rack and serve with butter/cheese or as I did with a mixed vegetable side.



  1. I agree with your daughter - these are too beautiful to eat!!!

  2. Aw.. So cute. I love your artistic skills and wish to learn and adopt at least some of them, the birds are so cute , i too wouldn't want to eat them:)

  3. Varada.. I have no words to say.. Lovely gorgeous stunning awesome.. post some videos yaar. It would helpful for me.

  4. These are so so beautiful! U seriously are an artist 😊

  5. Wow I do agree these birds are so so cute!..your baking styles are awesome

  6. How could you eat these cute birds ?(just kidding :) ) IF possible this art work needs to be preserved.

  7. Those birds are so cute & pretty. If you served me these for dinner, I would fill my stomach by just admiring them. Beautifully done.

  8. Those birds dinner rolls looks soo sweet and cute, makes an excellent party menu as well, kids will definitely go crazy if they saw this edible birds.

  9. Those bird rolls look so cutey cute. You are very artistic and those birds have come out all in uniform shape and size.
    I agree with your daughter; even I wouldn't be able to eat those. :)

  10. Your birds look sooo sooooo beautiful. Perfectly shaped. Like your daughter -- I would probably just admire them and not eat them.

  11. the birds look so natural and true.. very nicely made!!!

  12. I will eat a new design by you in autumn.

  13. dinner rolls looks soo cute dear!! Sure kids will go crazy for it!!

  14. I show a lot of your breads to my (8yr old) son. He too sides your daughter...they are too cute to eat :-)

  15. I agree with your daughter they are to pretty to eat. Looks like lot others also agree with me.


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