November 4, 2009

Adventure - Going on a Bear Hunt!

Our week focusing on adventure continues...

The Book - We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

I have vivid memories of chanting this story/song in my preschool's circle time. It was my favorite! I loved swishing through the tall grass and trudging through the oozing mud, then the exhilaration of discovering the bear and being chased back over all of those surfaces, moving my little arms just as quick as I could. It is one of my most vivid memories from childhood.

Of course, I'm excited to be sharing the experience now with my own little preschooler. Rosen's book is true to the original story and is matched with darling illustrations of a family much like ours. My only complaint is that the board book version seems to be the most ubiquitous. I have a running complaint about board books, and this one - like so many - does not hold the attention of children under two. The illustrations are simply too pastel to hold a baby's attention... or at least my baby's attention. But the larger picture book is perfect for my four year old.

If you're not familiar with the chant, here's a decent version on YouTube that includes instructions for what to do with your arms:

The Recipe: Bready Bears

Everyone will want to hunt these bears! This recipe appeared in Better Homes and Gardens magazine in December 1985. They are sweet-dough bears that you can decorate with candy and nuts and are perfect for the upcoming holiday season. My mom and I used to make them and pass them out to the neighbors during Christmastime.

  • 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 T finely shredded orange peel
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 slightly beaten egg white
  • 1 recipe Sugar Glaze
Combine 2 cups flour and yeast. Heat milk, sugar, shortening, and 1 t salt till warm. Stir constantly. Add to flour mixture along with eggs, orange peel, and orange juice. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping often. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in the remaining flour until you can't anymore. Turn onto floured surface and knead in remaining flour until the dough is smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes). Place in greased bowl and cover to rise until double (1 hour). Punch down, re-cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half. On floured surface roll out 1 half to 1/2 inch thick. Cut five 2 1/2 inch circles, five 2 inch circles, and twenty-five 1 inch circles. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Mix egg white and 1 T water while dough rests.

To assemble the bears, place one 2 1/2 inch circle on baking sheet for the body. Brush the edge of one 2 inch circle with egg white wash for the head and join to the body. Repeat with the 1 inch circles to attach arms and legs. Cut one 1 inch circle in half and attache to the head for ears. Repeat with the remaining dough to create 10 bears total.

Cover the bears and let rise for about 20 minutes until double in size. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Brush with Sugar Glaze and decorate with candy, dried fruit, and nuts. Brush glaze over the decorated areas.

Sugar Glaze: Mix 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup hot water, and 1 t butter.


  1. I love that song and the book is on my wish list for the boys for Christmas. I'm not a baker by any means but those bears look yummy and I might have to get brave and try them.

  2. I really enjoy coming to your blog--I can't wait for Caedmon to be old enough to do some of your activities. At 19 months, we just getting there.
    Re: seasonal stuff: I have some really cute scarves on the site and hope to get my bibs uploaded today.

  3. I have been making these bready bears for years and lost my recipe. My son is coming home after several years and I wanted to make them again for him. So glad to find you had posted the recipe online~ thankyou!


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