It seems that baking bread shaped like small animals can be addictive.  After the excitement created in the Breadfortheboys household by last week’s caterpillar bread I couldn’t wait to make these ladybird rolls as a weekend treat.

Initially I toyed with the idea of making a savoury bread and using beetroot to create the red colour but I couldn’t think of anything other than squid ink to make the dark head from so I then set on the idea of making a sweet(ish) cherry and chocolate dough and then colouring some of the dough with cocoa to make the ladybirds’ heads.

As with the caterpillar bread I made the dough the night before and refrigerated it overnight.  Being an enriched dough it then needed several hours at room temperature to rise well so we finally got onto shaping the rolls just before dinner time, after we came home from spending the day at the Thame Food Festival.  My eldest really enjoyed being the “header” and, apparently, I was the “ladybirder” (meaning I was responsible for making the main body).  He was a bit disappointed that they weren’t bright red on the outside once they were baked but we glazed them with a brown sugar and cream glaze after baking which gave them a bit more of a ladybird-like shine (and really enhanced the flavour).

I’m pretty pleased with the result as a first attempt.  They taste delicious split open, to reveal the pink insides, and spread with butter.  I think I need to work on the sugar/salt balance a bit though – I’ll post the recipe once I’ve got that right.

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