In a small mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Add the butter and stir until melted; let cool until lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the cooled milk, butter, egg, 250g flour and salt; beat well to combine. Add the remaining flour, a little at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes. Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into seven pieces. One round 5cm in diameter, five rounds 2.5cm in diameter and the remainder in one large round.
Place the large round on a lightly greased baking tray and flatten slightly. Shape four of the 2.5cm rounds into 'feet' and one into a 'tail' for the turtle. Shape the 5cm round into a 'head' for the turtle. Attach each piece by flattening the end which attaches to the body, wetting it slightly with water and pinching it under the turtle's 'body'. Press raisins into the turtle's head for 'eyes'.
Cover the turtle with as clean, damp drying cloth and let rise for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (gas mark 6).
With a sharp knife, make crisscross cuts in the turtle's body to make the 'shell'. Finally, use a scissors to make a cut for the turtle's mouth. Bake at 200 degrees C for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
I just adore this bread. Ooh he is just far too cute to eat. But we did have to eat him, as it was the only bread I baked yesterday. The bread itself was not the best I have ever eaten and a little bland, but I am still rating this as 5* for the actual idea, simplicity of the recipe and the very easy to follow instructions. Thank you for sharing, I will certainly be making this again. - 12 Jan 2013