Mix nonfat milk, sugar, salt and butter or oil in bowl. Heat until about 105-115°.
Dissolve 1 package yeast in warm water (105-115°) and let yeast bubble for about 5 minutes.
Add milk mixture and 3 cups flour to yeast mixture. Mix until blended.
Stir in additional flour (3½ -4 cups) until dough is stiff. Knead until smooth.
Place in greased bowl and let rise until double, about 1 hour. If using a mixer with dough hook, simply cover and let rise in the mixing bowl.
Place dough on lightly floured surface, punch down, and cut into 4 equal pieces. Cut one piece in half and another piece into 14 pieces. Shape all into balls. Place the large balls on greased or parchment-lined baking sheets in the center. Place medium ball at top of large ball for the bear’s head and flatten slightly. Place 1 ball in the middle of the head for the nose. Place 4 balls for arms and legs. Place 2 balls for ears. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Make indentations with thumb in the ears to flatten them slightly. Place raisins or nuts for eyes and for belly button. Mix 1 egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush on bears to glaze. Bake at 400° 25-30 minutes. Be careful bear does not burn. (You may want to place it on parchment paper.)
Cool. Place little ribbon at neck tied into bow.
Recipe by Ellie Taylor, Clemson