I've started this thing for Easter where I bake bread and mold it into the shape of a bunny. Last year the bread turned out really hard and was hard to eat. How can I be able to shape it but have the bread soft when it's cooked?
Do you want to use (more or less) the same bread recipe for flavor reasons? If so, coating the outside with oil or butter can help maintain softness. Also, adding or increasing oil/butter to the recipe itself (in place or in addition to moisture from water/milk) can make it more generally pliable.
Alternatively, perhaps a challah loaf may work better. I make it frequently, although I'm usually just braiding it instead of making a more complex shape like a bunny. It will get a crunchy crust on it when baked, but the inside should be quite soft. (Plus it's an egg bread, which seems nice for Easter.)