Friday, December 12, 2008

Monkey Bread

Oh, sweet goodness... where have you been all my life?! From the second I saw the recipe and thought about this bread, I knew I was going to love it. And I did. I loved it the morning we made it, then again that afternoon and evening. And I helped myself to more the following day. I propose a name change to 'crack bread'. I've never felt so addicted to a food - I want it again, now. (Beware of denying pregnant women food)

Luckily, we made two batches of this delicious recipe. Otherwise, there could have been fierce battles over the sharing of 'my bread'. Not to make you think I'm a ginormous piggy, we only made two breads because we thought our first batch was a botch - the dough seemed really runny, and it was taking a long time to rise. But as soon as we started on the second batch, our first began to spring to life and so we had two monkey breads to feast on!

If you are hosting a brunch, shower, or holiday breakfast, please consider making this bread (and inviting me over!). Pretty please! Yes, I'm begging.

The bread is cinnamon gooey goodness, with a nice, fluffy doughy texture. Like cinnamon rolls, only better. I would rate the recipe difficulty as 'medium' (Only because of its time requirements, and multi-step process. But the recipe itself is a surprisingly easy, step-by-step process and worth every second of effort).

TIP: If you want to speed your prep time along, after putting the dough in a bowl and covering it with saran wrap to rise, heat your oven to 300 degrees and open the door. Place the bowl on the oven door, so it catches the heat from the oven. OR, you can turn on your oven to 400 degrees, after heated, turn it off. Place a cookie sheet of hot water on the bottom rack and your bowl with dough on the rack above, covered with a dry dishtowel. Shut the oven. Either way, your dough will rise twice as fast!

Monkey Bread
from my friend Sonya

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

For the dough:
3/8 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees F)
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 package rapid-rise yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons salt

For the sugar coating:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the glaze:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon water

Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Butter the monkey bread baking mold (a 10 inch round bundt pan) with the 2 tablespoons softened butter.

To make the dough, in a bowl, whisk together the milk, water, melted butter, granulated sugar, egg and yeast.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour and salt and beat on low speed just until combined. Slowly add the milk mixture and beat until the dough comes together, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough is sshiny and smooth, 5 to 6 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball. Coat the inside of a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray, place the dough in the bowl and coat the surface of the dough with cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour (see Tip).

Meanwhile, prepare the sugar coating. In a bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Put the melted butter in another bowl. Set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into an 8-inch square. Cut the dough into 6 equal strips, then cut each piece crosswise into 8 pieces to form a total of 48 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, dip into the melted butter and roll in the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture, coating well. Stack the balls in the prepared baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes. Do not let the dough rise over the top of the pan.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven. Place a piece of aluminum foil on the rack to catch any drips during baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the plastic wrap and place pan in the oven. Bake 30 minutes, or until cake is slightly crunchy on top.

While the bread is baking, combine all glaze ingredients and whisk until smooth.

When bread is done, remove from oven. Place a plate on top of bundt pan (upside down) and flip so that cake falls out onto plate. Drizzle the glaze on top (you may not want to use all of the glaze, depending on how sweet you want it). Serve warm.

Serves 12-15 people.

Today, I have no other recipes to offer in place of this Monkey Bread. Nothing can compare. (pitter patter, goes my heart. growl growl, goes my stomach!)

Guten appetit!

1 comment:

lisat said...

Yes, I have had this bread and it is yummy!