Friday, February 4, 2011


After a successful attempt at cinnamon rolls (admittedly with significant help from my mother), last Friday I thought it would be fitting to tackle the monkey bread recipe I found. Mr. D has occasionally over the years brought up how much, as a child, he liked the monkey bread his mother made.  So that was the plan!

Here is the recipe we started with... I spied it on Brown Eyed Baker.

Now I'm just going to follow this with some pretty images... things started off strong!  We mixed the the ingredients as directed until the dough came together and looked smooth. The electric mixer really works wonders!

Then you want to kneed the dough for about 5-ish minutes on a lightly floured surface.

In a lightly greased bowl you want to roll your ball in the oil so it is just slightly coated and you are going to cover with a towel an place in a warm spot.  This is where the yeast works it's magic.  Come back in and hour and a half or so and if all goes well it will grow to double it's size.

So now you want to pat down the dough into an 8"x8" square and divide the dough in to 64 one inch balls.  This is where my smarts come in!  I suggest you use a sharp pizza cutter.  This worked wonders for me and all the dough was cut in a matter of seconds! You can make a quick guide by lightly rolling over the dough and making an indention and then go over it again with a little more pressure and it's done!  No fuss! 

Roll these squares in to one inch balls.

So now we've got our melted butter and our cinnamon sugar goodness all ready.  And we've also got our 'bundt' pan all buttered. What you will do is dip the dough balls in the butter and let any excess drip off.  Roll the dough in the sugar mixture and align them in the pan.  Just keep stacking until they are ready to go.  Since we did all of this on Friday night and we were cooking on Saturday morning I covered the pan with plastic and put in the fridge until the morning. 

In the morning I got up and started the oven.  I made a quick powder sugar frosting (which you can find here) and got the monkey bread out of the fridge.  As soon as the oven was all heated in they go!  

The smell of all of that cinnamon and sugar and baking dough fills the air.  It's really heavenly!  It came out looking fantastic.  And I was so ready to eat.  But I knew... I need to wait.  To see the final product you've got to read more!

Did you guess right?  It was a disaster!  Monkey bread all over the place!  I just didn't wait long enough, along with a few other 'big' misses.  It was still warm and gooey and it just fell apart right in front of my eyes. But they tasted so good!  Haha!  All of our time and effort was now in a pile of gooey goodness but that didn't stop me.  I added the frosting and we dug in.  May not have looked Martha Stewart worthy but it tasted so!  

You can't win 'em all!  (But we ate 'em all!)

Below is a copy of the recipe... with some of my little bits of advice added in (you can see my amendments in italics)!  I suspect my next attempt will be a success...

Monkey Bread
Yield: 1 loaf, serving 6 to 8
Total Prep Time: 1 hour | Total Rise Time: 2 hours | Bake Time: 35 minutes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons melted
1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees F, don't forget to test temperature... it's très important)
1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees F, again... 
très important)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 package instant yeast
3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon fresh grated nutmeg (it gives the dough a little oomph!
Brown Sugar Coating:
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
Glaze:  (Or you can check out my frosting recipe... either will work just fine.  sugar is sugar!)
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside. (This is one of the things (of many) that I think may have obliterated my monkey bread... use a proper bundt pan.  I used more of an angel food cake pan which is much larger than your typical bundt.)
2. In a large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar and yeast. Mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free area until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes (we probably left our dough for 90 minutes or so).
3. For the sugar coating: While the dough is rising, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place melted butter in second bowl. Set aside.
4. To form the bread: Gently remove the dough from the bowl, and pat into a rough 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife (I suggest your handy pizza cutter, it worked wonders), cut dough into 64 pieces.
5. Roll each dough piece into a ball. Working one at a time, dip the balls into the melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl. Roll in the brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in the Bundt pan, staggering seams where dough balls meet as you build layers.
6. Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in draft-free area until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes. (This is where we put them into the refrigerator to sit over night.)
7. IMPORTANT STEP!!!  Long before you want to bake the dough remove from refrigerator and allow dough to come to room temperature, the dough balls should become a little puffy.  This is another point where I went wrong... in my morning hunger I did not allow them to come to a good temp for baking.  
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
8. For the glaze: While the bread cools, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and milk in a small bowl until the lumps are gone. Using a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the monkey bread, letting it run over top and down the sides of the bread. Serve warm.

1 comment:

jmlo said...

i'm putting this here cause it's first post i though of with a good shot of your mixer. have you seen this: