Sunday, September 12, 2010

Monkey Bread

I have been intrigued  with making monkey bread ever since I saw the movie Beauty Shop with that lady trying to sell her monkey bread to everyone in the salon. I actually didn't know what it was  at the time but I caught my first glimpse at Brown Eyed Baker. I really did not want to use refrigerated dinner rolls from the supermarket so I was elated to see that this recipe was entirely from scratch. I didn't make the recipe the same time I saw it, but one day before school I was feeling for something sweet and I decided to make it since I had all the ingredients on hand. This recipe was pretty much perfect taste wise but I did have to use more cinnamon sugar than indicated because I ran out half way through. The dough was very soft inside and the outside caramelized beautifully.I opted not to use the glaze because I thought it would have made everything overly sweet for my family's taste, but it is nice for presentation.  My family and friends thought it was so good and they devoured the entire thing.

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)
1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees F)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 package instant yeast
3¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
2 teaspoons salt
Brown Sugar Coating:
1 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.
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.
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, 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.
7. 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.
*NoteTo make without a stand mixer: In step 2, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour, then add the milk mixture to the well. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the dough becomes shaggy and is difficult to stir. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating the shaggy scraps back into the dough. Knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Shape into a taut ball and proceed as directed.

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