Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Like a Bunch of Monkeys

Monkey bread isn't that difficult an undertaking. It just requires a lot of rising time. The best way to do it is to make the dough and form the bread the night before you plan to serve it (assuming, since it's a breakfasty sort of a thing, that you'll be serving it before noon the next day). Then, you can cover it loosely with plastic wrap and set it in the fridge for its final rise.

When you wake up, remove it from the fridge while you preheat your oven. Then bake as directed. And do note baking times. Monkey bread gets baked in a tube - and only a tube. If you use an light gray aluminum pan it will bake for about an hour. If you use a darker, heavier tube pan, it will only need to bake for about 40 minutes.

This recipe is adapted from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. If you only have room on your shelves for one baking cookbook, this should be it. Anyway, the Pinch version has lots less sugar.

Pinched Monkey Bread
Print recipe only here

For the dough:
4 1/2 t yeast (2 pkg)
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 t salt
4 oz unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs
about 5 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 t cinnamon
4 oz unsalted butter, melted
1 cup toasted chopped pecans (optional)

Combine yeast, milk, water and sugar in a mixing bowl and let dissolve for about five minutes. Add salt, butter and eggs and whisk well. Add 2 1/2 cups flour and mix well. Add another 2 1/2 cups flour and beat on mixer with hook attachment for about 2-3 minutes.

Turn out onto a floured counted and knead for a couple of minutes. Then return to the mixing bowl and let rest for 10 minutes.

Using dough hook again, mix dough for about 5 minutes (alternately, turn back onto the counter and knead for a long, long time - like 8-10 minutes), adding more flour as necessary. Then place in a clean, greased bowl, cover and allow to rise until double in size.

Punch down and let rest another 10 minutes.

Combine the sugars and cinnamon in a medium bowl and pour the warm, melted butter to a sheet pan. Grease a 10-inch tube pan quite well.

Tear off golf-ball sized pieces of dough and roll them into balls. You should form about 30 balls. As you form them, transfer them to the sheet pan and roll them around in the melted butter. Once all the dough is formed, roll the balls one at a time in the sugar and transfer to the greased tube pan. Once you have the bottom of the pan covered, sprinkle about a third of pecans on top. Keep layering the pan with sugared dough and pecans until you've used everything up. Sprinkle the top with some or all the remaining sugar and cover loosely with foil or plastic wrap. At this point you can refrigerate the dough overnite. Or, set it aside to rise to the top of the pan.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 40-60 minutes, depending on the pan you've used (see above). Let cool for about ten minutes before inverting it onto a serving plate. I like to invert it again, so that the top is the side that was on top as it baked. Allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes before allowing any monkeys to tear into it.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This rocks! You will be called upon to make it again at Thanksgiving!