Breakfast is a big deal around here. If you asked my kitchen helper which what she wanted for breakfast you would invariably get one of two answers: Strawberry Crepes or Monkey Bread.
Forming the monkey bread is a fabulous family activity. It makes the job go quicker and cinnamon sugar fingers are always fun to lick clean at the end. While classic monkey bread is normally made in a bundt pan any pan or even a casserole dish will do. No need to run out and get a pan just for this.
It’s hard to believe that there was a time when Monkey Bread was not in our breakfast rotations or a time when I didn’t even know what it was! When I first read about Monkey bread I though that it was a clever idea; a cinnamon roll bread if you will, but I could only find recipes that used refrigerated biscuit dough and I’m not a fan of the canned bread (or the preservatives that go with it). Still I continued the search until I found a “from stratch” version. It involved rising earlier than normal and waiting for the yeast to rise, but the wait was not without reward and the most delicious gooey bread graced my plate that morning one that was good enough to return again and again.
Classic Monkey Bread
1/4 cup water, warm (100-110F)
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (.25-oz)
3 – 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup milk, warm (100-110F)
2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup butter, melted
Lightly grease a standard 10-in bundt pan with vegetable oil. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (all mixing can be done by hand, as well), combine warm water and yeast. Let stand for 2 minutes, until yeast is slightly foamy.
Stir in 1 cup of the flour, along with the salt, sugar, vanilla, egg, 2 tbsp melted butter and warm milk. Mix well, until dough is fairly smooth. Put the dough hook attachment onto your mixer and gradually add in the remaining flour, mixing at medium speed until dough comes easily away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 3-4 minutes on medium speed. Remove dough hook and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar and spices. Place melted butter in a nearby bowl and get a fork out, as well.
Turn dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and gently deflate so that dough is relatively flat (maybe 1/2-3/4 inch thick) Using a knife or a bench scraper, cut off small pieces of dough to form 1/2 to 1-inch balls (I prefer slightly smaller ones, personally). As you cut each piece of dough, roll it into a ball in the palms of your hands. Dunk each ball in butter, use the fork to remove it and transfer it to the sugar mixture to be thoroughly coated. Place all coated dough balls into prepared bundt pan.
Once all balls have been coated and places in the pan, cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap and let bread rise for 60 minutes, until almost doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350F while the bread rises.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Bread will spring back when lightly pressed.
Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a serving platter. Eat immediately (or reheat leftovers), as the bread is best served warm and gooey.
Source: Used directly as found on Baking Bites.