I remember the first time that I tried monkey bread. I asked for the recipe and was told that I probably didn’t want to know. Being a person who enjoys baking, I asked again and was told, “A couple cans of biscuits, a whole stick of butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a lot of sugar.” That didn’t stop me from making the recipe at home; a little indulgence doesn’t hurt every once in a while.
I haven’t made monkey bread in close to a decade. I get more frequent requests for bagels, cinnamon rolls, and scones. Nearing the end of Thanksgiving weekend, I decided it was time to try making monkey bread totally from scratch. Serving this decadent treat for Sunday breakfast would be a great way to end the long weekend.
The results were fantastic, but you do need to be forewarned. First, this recipe takes close to 3 hours from start to finish. A pot of coffee, a crackling fireplace, and a work project or book are good for passing the time. Second, after the first rising the dough may look like it has not risen much. It is ok! I say this with emphasis, as when I looked at the dough I almost threw it out due to lack of rising. Luckily when I scooped the dough out of the bowl, I could feel that its texture was tender and prime for baking and moved onto the cutting stage.
From Scratch Monkey Bread
1 cup milk, warmed
1/3 cup water, warmed
2 Tb. butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2-1/4 tsp. yeast
3-1/3 cups flour
2 tsp. salt
In a medium bowl, stir milk, water, butter, sugar, and yeast. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine flour and salt in bowl of stand mixer. Add liquids to flour mixture and mix on low speed until dough forms a ball. If dough is sticky, add more flour until dough clings to the hook. Knead for 5 minutes on speed 4.
Grease a large bowl with butter. Transfer dough to bowl, flip so that all sides are coated with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm area to rise for one hour. (Note: After this rising, my dough hadn’t risen much but had a tender texture.) Place dough on a floured work surface and pat into a 8 or 9 inch square. Cut into 64 evenly sized squares.
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Melt butter in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a second small bowl. Grease bundt pan with butter.
Take one small square of dough, roll into a ball (doesn’t need to be perfect). Dip in butter, coating all of it. Roll in sugar mixture coating entire ball. Place ball in bundt pan. Repeat with 63 other pieces of dough, creating a bottom layer. Add additional dough balls, distributing evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm area to rise for one hour. The dough should double in size.
Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the sugar mixture is bubbly at side of pan. Cool for 5 minutes, then invert on serving plate.
If desired, create a glaze of powdered sugar and milk to drizzle on individual servings.