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.
- 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
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 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.
- 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.