Best Ever – Monkey Bread & Easy Pretzel Rolls – When I should be sleeping!

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Ughhh…it’s 1:41 in the dang morning. My head is swimming with tiredness (though the pup is full of energy just having gone out for a rare in the middle of the night potty- she’s doing good by the way- not great, but good). What, you ask, would keep me out of bed this late? MONKEY BREAD. I got a craving for monkey bread and started it wayyyy too late and it took a bit longer to rise. It just went in the oven for half an hour (groans again looking longingly towards my bedroom).

But Lord, oh Lord it is SOOOOO vitally good. This stuff won’t last the day tomorrow by the time the kids get ahold of it. Guaranteed! If you like cinnamon rolls, you’ll like this stuff and it’s alot easier.

I also don’t have a bundt pan…mine ran away from home somewhere sometime so I use one of those corningware type white square baking dishes…like a 4 qt one ( it looks to hold a bit more than a bundt pan would).  You know those ones our grandmothers used with the little blue cornflower on them and glass lids? Yeah one of those- I’m big on my collection of corningware and other pottery type cooking containers). I imagine you could use just about any baking dish that can hold about as much or a little more than a bundt pan. I also leave the lid on during baking just so the top (which ends up being the bottom) doesn’t get dry like bread does on the outside. I try to keep it all moist and a bit gooey. But hey, your preference for what you like…right?

One of the funnier stories of my life is one day I was manic…really manic. My boyfriend of the time had his computer friends over for a computer game get together. I just went crazy baking all manner of bread and goodies with two trips to the store to resupply with flour and sugar. By the afternoon my kitchen counters were covered with scrumptious goodies and the guys all loved me that day.  It’s better than alot of things one could do when manic I suppose.

Anyway I wanted to share this recipe. It takes pretty few ingredients and if I don’t have milk (which happens here more than I’d like) I don’t use milk in a pinch and this recipe is for home made dough- not canned stuff This is NOT my recipe. It can be found HERE

OMG….that is just pure deliciousness going on there!
The Best Monkey Bread

YIELD: SERVES 6-8

Note: See below the recipe for instructions to make the dough without a stand mixer (i.e. by hand, you little pioneers!).

INGREDIENTS

Dough:
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons melted
  • 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Brown Sugar Coating:
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted
Glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Butter a Bundt pan with the 2 tablespoons softened butter. Use a pastry brush or a paper towel or anything that will really help get inside all of those nooks and crannies. Set aside.
  2. In a large measuring cup, mix together the milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Mix the flour and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (see below for instructions to make the dough by hand). Turn the machine to low and slowly add the milk mixture. After the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. If you think the dough is too wet (i.e. having a hard time forming a cohesive mass), add 2 tablespoons flour at a time and mix until the dough comes together (it should still be on the sticky side, just not overly wet). Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat lightly with the cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled, 1-2 hours (alternately, you can preheat the oven to 200 degrees, turning it off once it reaches 200 degrees and place the covered bowl in the oven to speed up the rising time).
  3. For the sugar coating, while the dough is rising, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place the melted butter in a second bowl or shallow pie plate. Set aside.
  4. To form the bread, gently remove the dough from the bowl and press it into a rough 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the dough into 64 pieces.
  5. Roll each dough piece into a ball (it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get it into a rough ball-shape). Working one at a time, dip the balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl or pie plate. Roll the dipped dough ball in the brown sugar mixture, then layer the balls in the Bundt pan, staggering the seams where the dough balls meet as you build layers.
  6. Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and let the monkey bread rise until puffy and they have risen 1-2 inches from the top of the pan, 1-2 hours (again, you can use the warm oven approach to speed this up).
  7. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (remove the pan from the oven if you placed it there to rise). Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool the monkey bread in the pan for 5 minutes (any longer and the bread will be too sticky and hard to remove!), then turn out on a platter or large plate and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  8. For the glaze, while the bread cools, whisk the confectioners’ sugar and milk together in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Using a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the warm monkey bread, letting it run over the top and sides of the bread. Serve warm.

NOTES

Monkey Bread without a Mixer: 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 it out onto a lightly floured work surface and begin to knead, incorporating the shaggy scraps back into the dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Shape into a taut ball and proceed as directed.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated

Check out the pretzel rolls HERE I haven’t tried those yet but they look easy and I bet they’re awesome tasting….

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