Fabulous Monkey Bread

A recipe for monkey bread

Now that you have a stand mixer it is time to look at fun recipes like monkey bread.  This sweet treat is quick easy to make and using your stand mixer makes it much easier to handle the dough.

The secret to this delightful treat is that the dough is actually a brioche.  Brioche is a French style of bread that has a higher butter and egg content, giving it richer texture and taste.  The crust is usually dark and crumbly and often brioche is given an egg wash for a shiny finish.

What is Monkey Bread?

Monkey bread is a sweet pull-apart bread made in a bundt or other fluted type pan from little dough balls.  While it is almost always sweet there are recipes that make this into a savory dish.  This recipe is for a sweet dough.

Monkey Bread With Topping recipe

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus more for bowl
  • ⅓ cup whole milk
  • 1 ¼-ounce envelope active dry yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons)
  • 3 cups (or more) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, slightly cooled, plus more for pan
  • Granulated sugar (for pan)

Preparing The Monkey Bread Dough

 

  • Cream 1 cup butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat  paddle  on medium-low for about 1 minute. The butter should be smooth and pliable but still feel cold.  Scrape the butter into a medium bowl.  Save the original mixer bowl, you’re going to use it again soon.

  • Gently heat milk in a small saucepan over low until it is warm to the touch, 110-115 degrees. Briskly whisk milk and yeast in a small bowl until the yeast is dissolved.  Let this mixture sit until it is foamy, about 5 minutes.

  • While the yeast is foaming whisk flour, sugar, and salt in the main mixer bowl. Add the  yeast mixture and eggs, and beat on low speed with dough hook, gradually increasing mixer speed to medium as you add the dry ingredients. Knead until the dough comes together around the hook. Continue kneading on medium speed until the dough appears to be smooth, elastic, and is not longer sticking to the sides of the bowl (probably around 5 -7 minutes). Add more flour by the tablespoonful if dough seems sticky isn’t pulling away from the sides of the bowl cleanly.

  • Still using the dough hook, gradually add the reserved butter a tablespoonful at a time. Let the butter be absorbed before adding more. This might take several minutes, each attempt will have different times for this step.  After you have finished adding the butter, the dough should appear to be extremely smooth, soft, and supple.  Make sure it is not sticky. Place dough in a large buttered or oiled bowl and cover. Let sit in a warm, draft-free spot until nearly doubled in size, 55–65 minutes.

  • After an hour you want to uncover dough and punch it down several times to deflate, you need to get the air our.  Line a 13×9″ baking dish with plastic wrap and leave a  generous overhang on all 4 sides. Set the dough on the pan and press into an even layer.  Be sure to work the dough all the way to the sides of the pan. Fold the plastic wrap up and over dough, making sure to remove any air pockets between dough and plastic. Chill the dough in your freezer for 25-30 minutes.  It should feel firm when you poke it.

    A recipe for monkey bread

 

Assembling Your Monkey Bread

  • Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl to combine. Lightly brush tube pan with butter. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, tapping out excess; set aside. Remove dough from freezer and peel back plastic. Brush entire surface with melted butter and sprinkle generously with some cinnamon sugar. Shake excess sugar back into bowl, then invert baking pan and turn out dough onto work surface sugar side down. Remove plastic; discard. Brush other side of dough with butter and sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar. Use a pizza cutter or a chef’s knife to cut dough into a 12×6 grid.

  • Working relatively quickly so dough doesn’t become too soft, separate pieces and, working one at a time, roll lightly between your palms into balls, dusting with more cinnamon sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Place in prepared tube pan as you go. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, draft-free spot until pieces have swelled to nearly doubled in size, 40–50 minutes. Preheat oven to 350° a little before monkey bread is ready to bake.

  • Remove the plastic wrap from pan.  Bake your  monkey bread until the surface has turned a golden brown, this will take 25–35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes.  Use a small offset spatula to loosen the bread from sides of pan. Pull bottom out from pan and use spatula to loosen bread from bottom. Slide bread back into pan; invert onto a plate and remove pan. Place a wire rack over bread and invert right side up onto rack. If using a Bundt pan, just invert directly onto wire rack. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

  • Pour about ½ cup caramel sauce over monkey bread if desired. Serve with more sauce alongside for dipping.