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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Monkey Bread from Scratch

Here at Sugar Pies we're still two feet off the ground thanks to the Packer's Cinderella season and Super Bowl win! What a game! Of course, we're die hard Packer Backers since Michael is a Wisconsin native and grew up close to Green Bay.

We had a great time Sunday watching the game with Snow, the magic Packer dog, and pigged out on Buffalo Wings, Fried Chicken, and other delights. Meanwhile, Michael's sister Janis, down in Miami celebrated with traditional beer brats!

So, following the victory, I decided to do a Monkey Bread. This recipe is adapted from Cook's Country and features a yeast bread base. It really is much, much better than the kind where you pop open a can of refrigerated biscuits and roll them in butter and sugar and plop them into a cake pan. The bread is chewy and fresh versus the rather dry and flaky result from canned biscuits. This really is a great morning recipe. However, eat it quickly, this doesn't do well sitting around for more than a day as it tends to dry out and the caramel "goo" becomes hard. You can reconstitute it somewhat by rewarming, but it's not nearly as good as when fresh.

Recipe: Monkey Bread


For the Dough
  • 2 tbs. unsalted butter , softened, plus 2 tablespoons melted
  • 1 cup warm milk (about 110°F)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (about 110°F)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package rapid-rise yeast or instant yeast
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for work surface
  • 2 tsp table salt
For the Brown Sugar Coating
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 8 tbs. unsalted butter (1 stick), melted
For the Glaze
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tbs. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Adjust oven rack to medium-low position and heat oven to 200°F. When oven reaches 200°, turn it off. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.
  2. In large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes.
  3. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.
  4. Sugar Coating: While dough is rising, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in bowl. Place melted butter in second bowl. Set aside.
  5. To Form the Bread: Gently remove dough from bowl, and pat into rough 8-inch square. Using bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces.
  6. Roll each dough piece into a ball. Working one at a time, dip balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into bowl. Roll in brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in Bundt pan, staggering seams where dough balls meet as you build layers.
  7. Cover Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.
  8. Remove pan from oven and heat oven to 350°F. Unwrap pan and bake until top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes EXACTLY, then turn out on platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  9. For the glaze:  While bread cools, whisk confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk in small bowl until lumps are gone. If necessary, add a bit more milk to achieve desired consistency. Using whisk, drizzle glaze over warm monkey bread, letting it run over top and sides of bread. Serve warm.
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 12
Meal type: breakfast
Culinary tradition: USA (General)

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