Cooking Light had a recipe for Monkey Bread back in October. Given my love of bread-making and my love of cinnamon, I was understandably excited.
Less exciting was the time it took. If you want fast, the traditional canned biscuit dough is definitely the way to go. This dough had to rise, you had to divide it and dip it in cinnamon sugar, and then let it rise again – and then bake it! There was no way I was going to be able to make this for breakfast. I haven’t been able to wake up early enough on the weekends to make scones for breakfast, and I can make them quickly.
What was the next best thing? Monkey bread at 10pm instead of 10am! I decided it would be a great evening snack, and I timed it so it would be ready when Alex got home from a basketball game. I thought his game was earlier than it was – that we would have monkey bread at 8:30 or so instead of later…
I made the dough in the stand mixer. Using the dough hook, I blended together white and whole wheat flours, salt, and dry active yeast. I added warm milk, orange juice, honey, and melted butter, and mixed it in the stand mixer for 7 minutes. I put the dough in a greased bowl, covered it with plastic wrap, and stuck it in the oven to rise. After over an hour, the dough had risen amazingly, so I had to remove it and stash it in a cabinet to hide it from my husband since it was going to be a surprised.
I think I let it rise for 2 and a half hours, rather than the one hour that it should have risen. Yes, it rose a lot more than it should have, and no, it didn’t affect it adversely.
Next I misread the instructions. I was supposed to make a cinnamon-sugar-brown sugar mixture, and a separate butter-milk mixture. You dip the dough in the milk, then in the sugar. Instead, I combined the two. Oops. I gently deflated the dough and divided it into half, then quartered that, so I had 8 pieces total. I kind of rolled them into ropes that I could cut apart, but I basically just cut each divided piece into 8 pieces however I felt like it. (I hate making ropes; I can never roll them evenly.) I rolled each of the 64 pieces into rough balls, and dipped it in my cinnamon-sugar-milk mixture, and layered it in a greased Bundt pan. As you can imagine, the pieces on bottom had a lot of liquidy, sugary cinnamon on them. Once all the pieces were in the pan, I drizzled what was left of the cinnamon mixture on top, and put the pan in the oven to rise.
I may have let it rise more than an hour here, too. When I thought the timing was right, I removed the pan from the oven and preheated it to 350F. I baked it for 25 minutes. After letting the bread cool 5 minutes, I inverted it onto a plate.
I didn’t have the ingredients for icing, so I used about a tablespoon of milk with a little vanilla and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. I drizzled it onto the bread.
The monkey bread was delicious! I could taste the whole wheat flour a little when it was cold, but didn’t notice a bit when it was warm. Pieces without glaze or extra goo (like center pieces) were a little dry, so be sure you have enough glaze to eat the bread with. The texture was soft and chewy, exactly what I would have expected.
I wish I could tell you how it would have been if I hadn’t combined the milk and cinnamon sugar mixtures, but it was pretty good how I made it. I’d do it this way again, but I would make sure I drizzle a little cinnamon goo on the middle layer of dough balls. This was best while it was warm. Since I baked it at night, it was still pretty fresh in morning, but I would still heat leftovers. This would be best eaten within 24 hours – I’m not sure it would last longer. This is definitely a recipe worth making again, as long as you don’t mind the time it will take you.