“why do they call it monkey bread?” -little spindler girls
“cause if you eat it, you’ll turn into a monkey” – mama spindler
(most likely followed by papa spindler’s impression of a monkey)
me and monkey bread go way back. my mom always made monkey bread for special occasion dinners like birthdays or christmas….which might sound weird to you? cause monkey bread is sweet and more of a brunch time bread?! not at the spindler house. our monkey bread was always made without the cinnamon and sugar…so it was just yummy buttery bread…a perfect compliment to a steak dinner. it wasn’t till 7th grade and home ec that i realized there was another interpretation of the bread….and while I still love my family’s tradition/version of the bread….i’m also a lover of anything cinnamon.
(don’t worry mama…apparently nancy reagan also believed in monkey bread sans sweetness. her white house holiday recipe was published in the American Cancer Society cookbook in 1985.)
1 package of yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
41/2 cup flour
1 stick butter – melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
begin with your sponge. dissolve yeast and sugar into warm water. the go-to temperature is 110°. you need to be careful with your water temperature here, as yeast tends to be picky. if it’s too hot or too cold your yeast won’t play nice and neither will your bread. my tap water at it hottest was 120º so i let it sit for a while till the temperature dropped and then added yeast and sugar. set this mixture aside and let it rise.
in your stand mixer, with your bread hook attachment, mix together sugar, oil and salt. beat your egg and then add to sugar mixture.
your sponge (yeast/water mixture) should have risen by now…the tell tell sign is its frothy top.
add sponge and water to mixer. with your mixer on a slow speed, begin adding flour about a half a cup at a time. as you continue adding flour, the dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the mixer and form into a ball. this is pretty sticky dough, so don’t panic if you’re three cups of flour in and still don’t feel like you could knead the dough by hand without turning into a sticky dough mess. for me, once i got to four cups of flour, i felt comfortable turning the dough out to a floured surface and giving it some kneading time with my hands with the last half cup of flour. i like to do this just to get a good feel for how soft or dry the dough is…it’s always best for your dough to be slightly sticky to the touch, so kneading it by hand gives me a good idea of what i’m working with.
once your dough is nice and kneaded, transfer it back to a bowl and cover with a damp towel so it can rise…about an hour…or till it’s doubled in size – whatever comes first.
once your dough has risen, give it one good punch and the transfer to a floured surface. melt your butter in one bowl…and mix together your brown sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. this will set up your dipping and coating station. roll out dough till it is about a half an inch thick. using a floured pizza cutter, cut dough into inch wide strips or squares. dip your dough into melted butter, then coat in brown sugar and transfer to bundt pan. drizzle remaining butter over dough. cover and let rise for about another hour.
preheat you oven to 350º. the extra warmth from the oven will probably even help your dough rise faster.
your bread will bake for 20-25 minutes. the top will begin to brown…i waited till mine was past the golden stage and just into the light brown stage before i removed mine…just to make sure all the edges would be baked. all that extra goo and butter will make the top of your bread very soft….melt-in-your-mouth-amazing soft
remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before flipping upside down and removing from pan.
I. Love. Monkey. Bread. and I think you will too. with or without the sugar, this bread is delicious and hard to stop nibbling on if it’s within reach. add a cream cheese dipping glaze…and it’s hopeless. monkey bread = success…every time.
also…if you’ve been trying to justify buying these cute little dishes…but have no idea what you would use them for…here’s your excuse:
personal sized monkey bread! these little buddies have come in handy on more than one occasion for left over dough or cake batter….or reheating/baking leftover pasta and feeling fancy about it. they are adorable and cut down on waste…as i always end up with more batter/dough than i anticipated.
do it…you know you want to.