“The Most Scrumptious Concoction on the Planet”
The Super Bowl is only two weeks away.
If I had friends coming over for the Super Bowl and I wanted to make something so scrumptious that they would beg to come over every year, it would be monkey bread. That would do it.
(Lily, my just-turned-eleven granddaughter, came to our house for her birthday dinner last week. She didn’t want a birthday cake, not even chocolate. She wanted monkey bread. We stuck the candles in the hot monkey bread too soon. The hot goo melted the candles. Darn. I wish we had pictures. Still, the monkey bread was devoured.)
There’s no such thing as not good monkey bread though monkey bread made with a yeast dough is much better than monkey bread made with biscuit dough.
We have a garlic and herb monkey bread that is great munchy fare. Serve it with either olive oil or a marinara. (Pizza sauce will do.) That will disappear in a hurry.
But I was thinking sweet, like for Lily’s birthday.
What is monkey bread?
We had a customer in California that called it “the most scrumptious concoction on the planet.” She’s right. It’s finger food, a pull-apart loaf. It’s chunks of warm homemade bread slathered in a caramel or cinnamon sauce. (We also have a butterscotch monkey bread mix.)
Reportedly Nancy Reagan made it popular in the White House.
How do you make monkey bread?
You can make it with any bread dough. It’s usually baked in a bundt pan and then turned out on a platter while it’s still warm and the sauce is all gooey. But alternatively, we sell a monkey bread pan with which to make individual monkey breads.
The easy way to make it is with a bread mix and your bread machine. Mix it according to directions and set the machine on the dough setting. Of course, you can use your favorite bread recipes too.
Cut the dough into chunks. I usually pat the dough to about 3/4 inch thick and then cut it laterally and longitudinally with a knife. Once cut into chunks, you are ready to slather the chunks in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. There are two ways to do that. You can dip each chunk in melted butter and then roll it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture or you can mix the cinnamon and sugar into the melted butter and then dip each chunk in the buttery slurry.
Then you stack the chunks in your bundt pan. There is no need to butter the pan. The whole in the center of the bundt pan helps it cook more quickly, evenly. An angel food cake pan doesn’t work well; the goo leaks out the seam at the bottom.
Recipes. Get creative!
It’s fun to get creative with your monkey bread. We often add nuts or dried fruit. We used a bottle of maraschino cherries and slivered almonds in the monkey bread in the picture.
Here is the recipe for this cherry almond monkey bread. http://www.preparedpantry.com/Cherry-Almond-Monkey-Bread-Recipe.htm We included a scratch recipe but you can use one of our bread mixes or your own recipe.
Orange Pecan Monkey Bread Recipe
This is one of my all-time favorite monkey bread recipes.
A thick slurry is made with melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and orange marmalade. The bread chunks are rolled in this before baking.
You can use this as a template for many other monkey breads made with jam. Try peach pecan using a jar of our Harvest Peach Cobbler Jam. The jam is terrific and the monkey bread is divine. Try a monkey bread with cherry jam also.
The easy way to do this is to get one of cinnamon and sugar money bread mixes, follow the instructions, and then add the jam and any nuts.
The recipe below is from scratch. Use our Elki Marmalade. It is the best that we’ve found and without the deep pungent taste of the rind.
4 cups bread flour
1 seven gram instant yeast packet
1 large egg
1 1/2 cup combination water and egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoons salt
1/4 cups dry milk
2 tablespoons potato flour
1/2 teaspoon dough conditioner
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1. Place two cups of flour in the mixing bowl of your stand-type mixer. Add the yeast.
2. Put the egg in a two cup measuring cup. Add enough water to bring the mixture to the 1 1/2 cup mark. With a fork, whisk the mixture until combined and then heat the mixture in the microwave to 110 degrees.
3. Add the warm water and egg mixture to the flour in the bowl and beat with a dough hook for about one minute to hydrate the yeast.
4. Add the rest of the flour, the sugar, salt, dry milk, potato flour, dough conditioner, and the first teaspoon of cinnamon. Add the 1/4 cup melted butter. With the dough hook and at medium speed, mix for four minutes or until the dough is well developed. Remove to a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled—one hour to 11/2 hours.
5. For the glaze, to the 1/2 cup melted butter, add the marmalade, and brown sugar, the second teaspoon of cinnamon and vanilla. Stir until combined into a slurry.
6. Sprinkle a few of the nuts in a bundt pan.
7. Lightly flour a work area on a clean counter. Press the dough into a disk. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into walnut-sized chunks. Dip the chunks in the sugary slurry and place the coated chunks in a bundt pan. After a layer of chunks are in the pan, sprinkle some of the chopped nuts over the dough in the pan. Continue coating chunks. After another layer, sprinkle the reminder of the nuts over the dough. Coat and place the rest of the chunks. If you have any leftover slurry, spread it over the dough. Cover the pan and let the bread rise until doubled.
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes or until it tests done with an internal temperature of 190 degrees. (Cover with aluminum foil the last ten minutes to avoid over-browning.) After five minutes, invert the bread on a large plate or serving platter. Serve warm.