Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How to Make a Monkey (Bread)

Did ya enjoy baking bread with Ryan last week? Ready to try again? This recipe is fun, easy, and delish. Kid friendly too, if you're so inclined. (Today, I was not)
The recipe follows below the play by play.

Turn the oven on. Doesn't matter what temp, just turn it on.

Mix hot water, milk, sugar and yeast in a LARGE bowl. Allow to sit at least 10 minutes (or as long as it takes you to run to the store because you realize you are dangerously short of flour and now is the best time to remedy that.)

Yeast will be frothy and quite fragrant. Ah, there's bread in the works! Now turn the oven off again. It's warmed, that's what you were after.

With a sturdy spoon (I use my super strong kitchenaid spatula) stir in 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. The dough will be a bit lumpy, a bit thick, but not too hard to stir yet.

Add the egg and butter. As you stir, the dough will become smoother, slick and glossy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time to make sure everything's getting mixed.

Stir in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. If the dough if getting too stiff to stir, go ahead and dump it out onto the counter and knead the rest of the flour in. Knead the dough, using the heels of your hands to push the dough away from you, then folding it back onto itself. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour. Kneading is fun, though this dough is so soft it's hardly a workout.

When it's smooth and elastic, gather the dough into a ball and plop it into a warm, greased bowl, turn the ball over to grease everything, then cover it with a clean dish towel, and stick it into the warmed oven to rise to twice it's original size.

When the dough's ready (an hour, two at the most) take it out of the oven and deflate it by folding the edges over to the center. You can sink your fist into it like they do on tv, but it's kind of disrespectful to this lovely light stuff. Be nice. While the dough's recovering from the indignity of deflation, get your cinnamon sugar and butter ready.

Mix about 3/4 cup of white sugar with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. When you think there's enough cinnamon, add the same amount again. Trust me. Heat 1/4 cup of butter in the microwave until it's just barely melted. You don't want it hot, just melted.

Cut 1" chunks of dough off your big dough blob. I like to work on a floured tray with smaller chunks cut off, and the rest of the dough covered.

Coat the 1" chunks in butter, roll them in cinnamon sugar, and toss them into a greased loaf pan. Fill the pan about 2/3 full, these monkeys are going to grow.

When all the dough is gone, mix the remaining butter with the remaining cinnamon sugar and sprinkle it over the dough in the loaf pan.

Cover again, and let rise about 45 minutes. Heat the oven to 375ยบ and bake approximately 40 minutes (less time for smaller pans, like these or for shallower cake pans.)

Allow to cool as long as you can stand it, then tear in - the dough balls pull apart for easy (self)serving. These three are off to preschool tomorrow - in cute baking pans, these make easy, special (and really inexpensive!) teacher gifts. There's another BIG pan for us, at least there was - the reason for the double recipe.

Monkey Bread

1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp yeast (or one pkg)
1 egg
1/4 cup very soft butter
1 tsp salt
4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter


Teri said...

Thanks for the recipe. I'm going to give it a try. I have a recipe somewhere for it, but my kids were little the last time I tried to make it. I have found that I am not really good at making bread by scratch. I did better with the bread machine. thanks for the directions!

Dorothy said...

If you want to do this easier, throw everything in the bread maker on the dough cycle, then pick up at the rolling little balls stage. Same goes if you have a heavy duty mixer - let the dough hook do all the work.

My possessed bread machine has gone on to a better place, and the Kitchenaid's not here yet. Santa: *hint! hint!!*

Tanya Brown said...

This is really clever. It looks like a nice thing to take to potlucks.