Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

June 3, 2011

monkey bread.

Ever since being back home, I have not been particularly inspired enough to make interesting things. Yes, I have baked some new things and increased the number of new recipes in my recipe book (really just a composition book where I record a lot of recipes I have tried), but I haven't been inspired.
However, that pull-apart bread I made the other day really got me hooked to working with yeast. It's not easy, which makes me love it even more. I want to eventually bake up some loaves of good, crusty bread and experience the delight of freshly baked bread. But until then, I need to be satisfied with pull-apart loaves & monkey bread.

Yes, I made monkey bread. And trust me, in no way did I settle by making it. A couple friends came over a few days ago, and it was almost obligatory that a baked good be offered. I decided upon monkey bread for a few reasons.

1) It involved yeast.
2) It was pull-apart! I adore rustic things, and the act of pulling off your own piece is just so homey. I love it.
3) I had always heard of it and seen it featured on blogs, and decided, why not just make it already?
4) I imagined it would be delicious. I was not aware of how very correct I was.

What is monkey bread? Let me explain in a relate-able way ... Imagine cinnamon rolls (minus the cream cheese frosting). Now imagine them mini. NOW imagine them all packed into a Bundt shape, and in order to eat them, you pick the delicious, oozing pieces off the main Bundt structure.

I think the pictures do it more justice.

(NOTE - I followed the recipe pretty much word-for-word from smittenkitchen, except I skipped the cream cheese glaze. It's truly not necessary. I had leftover melted butter, so I just poured it over the dough balls. Don't waste that butter yo.)
I had greased the pan well.

Then I let the dough double in size outside in the hot summer weather.

Before cutting it into 64 pieces. Ya heard me, sixty-four, y'all.

Then I mixed together some brown sugar & a generous amount of cinnamon. And melted some butter. And dipped the dough balls individually into the butter before rolling them in the sugar and tossing them in the well-greased Bundt pan. Using my hand worked better than using a fork.

Then the dough balls were left to rise again until they just started peaking out from above the edge of the pan.

And then the pan was carefully placed in a preheated oven.
Gorgeousness came out about 15 minutes later. Absolute gorgeousness.

Click that picture to enlarge it, I endear you! You won't regret it. It's the exact motivation you need to get in the kitchen right now and make this not-so-difficult beauty.

The monkey bread came out of the pan very easily. I thought the caramel would make it stick, but I guess greasing the pan very well contributed to its easy removal (I took it out of the pan about 5 minutes after removing it from the oven). I just inverted it onto a cooling rack, and any thick chunks of caramel were scooped up and deposited on the top of the monkey bread.

Eat this warm, and no other way. Have a glass of milk nearby, if desired, as well as a group of friends, and dig in, because this is terribly addictive. And wonderful. And any other positive adjectives you can use to describe the cinnamon-y, caramel-y, sweet, bread-y goodness.

(I thought bready was a word, but I guess not.)

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