Friday, December 19, 2008

Monkey Bread

Every year for the family Christmas brunch I am asked to bring two loaves of monkey bread. What is monkey bread, you ask? It is like bite-sized cinnamon rolls that are wonderful! My friend Kari heard that I was making monkey bread and said, "Will you please post the recipe on your blog?" Here at Jill's Crazy Life, we aim to please, so here, without further ado, is the recipe for Monkey Bread!

Monkey Bread
Dissolve in a bowl:

1 c. warm water
1/3 c. sugar
1 Tbs. yeast

Let sit until it becomes bubbly and foamy. (If you have never made bread before, you can get step by step instructions from my Bread Making 101 post. Just substitute these ingredients for the ones in that post.)


1/3 c. instant powdered milk (I mix mine with the flour so it doesn't get lumpy. I don't think mine is "instant" powdered milk!)
2 eggs at room temperature (I put mine in a bowl of hot water while I'm waiting for the first mixture to get foamy.)
1 tsp salt
1/3 c. melted margarine
5 1/2 c. to 6 c. of flour

Mix and/or knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise until double in bulk. This should take about an hour or so. Unless you put it in the refrigerator overnight - in that case you will need forever to get it to double in bulk. I made that mistake last night and was late for my party this morning because the stupid stuff wouldn't rise!!!

After you have let it rise, the hard part starts. Ok, it's not really hard, it is just time consuming and fussy. It's worth it though, trust me.

This recipe will make one really, really large loaf or two slightly smaller than normal loaves. I like to bake the smaller loaves because this bread typically gets done on the outside before it does on the inside. I'd rather have smaller loaves and no gooey insides than larger loaves and either undone insides or burned outsides.

So, divide your dough into two equal portions and set one aside. I take one half and cut it into small little chunks. I don't worry about equal sizes I just try to make them more or less the same size. You want to roll these little chunks into balls. Then you are going to roll them in melted butter and then cinnamon-sugar. This is my assembly -line all ready to go:

I haven't cut all the little chunks at this point, but you get the idea. After you have rolled them in the butter and cinnamon-sugar, place them in your greased loaf pan.
Look at those two lonely little dough balls. Don't worry, soon they will have lots more friends and a lot less space. In fact, look at them now:
I'm just starting the second layer in this picture, eventually they whole thing will have two layers. After you have all the balls in two layers, you set it aside and let it rise til it is puffy and fat. Then bake at 350 degrees until done. I use an instant-read thermometer, when it is 180 degrees or more on the inside it is done. I wish I could say "cook until golden brown" but it doesn't work that way. When it is golden brown outside it is sometimes still gooey inside. Instant-read thermometers are fairly cheap and useful for all kinds of things, you might want to consider one.

Here is one of the finished loaves all bundled up waiting to go to the party:
I try to get them to the party still warm. Doesn't always work but I try!

Try some monkey bread, your family will be glad you did!



Kari said...

Thank-you so much for posting this! I can't wait to try them -- they look very yummy!

katie said...

I have never made monkey bread before but I often see it made in a bundt pan, I bet that is because of the "done on the outside before they are done on the inside." Something to try!

Jill said...

katie, you are probably right! I guess I just never thought of it because I don't own a decent bundt pan. Maybe it's time to invest in one, huh?


Nancy said...

I love monkey bread. Haven't made it in ages. Maybe I'll try that for New Year's. Merry Christmas to you and yours.