Since Hubs bought me that cool ceramic monkey bread mold from Williams Sonoma for Mother's Day recently, I have been using it as an excuse to make more monkey bread. It was for the kids, you know... but who am I kidding?
And it has been lots of fun making it plus a counting lesson for the kids as they roll the cut-up dough into little balls and counted up to 50 while coating and dropping them into the greased mold. Monkey math is what I call it.
The last time Hubs asked me where did the name Monkey Bread came from, I looked it up and here was wikipedia's take on the name monkey bread.
In addition, this was the explanation that came with the mold. Some stories claim the bread is named for its appearance, which resembles monkey puzzle tree or a playful group of monkeys jumbled together. Another theory speculates that the name describes how bakes have to monkey around with the dough.
Or if you live next door to me, you probably heard Hubs and the kids calling it MONKEY BRAINS!
After leaving my trusty bread machine to make the dough for about an hour, I took it out and flattened into a square-ish shape on the greased granite counter. Using a large pizza cutter, I divided it into sections as instructed on the recipe.
With the kids' help, we rolled the dough into round balls, dipped them in melted butter (Mmmm..) and into another bowl of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and my own special added ingredient...oats. Okay, so I was trying to justify this carb intake, and oats are good for us, right?
Then we added more butter, the rest of the sugar and cinnamon mixture (plus oats), stirred it over the stove til the sugar is melted and everything turns to a gooey, sweet-smelling mixture. Pour it over the dough, cover it and let it rise for about 40 mins. Then into the oven for 40 mins and serve it warm or at room temperature.
After the kids' woke up from their naps, it was monkey bread time. They counted and had 3 pieces each. With milk of course. And you really don't need to know how many I had, do you?
Used the recipe that came with the mold.
2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
For the Dough
3/4 cup (180ml) WARM MILK (about 110F/43C)
1/2 cup (125ml) WARM WATER (about 110F/43C)
2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup (60g) granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 package rapid-rise yeast
3 1/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour plus more for dusting
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
8 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup oats (my addition)
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 Tbs water
Have the ingredients at room temperature. Combine the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them until you have a soft, sticky dough. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 2 1/2 to 4 hours, or until it's puffy. I used the bread machine to mix the dough.
Cut the dough into 1" to 2" pieces, and roll into balls. Roll the balls in the melted butter and then into the topping. Place in the greased mold.
To make the glaze: After coating all the balls, pour the remaining topping mixture into a small pot with the melted butter. Wisk till the sugar is melted. Pour over the dough balls, covering them well. Cover the pan, and let the bread rise until it's quite puffy, about 30-45 mins.
Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Cover the mold loosely with foil (to prevent over browning) and bake for another 25-35 mins. Let the bread cool in the mold for 10 minutes. Invert the mold onto a serving platter, and let it rest for 10 minutes to allow the glaze to drizzle down over the bread. Remove the mold and serve warm. Serves 8.
My gf LCOM also made monkey bread, and this is another version. Enjoy the monkey bread/pull-apart bread/monkey brains/or whatever!