Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread

I think that bread is one of those things people rarely bake at home for two main reasons. 1) It takes ages to make and 2) the end result is often really disappointing, and so on the whole it normally would have been a lot quicker to just buy a loaf from the local shop. This bread will take a bit of time, as with most other breads it does need to prove and (obviously) bake. However, in my opinion this one’s way more fun to make than other breads as the dough is really nice to work with, it’s assembled as little tear-and-share style balls, and it’s all lathered in cinnamon and butter so it tastes insane!

The identifiable feature of monkey bread is the mosaic-like pattern of the finished loaf, made by rolling the dough into balls which are individually dipped in butter and then cinnamon sugar to make each piece of bread sumptuous and sticky. Then the whole thing is scattered with pecans to give a delicious crunchy nuttiness to the whole thing. The shaping also makes it a great loaf for sharing as you can pull bits off without the need for a knife! This is traditionally made in a Bundt tin (one with a hole in the middle – not sure why but meh), but as I didn’t have one I just popped them all into a 9 inch cake tin which seemed to do the job just as well.

Recipe

Serves 8-10

Time: 1 hour, plus proving and baking time

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 220ml Milk
  • 90g Unsalted butter
  • 550g Strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 10g Fast-action dried yeast
  • 5g Salt
  • 50g Caster sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs

To decorate

  • 125g Unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp Ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 230g Light brown sugar
  • 160g Pecans, chopped roughly
  • 1 Large egg, beaten

For the icing

  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 100g Icing sugar

Method

  1. To start making the dough put the milk and butter into a saucepan and leave to simmer on a medium heat until the butter has melted.
  2. Next put the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix together. Add the egg and the milk mix and stir to make a sticky dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Tip the dough into a clean bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise in a warm space for 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
  5. Next melt the butter for the topping in a small pan and set to one side.
  6. In another bowl mix the spices, sugar and a little salt. Then add the chopped pecans and mix together.
  7. Take a Bundt or 9 inch cake tin and brush the inside with a little of the melted butter to grease. Then spoon a little of the pecan mix into the base of the tin.
  8. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 seconds to knock out the air. Then split and roll the dough into 50 small balls. Dip one of the balls in the butter and then roll in the spiced sugar. Chuck it into the tin and then repeat with the other dough balls until the base of the tin is filled. Scatter with the rest of the pecans and then continue with the rest of the dough. If you have any butter or sugar left over at the end pour it over the loaf.
  9. Cover the whole thing with cling film again and leave to rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
  10. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Take the beaten egg and brush it over the top of the loaf to glaze. Then bake the loaf in the oven for 35-40 minutes until risen and golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin.
  11. To make the icing put the icing sugar and milk into a small bowl and mix together to make a smooth paste.
  12. Turn the monkey bread out of the tin and drizzle with the icing. Serve!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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