Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Monkey Bread

It's recipe time again! And oh, my goodness, do I have a great one for you! I received a trial issue of Taste of Home, and found a recipe for monkey bread, which I had never made before, but looked amazing. Well, I made it yesterday and took it to work, and EVERYONE loved it. With the crazy night we had, it provided a nice treat when we could take 2 seconds and grab a bite. On another note, I was not that impressed with the Taste of Home magazine. Too many "fluff" articles. If you are looking for a good recipe/tips & tricks magazine, I highly recommend the Food Network magazine. A couple of minor notes, if you are not used to working with yeast: Make sure your water/milk is 110. You really need a thermometer if you're making breads/products with yeast, it can be very finicky. Also, if the dough doesn't rise right away (and you're sure you've done everything else right), it may be that it's not in a warm enough place. I then try putting mine on top of the stove, with it turned on and the door slightly cracked.

Monkey Bread

1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast 1/4 cup water (110 - 115 degrees)
1 1/4 cups warm milk 2% milk (110 - 115 degrees) 1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 c sugar 2 eggs
1 tsp salt 5 c all purpose flour

2/3 c packed brown sugar 1/4 c butter, cubed
1/4 c heavy whipping cream

3/4 c chopped pecans (I left these out) 1 c sugar
1 t ground cinnamon (I added more of this) 1/2 c butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and 3 c flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough (I ended up using more than the additional 2 cups). Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hr.
For caramel, in a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and cream to a boil. Cook and stir for 3 min. Pour half into a greased bundt pan; sprinkle with half the pecans (if you use them).
Punch down dough; shape into 40 balls (about 1 1/4 in diameter). In a shallow bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Place melted butter in another bowl. Dip balls in butter, then roll in sugar mixture. Place 20 balls in pan; top with remaining caramel and pecans. Top with remaining balls. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 min.
Bake @ 350 for 30-35 min or until golden brown. Cool for 10 min before inverting onto a serving plate.

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