Probably I will never enjoy cooking a meal.
Even with the help of menu planning sites (check out Dinnerella, it’s the bomb dot com, and I promise to never ever say that again in this life or the next), dinner is frustrating.
Dinner is always rushed. Everyone always moans about it. I have to do it every day of life. I’m working on upping my dinner creativity factor as I figure a little flair might make it more pleasing, right?
But, as it is, my motivation to cook it is only that my children will starve if I don’t.
So, we eat corn dogs and tater tots. A lot.
If we could eat cookies and pie and yummy bread as our nightly meal, probably things would be better, because everyone likes it when Mommy throws down in the oven in the name of dessert.
On our most recent snow day, I spent hours in the kitchen, throwing flour about, oven pumping, kids clamoring around my ankles shoulders to lick beaters and stick fingers in bowls.
About 120 cookies of all flavors and styles and this…
Sweet Homemade Monkey Bread Recipe
Now, before I give you the recipe for my homemade, from scratch version, let me also shout out Auntie Anne’s for their boxed pretzel recipe.
We used their creation to make pretzels previously, and I was reminded then of the need to make monkey bread. Not believing that their boxed pretzel mix could result in monkey bread goodness, I purchased another box and gave it a go.
I was wrong, they make a mean monkey bread. If from scratch isn’t your bag, go ahead and try theirs. It works too.
Now, back to the awesome.
I have been enjoying monkey bread since grade school. My mama is a pro-fesh-o-nall monkey bread baker. Every holiday, it is on the table, causing skirmishes over who will get the last piece.
But, she makes the savory, dinner roll version. Not the ooey-gooey-finger-licking-cinnamon-sugar flavored one you see here.
This one is mine. Alllllll, mine!
Get This Stuff:
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees)
- 1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees)
- 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar mixture + 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar mixture (keep separate)
- 1 package instant yeast
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
- 2 teaspoons salt
Then Do This:
1. You need a Bundt pan to make this awesome. Get it out and oil it up. I use cooking spray, some people use melted butter. Just go for what you know.
Break for a chat: Let’s talk a moment about the warm factor of the water and milk in the next step. You want it WARM, not HOT. Remember this: Hot will burn my yeast and make my bread a sinking stone of sugary yuck. Warm will fluff my bread up awesome and make people want to hug me. What rhymes with hug me? Mug me. And yes, they will do that too.
2. Add warmed milk and water to 1/2 cup of the cinnamon sugar mixture (please tell me you know how to make this already, I can explain if not, but it’s basically what you would sprinkle on your toast in the morning), 2 tablespoons of your melted butter and yeast.
3. In a separate bowl add the flour and the salt.
4. Pour the wet into the dry and mix it. If you have one of those fancy stand mixer, use that. If you’re poor old school like me, use a spoon. From what I understand, those paddle mixer thing-a-ma-jigs may eliminate the need to knead. But, if you don’t live in that world, join me for step 5.
5. Once dough is formed into a ball, pour onto lightly floured surface and knead it. Knead it good. You should feel it all the way up to your elbows, people, for at least 6-7 minutes (stop kneading when dough looks smooth, because chewy bread is icky bread).
Sexy baker commentary: For reals y’all, have you ever checked out a baker’s forearms? Delicious. For so many reasons.
6. Cooking spray a large bowl. Put your bread dough ball in it. Flip it (you want oil on both sides). Cover and let rise in a warm place (aka the oven, or in your bed where you can snuggle it) for an hour or so (you want it to double). Some people let it rise overnight and sure, you can do that, but when I get monkey bread in my brain, I need it ASAP in my belly, and waiting until some time tomorrow is generally not an option.
7. When it is all puffed up and ready. Melt your remaining butter in a small bowl.
8. Break dough into chunks, small enough to roll into small balls (see photo, just do it my way).
9. Dip each ball into melted butter. Then dip it into cinnamon sugar mix. Then toss it into the ready-to-roll Bundt pan. Do this with all of the balls.
Break for a chat: At this point you can let your bread rise again. Often I just bake it here, because, again, I hate to wait. But, if you let it rise, do it for another hour or so and your bread will be even fluffier (pictured bread rose only once. IT. WAS. A. SNOW DAY!).
10. Bake your buttery-cinnamony-sugar Bundt ball party mix in your already preheated to 350 degrees oven (I forgot that right, but you know, we’re baking, you have to preheat) for 30-35 minutes. It’s done when it looks like you want to devour it (browned and pulling away from sides of pan).
11. Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan. Voila! Monkey Bread magic!
Final notes regarding additional indulgences: You can add all kinds of jazz to your bread creations. You can put nuts in before you bake. You can top with caramel glaze. You can add chocolate sauce. You can do a quick powdered sugar icing glaze. We literally just eat it like this. All of that extra stuff is, um, extra. Eat it plain like this for breakfast, like a muffin, with fruit on the side and eliminate all guilt. Because like everyone knows, if you eat something with fruit it cancels the calories.