Saturday, June 25, 2011

Monkey Bread: Is it for monkeys or made from monkeys?

We made monkey bread yesterday. And had HUGE debates as to why it's called Monkey bread.  There were funny antedotes, lots of hilarity, and good times with the kids.  There are tons of ways to make this treat, here's the way we did it yesterday. 

The ingrediants:

6 cups whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/3 honey
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 tsp kosher salt
3 TBS melted butter




Mix 3 cups of the flour with 1 1/2 cups water and let it soak for 30 minutes or so.
(only do this if using whole wheat flour)



If using dry, active yeast, mix it, honey, and water in a bowl and let sit for 10-15 minutes to allow the yeast to proof.  It will get all bubbley. I however use instant yeast, so I just mixed it with the wet ingrediants right before putting it in with the flour.


Put the yeast mixture, butter, and salt all in with the soaking flour. Gradually mix in the remaining 3 cups of flour.  Once it is all mixed in, attatch the dough hook, set the speed to 4, and let it mix/knead for 5 minutes. If you don't have a stand mixer, take it out and mix by hand for about 10 minutes.



Put the dough into a greased bowl or bucket and cover. Let it sit in a warm, not hot, place for about an hour to hour and a half or until doubled in size. The size of the dough is what matters. Not the time.



And then the waiting begins. You could play games with the kids. Clean up the mess that you have made in the kitchen. Wash the dog. Feed the pig. Do some homework. Rake some leaves. Mow the yard. Take out the trash. Do some exercises. Begin wondering why you are doing this the long way. Whatever.



Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, and knead it a minute or two to get all the air bubbles out.



Then start pulling off golf ball size pieces and roll them up.
(It's REALLY scary how much that hand looks like it is my Momma's! But it's mine. I promise.)




This is where you bring in the child labor. Six of them were dying to help. The baby was off sleeping. And the oldest decided it was better to write an essay over The Odyssey than to play with our food.



It gets really messy. But hey, kids are washable.


Forgot this part. You have a wonderful mixture you are going to dip these nuggets of dough into.  It's a whole stick of melted butter, a cup of sugar (or half brown sugar, half regular sugar), and a tablespoon of cinnamon. And if you have your children helping, you will have to threaten them with dismemberment to keep them from licking their fingers while still working. (I kid of course. Mostly)


We used two loaf pans. A regular sized bundt pan works great too. Or if you want to be all cute, muffin tins would produce individual sized portions.  Cover them and let them double in size again. This time it should only take about 30 minutes.


Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. If you do it while they are rising, you don't have to wait an extra 15 minutes like I did.


So I took another picture. Because the camera is new, and I like playing with it.



Bake them uncovered for about 35 minutes.


And enjoy the yummy goodness.

Now, there are tons of variations. If you need a quick fix, use canned biscuits and cut in half, then roll up. Or the canned cinnamon rolls. Probably would need to quarter those. Mmmm. That sounds wonderful. You don't have to use my recipe. That was just my go to bread recipe. Use your own favorite. Or a sweet bread recipe. Just make sure it makes a kneadable dough. Not a batter.  Throw some cut up apples in the bottom then fill with the bread, and you have an apple cinnamon bread. I bet mangos and coconut would be good sprinkled in. Or you could do a nod to pineapple upside down cake with chunked pineapples and a some cherries. Throw in some dried cranberries, and use some orange juice in your dunking mixture. If you use brown sugar, it's going to have more of a caramel taste.  The only thing missing yesterday, was a powdered sugar glaze. There really isn't a wrong way to do this. I bet a chocolate glaze would taste GREAT drizzled over!!

And Terry summed up the name of the bread. "If this is made for monkeys, and I LOVE it, what does that say about me?



Beth