I just want to thank everyone for supporting this blog and my idea to home-school myself in the art of baking. I was really touched by the comments left by everyone on my blog. Shagufta, your comment was incredibly supportive and it really motivated me to go further with this venture! Dee, thanks so much for your regular comments and encouragement; It means so much to me!
Moving on, today I baked "Monkey Bread"!
When I first saw the name "monkey bread," I was confused and thought that the bread was called "monkey bread" because it probably contained bananas, but boy was I in for a surprise!
Monkey bread, is a loaf of bread made up of little buns that taste like clouds of cinnamon and sugar. Trust me, this loaf of bread might not look like a glorious melt in the mouth breakfast pastry, but it is!
It is not certain where the name monkey bread comes from, personally I think it looks like a monkey, but people say it's because you have to pluck the pieces of bun and gobble it all up at once (like a monkey).
To make this bread you have to follow the same steps I used to make the traditional loaf I made yesterday; but to make it simpler for y'all I have started from step 1. I hate it when cookbooks to refer to certain recipes and you have to keep flipping the page. I will do no such thing.
- 1/4th cup warm water (please make sure the water is not boiling hot or too warm as I have learned the hard way that it kills the yeast; and you don't want to kill your sugar-loving friends)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup of warm whole milk (this means no slim milk!)
- 2 tbsp of butter
- 3 cups of bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
For the monkey part:
- 1/2 cup of butter
- 1 and 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tsp cinnamon powder
- Mix, rest and knead the dough:
- Mix the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl and whisk to blend. The mixture should sit for 10 minutes till the yeast is active, foaming and bubbling.
- In another bowl mix the butter and milk.
- In a larger bowl mix the flour and the salt.
- Now pour the yeast mixture and the milk mixture into the flour and the salt.
- Mix for about 2-3 minutes till the dough comes together.
- Cover the bowl with a damp cloth (use a lint-free cotton towel; if you do not have one use plastic wrap)
- Lightly oil another large bowl.
- Scrape the dough into the bowl and lightly coat the surface of the dough with oil.
- Cover the bowl with a damp lint-free cotton towel or plastic wrap for about 45-60 minutes or till the dough has doubled in size
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Press the dough down firmly so as to expel some of the air bubbles but don't knead the dough again or it will be too springy
- Till now, we've been working with the steps to make regular bread, now make a rough rectangle with the dough on your work surface.
- Using a pizza cutter, scissors or a knife, cut the rectangle into smaller sections, roughly the size of fresh cherries. Mine turned out to be slightly larger cherries; more like baby potatoes.
- Melt the butter in one bowl and in another and mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
- Dip the balls of dough into the butter and then roll it in the cinnamon and sugar so as to coat it.
- Line the bottom of the pan and fill your way to the top with the coated dough balls.
- Pat them down once the pan is full.
- Cover them with a damp lint-free cloth and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
- Bake at 375 degrees fahrenheit / 190 degrees celsius for about 40 minutes.