I was going to start the Wednesday baking series with something simpler, but there were so many requests for the monkey bread recipe, I decided to start with that. Starting next week, though, I’ll do some very basic bread-baking posts(like, “How to Knead Bread Dough”). I apologize to those of you who have no idea how to do yeast baking…read next week’s post, and then come back to this one.
This recipe can be made the night before you want to serve it, which is handy because then all you have to do is bake it in the morning. You can mix it by hand, or you can use a stand mixer like I do.
Cinnamon Nut Sugar(recipe is below)
1 package active dry yeast(2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water(about 110 degrees Farenheit)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup warm milk
1 large egg
about 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
First, mix up the cinnamon sugar.
Cinnamon Nut Sugar
In a small bowl combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans. Stir until blended.
Next, sprinkle yeast over warm water; stir briefly and let stand about 5 minutes. Add salt, sugar, melted butter, milk, and egg. Stir until blended.
Add 3 1/4 cups of the flour, one cup at a time, stirring after each addition. The dough should look about like this.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead 5-7 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Cut dough into three equal pieces; then cut each portion into 16 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball.
Roll each ball in butter and then in sugar mixture. Stagger balls in layers in a greased 9-10 inch tube ring mold(about 2 1/2 quart size0.
Sprinkle with any remaining sugar, and drizzle with any remaining butter.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until puffy(about 45 minutes) or in a refrigerator for 16-18 hours. I do the fridge option, and here’s what it will look like after being left overnight.
If you’ve refrigerated the dough, let it sit on the counter at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking. Bake the bread in a preheated 350 degree oven until well-browned, about 30 minutes. The top should look like this when it’s done.
Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a plate. It will be quite hot at first, so let it cool down a bit before you dig in. Enjoy!