Monkey bread, as the name suggests is a very naughty and fun bread to make and eat with kids and kid’s at heart. When reading about this bread, it was interesting to read, that the name of the bread ‘Aranygaluska’, means ‘Golden Dumplings’ and was referred to in the Hungarian literature as early as the 1880’s. The name ‘Monkey Bread’ came into use for the fact that the bread is quite playful and can be pulled apart by hands, just the way monkeys would pull apart stuff and eat.
This bread was the perfect fit for my family with 2 monkeys, err….2 boys as they loved to play around with it. I made the bread in the afternoon when the boys were at school, but I was thinking of them a lot as they would have loved to roll the tiny balls and dip them in the butter. Next time, when the family has recovered enough from my month long baking, I will be baking these on a weekend when the boys are around.
The bread dough is a pretty simple milk based dough with a little sugar in it. The dough is then pinched off into tiny balls (about 64 to be exact) and then dipped in meted butter and then cinnamon sugar and then stacked against each other in a Bundt pan. The Bundt pan would be the choice of pan as it will help in baking the bread uniformly. In a regular pan, the bread in the deep inside might not bake well and might remain a little doughy.
The cinnamon and the sugar along with the butter smelled heavenly when the bread was baking inside the oven. The caramel flavor was very obvious and the pieces were evenly coated in it. There is a simple sugar glaze that I drizzled over the bread. This is completely optional. The bread was sweet enough without the glaze and did not need any more sweetness. The sugar glaze added a nice look to the bread and the boys really enjoyed licking it off.
My other bakes in the A – Z Baking around the World Marathon –
A for Almond cookies from China
B for Bretzel Rolls from Germany
D for Danish Cookies from Denmark
E for Empanada from Argentina
F for Franzbrötchen from Germany
G for Grissini from Italy
H for Hot Cross Buns from England
I for Irish Freckle Bread from Ireland
J for Jan Hagel Cookies from Netherlands
K for Kiffles / Kiflis from Hungary
L for Lagana Bread from Greece
Preparation time – 20 minutes + about 3 hours of inactive time
Baking time – 30 minutes
Difficulty level – easy
Ingredients to make the Monkey Bread (Makes one Bundt pan) –
To Make the Dough –
- All Purpose flour – 3 1/2 cups (plus a little more for dusting)
- Granulated sugar – 1/4 cup
- Salt – 2 tsp
- Instant yeast – 2 1/4 tsp (one package)
- Warm milk – 1 cup
- Warm water – 1/3 cup
- Butter – 2 tbsp (melted) + 2 Tbsp (softened)
To make the Cinnamon sugar coating –
- Butter – 6 Tbsp (melted)
- Cinnamon – 2 tbsp
- Light brown sugar – 1 cup
To Make the Glaze (optional) –
- Confectionery sugar – 3/4 cup
- Milk – 2 Tbsp
Procedure to make the Monkey Bread –
To Make the Dough –
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, combine the flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt. If kneading by hand, use a large bowl to make the dough. Whisk the mixture and then make a hole in the middle.
- In a measuring cup, measure the milk and water. Make sure that the temperature of the milk and water is warm to proof the dough. (about 110 F). Melt the butter and add it to the wet ingredients.
- Now add this mixture to the well made in the flour and run the mixer with the dough hook attached on low. Once the dough starts to form, turn the mixer on to medium speed and knead the dough for about 8 to 10 minutes. If kneading by hand, mix the mixture using a wooden spoon and then use your hands to knead until the dough is soft and elastic (about 10 to 15 minutes).
- If the dough appears too wet, sprinkle some flour and continue to knead.
- Shape the dough into a ball and then place in a greased bowl to proof. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a kitchen cloth and leave it in a warm place for about 60 to 80 minutes or until it doubles in volume.
To shape the bread –
- When the dough is proofing, melt the butter in a bowl and keep it aside.
- In another bowl, combine the brown sugar and the cinnamon and keep it ready.
- Grease a bundt pan liberally with softened butter.
- Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and gently pat it into a 8 by 8 square.
- Using a dough scraper or a knife, cut the dough horizontally and vertically, 8 times. This will give us 64 pieces of dough.
- Roll each piece of dough into a rough ball and dip it into melted butter and then coat it with the cinnamon sugar and then place it in the greased pan. I dropped about 5 pieces of dough into the butter and then transferred it into the sugar mixture and then arranged it in the pan. Make sure that the dough is close to each and touching each other.
- Finish all the pieces of dough and if there is any more cinnamon sugar left, sprinkle it on top of the dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel and let it rise again until the dough is puffy and has risen about 1 inch from the top of the pan (about an hour).
Baking the Bread –
- When the dough is rising for the second time, towards the end, preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Once the dough has risen, place it in the preheated oven and let it bake for about 25 – 35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and the sugar is bubbling. Mine took about 30 minutes to bake.
- When the bread is baking, prepare the glaze by whisking together the confectionery sugar and milk.
- Once the bread has come out of the oven, let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
- Slowly invert it on to the serving platter and let it cool for 10 more minutes.
- Drizzle the glaze evenly over the cooled bread and enjoy!
- The bread stores well outside for couple of days and then it can be refrigerated. The left over bread can be slightly warmed in the microwave and it softens up instantly and tastes great.