Good Morning readers, have you heard about, or tasted Monkey Bread? I have to admit it’s pretty new to me also. At first I presumed it was a type of banana bread… well monkey’s like banana’s?? But no, monkey bread has nothing to do with banana’s.
What is our latest US recipe import, commonly known as monkey bread? It is simply a brioche style bread which is rolled into little balls, coated in cinnamon sugar and placed altogether in a cake tin. The monkey bread is usually soaked in a sweet sticky syrup before being baked in a cake tin. Then, more syrup is poured over the bread once it’s cooked. Apparently it’s usually served as a breakfast or brunch dish.
Have you ever wondered where the term “Monkey Bread” came from? Well, as usual the answer is a little unclear. It’s thought that it may have initially been called “Monkey Puzzle Bread” because of it’s likeness to the fruit of the money puzzle tree.
My research suggested the recipe first appeared in American women’s magazines in the 1950s. The way the bread is pieced together in balls allows it to be served in segments that are easily torn away with fingers.
It is certainly is a sticky, sweet treat.
I decided that we wouldn’t forgo our usual breakfast for the bread. As much as I was tempted I thought the teachers would prefer I didn’t send my kids to school “jacked up on sugar.” I decided to served the bread with custard and more caramel sauce, and call it dessert. Surprisingly it wasn’t as sweet as I’d imagined. (Maybe the teachers would have survived?)
Anyway, this is a fabulous recipe. I am giving the instructions for Thermomix users, Bread Maker users and those that make their bread by hand.
- 7 gm dried yeast
- 250 ml warm milk
- 590 gm plain flour
- 1/4 cup caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 150 gm melted butter
- 70 gm pecan nuts
- 250 gm pouring cream mls
- 200 gm dark brown sugar
- 40 gm salted butter
- a pinch of pink himalayan salt to taste
- 1/3 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Line a large cake tin with baking paper. I used a spring form tin which helped when removing the bread. The bread cooks better in a ring tin, so I made my own tin by adding a crockery dish to the centre of a regular circular sping form tin.
- Combine the milk and yeast in a jug and allow to sit in a warm spot for 5 minutes.
- Add the flour, butter, vanilla, 1/2 the pecan nuts, sugar, egg and milk mixture to the TM bowl. Pour the milky yeast over into the TM bowl. 3min/knead
Bread Machine Dough
- Add the flour, butter, half the pecan nuts, vanilla, sugar, egg and milk mixture to the TM bowl. Pour the milky yeast over into the ingredients. Set on dough cycle.
Hand Method Dough
- Add the flour, half the pecan nuts and sugar to a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients (yeast milk, egg, butter and vanilla) to a jug and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre of the flour add the liquids slowly and incorporate until combined.
- Once combined knead for 5 minutes until a shiny elastic dough forms.
- Grease a large bowl with oil.
- Add the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel. Place the dough in a warm place for one hour to proof. The dough should nearly double in size.
- Meanwhile make the caramel sauce.
- Add the ingredients to the TM. Make sure to avoid getting the sugar on the blades. 12min/100degrees/speed.
- Pour the sauce into a heat proof jug.
Stove Top Caramel
- Add the sugar and cream to a saucepan over a low heat.
- Stir the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- Increase the heat and allow the sauce to simmer without stirring for 5 minutes.
- Add the butter and stir to combine.
- Remove from the heat.
- Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the dough has doubled in size knock it down and knead for one minute.
- Divide the dough into golf ball sized rounds.
- Coat each of the balls in the sugar mixture.
- Place the dough on the cake tin one layer at a time.
- Add pecan nuts and a generous drizzle of caramel sauce between the layers.
- Reserve at least 1/2 the caramel sauce.
- Bake the monkey bread for 55minutes.
- When the bread is done remove it from the oven and pour half the remaining caramel sauce over the bread.
- Reserve the remaining sauce for serving.
As I wandered the internet I noticed that if you were in America, and wanted to make this recipe you can actually buy pre-made frozen dough! It would be a very simple recipe if the dough was in the freezer already. For better or worse, in Australia frozen dough “isn’t a thing.” Although, making dough really isn’t difficult. I’ve made the dough from scratch and the recipe is included here.
What do you think dear readers. Is this a dish that you’re curious about too. I have to say, I’m pleased this recipe is in my repitoire and I would absolutely make it for a brunch with friends.
Don’t forget to pin the recipe for later.