Okay, okay, I admit, my name is Rebecca and I am a cook book addict! If my collection of fabulous cook books gets much bigger it is going to rival Nigella's! I have shelves all over my home filled with cook books. The one above is full of the 'new' books. I have collected them since I was a kid - getting them for gifts, finding them in second hand stores, school fairs...you name it! I read recipes like most people read books.
And lets face it, when life gets a little bit tough its nice to have something so pleasurable to lose oneself in. I am an 'active relaxer' so time spent in my kitchen is like therapy for me!
Anyhoo, here is my latest acquisition:
Now I have to admit that I hunted this book down, as I had heard about this gorgeous delight called 'monkey bread' and I was desperate to make it. I found the book on Amazon in the end and low and behold, the cover photo is actually a picture of the monkey bread. I have since made it and it really is super yummy, but you really must make it for a crowd of people - least you be tempted to eat too much!
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tablespoons melted
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 package instant yeast
3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
Brown Sugar Coating:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 American stick) butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1. For the dough: Make sure your oven rack is in the medium position in your oven and pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. When the oven reaches this temperature, turn it off. Lightly grease a large bowl with cooking spray (or oil on a paper towel), butter a bundt pan (ring mold cake tin) with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set the bowl and pan aside.
2. Mix the milk, water, melted butter, granulated sugar and yeast together in a bowl or large measuring cup. Stir the flour and slat together in the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook (otherwise use a normal large bowl and the dough attachments on a hand mixer etc.). With the mixer on slow, add the milk mixture, slowly! Once the dough has come together, increase the mixer speed until the dough is smooth and shiny (about 6 -7 minutes). Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead to form a smooth, round ball. Place the dough in the bowl and spray with dough with cooking spray (lightly!), cover the bowl in plastic wrap and place in the warm, turned off oven until the dough has doubled in size - I just put a tea towel over mine and put it in front of the heater and it worked just as well! (about 1 hour).
3. For the sugar coating: While the dough is rising, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place the melted butter a second bowl. Set aside.
4. To form the bread: Remove the dough from the bowl and pat into a rough 8 inch square. Cut the dough into 64 pieces (give or take!). Roll each piece into a ball, dip in the melted butter then the brown sugar mix, then layer the balls in the baking tin. Stagger the seams where the dough balls meet as you build the layers.
5. Cover the tin with plastic wrap and place in the oven until the balls have risen 1 to 2 inches above the pan (about 50 to 70 minutes).
6. Remove the pan from the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap (very important, ha ha) and bake until the top of the bread is a deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around the edges - about 30 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a platter and let cool for about 10 minutes.
7. For the glaze: While the bread cools, whisk the powdered sugar and milk together in a bowl until smooth. Using a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the warm monkey bread, letting it run over the top and down the sides. Serve warm - nom nom!!
Now I know the recipe sounds quite complicated, but if you want to impress guests or loved ones at brunch on the weekend, then this recipe is divine! We always have ours served with a bit of protein (scrambled eggs usually) and fresh fruit salad.