Because we love yeasty warm smells in the kitchen and because I miss long days with nothing better to do and because my fam is being awesome about my new job, we did this:
If you’re about to drool into your cellphone, I agree.
Let’s start at the beginning and I’ll walk you through a virtual Monkey Bread baking blog.
If I could only add a scratch-n-sniff meme, this would be complete.
You can go one of two ways:
- mix this in a big bowl with a wooden spoon and then knead by hand for ten minutes, getting a super arm and shoulder workout, or
- layer it in your bread machine that you still have from the early 90’s and hopefully makes round loaves because you’re cool like that. And also, you’re lazy like that.
1 1/3 C. warm milk
2 tbsp. diced butter
2 tbsp. sugar
2/3 tsp salt
4 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
I’m not telling you which way I made this perfect little lump o’ dough, but many watts died in the process.
(What? What is she talking about? What watt?)
Let the lump rise for an hour or so in a warm place. I turned my oven on for a minute and then turned it off again, and set the dough inside to rise. If you’re not careful, it will be too hot and kill the yeast and then you will have a hard little lump of dough to go bowling with. We’re going for just mildly warmish here.
Next, turn your big puffy lump out onto a lightly floured countertop and show it who’s boss. This is the fun part. The punching, pushing, slapping, poking, kneading, and stretching reminds the kids that they are just a sass away from a trip to the family bakery.
Now we take the reduced lump and start pulling it apart.
Over and over and over…twist and pull. The smaller you make them, the more fun it will be to eat later.
Roll the dough into little balls and toss them into any shape pan you want. It makes into a nice sized loaf, so grab a pan big enough and butter the inside first. You could bake them in a glass or metal mixing bowl, or a casserole. I used my angel food cake pan. This is going to the monkeys, so it won’t stay in this shape longer than five minutes once it’s done, anyway.
Layer in half of the dough balls, sprinkle with your sugar/cinnamon mix, and repeat.
Pour two melted tablespoons of butter over it all. Your pan is already buttered though, right?
Set this little beauty back into a warm place to rise up for another hour. Clean your mess. Yes, I see it.
While it rises, get out your frosting stuff. Because, cream cheese.
Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz softened cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
16 oz powdered sugar
Mix together to desired consistency:
thinner, add milk 1 tsp at a time
thicker, add powdered sugar 1 tbsp at a time
This is the standard recipe, but life isn’t always so tidy, at least in the kitchen. I myself would have just layered a slab of cream cheese on a hot slice of Monkey Bread and called it a day, but when you add sugar and thin it out a bit with milk, it impresses the company.
Your Monkey Bread.
When it’s puffed up to your liking, bake it in a preheated oven at 350* for 20-30 minutes, depending on your pan. You will know it’s done when it smells terrific in the house and when you peek in the oven, it looks toasty on top. Reach in and tap the bread; if it sounds hollow, you win. Let’s eat.
Let it cool for a few minutes, then dump it upside down over a plate, out of it’s pan.
I sliced it to make a pretty picture and to make life fair.
The kids were disappointed.
The right way to eat this, so I’m told, is for everyone to lay a hand on the bread, count to three and pull.
You then proceed to eat your hunk of bread by hand, dipping lumps into the frosting tub.