Monkey Bread

I love monkey bread. It never occurred to me that people did not know what this delicious bread was until I was making it for brunch. My friend told me she never heard of it until college and she was on the phone with another friend who had never heard of it either. So, for those of you in the same boat I welcome you to the land of deliciousness… Monkey Bread is a sweet pull-apart bread made of mini rolls dipped in a sugar/butter mix and baked into a sticky gooey mess. It is great for brunch or even dessert and unfortunately has nothing to do with real Monkeys.

I like my monkey bread gooey. If it isn’t gooey it just isn’t as good. I haven’t made this since high school probably when I used my best friends’ mom’s recipe. She used frozen dinner rolls and some butterscotch pudding packets and some other things I can’t remember. It sounds weird but tastes delicious. It is also super easy to make since you let the rolls rise overnight. The one I made for brunch I made from scratch. It also had currants which I have never seen before, but my cookbook says this is the original way to make it (and I happen to keep them in the pantry). The taste was great but my yeast was almost dead. The bread didn’t rise as much as planned so it was pretty dense.
Making these the morning of your breakfast is a little difficult since the bread requires a lot of rising time. Not so terrible if you are a morning person and you are having a brunch or late breakfast. I think I was a morning person once…. Making this from complete scratch is a toss up for me. Had the bread turned out light and fluffy as it should have I might have loved it enough to make it from scratch again. I should go ahead and try since the yeast was a major factor in taste and texture. Only then will I be able to fully decide whether or not this bread should be a scratch dough or not. Maybe I’ll do a side by side taste test of both. Hmmm, maybe the perfect addition to Christmas breakfast….
I have attached the recipe for all of you curious bread makers (who either love Monkey bread or are interested in giving it a try). Good luck, and buy new yeast!
Monkey Bread
2 packages yeast
1 C sugar
1/2 C warm water (110˚-115˚)
2 sticks butter divided
1 1/2 T salt
1 C warm milk
3 eggs + 2 yolks
6-7 C flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C currants plumped
Proof yeast, sugar and water in a large bowl. Stir 1 stick butter into the warm milk. Add to the yeast mixture and stir in eggs. Beat until combined. Add the flour one cup at a time until you get to 5 cups. Then turn it out onto a floured surface and knead in as much of the 2 C as you need to make a silky dough. Knead 10 minutes. Shape into a ball and put it in a buttered dish, cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place until it doubles.
Punch down and let it rest for 5 minutes. Knead a few turns with 1 T flour and rest for another 5-10 minutes (I told you it would take a while). Butter a 10 inch tube pan. In a saucepan melt 1 stick butter and the brown sugar in a saucepan. Add in the currants and remove from heat. Pinch off dough in golfball size amounts, roll into balls and then into the butter mixture. Layer into the bottom of the pan. Once all are in, pour remaining butter mix over the top, tent loosely with foil and let the dough rise to the top of the pan. Bake in a 375˚ oven for about an hour. It will be done with the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Invert onto a serving dish and serve warm to pull apart.

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