Maple Monkey Bread

monkeybread2Happy New Years!!       Oh, and it’s really, really….really cold, in case you missed it.

I don’t care who, or where you are, it’s cold outside. Rumor has it parts of Florida was a whopping 21 degrees today! Do they even install heaters in their homes that far south?! Well, here in Nebraska as you can imagine, it isn’t much better. With the wind-chill dropping us several degrees below zero, it’s been comfort food and belly warming soups around here. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to indulge in the comfort aspect as much as I would love to, but hey, project “swimsuit bod” never seems to get a rest.
Don’t get me wrong, I tasted this, but taste was about it, Brad was the more true judge of this recipe, devouring the majority of the pan.

This weekend we had our last family Christmas to attend. I was asked to bring something sweet, and since I know much of our aunts bring something chocolaty, I had to think of something different this year. Sticky, gooey, doughy, mouth popping?? Monkey Bread! I didn’t even do fake dough this time, oooo, I know, big deal.
If you follow me with any regularity, you know I consistently have out-loud arguments with yeast. Before getting out any other ingredients, I took out my Red Star yeast, and I had a stare down alongside with a short conversation.

Dear Yeast,

Hey it’s me again, Claire. I need favor, please work. I feel a sickness coming on, and it’s been a long tired week. I really would appreciate you working the first time, because I don’t feel like doing this more than once today, or throwing any dough against the walls, Brad hates that. Let’s call a truce today and just be friends in light of the New Year, maybe we can even consider this turning over a new leaf for 2014? K…thanks.

Smiles, flour, and sugar,
Claire

Apparently it worked, because I got my yeast to rise the first time, AND my entire house to smells like sweet-rolls and cinnamon. Not the worst start to 2014!

I did something this year that I haven’t done in ages, I allotted the CORRECT amount of time for my yeast to rise twice (AKA didn’t wait till the last minute, or till the morning of to throw something together where I could sneak in dough that didn’t need to rise). I guess that what happens when you stay in on Friday night. You go to the gym, wash your car, make Venison Lasagna Soup (recipe coming soon!!) and make a batch of Monkey Bread.

I know many pizza joints have some sort of “Monkey” or dessert bread to finish off your meal… these will absolutely put them to shame. It’s one of those baked goods where you aren’t sure whether you should dive into it after dinner, or start your day with a latte and a few bites of the gooey delicious. Or…both!monkeybread1

Maple Monkey Bread

*Make sure you allow yourself 3 hours of time to complete this start to finish*

Dough
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup milk, warm (110 degrees F)
1/3 cup water, warm
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 package instant yeast (I used Red Star)
3 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour (and some extra for work surface)
2 tsp salt

Caramelize
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp.

Glaze 
1 ¼ cup of powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. of milk
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup

Directions

1. Mix together milk, water, butter, sugar and yeast, Set aside.

2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together the flour and salt with a hand whisk. Use your dough hook attachment, on stir speed to slowly incorporate the milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. You may need to add a little flour if it’s too sticky.

3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead with your hands until dough is smooth. Form dough into a ball and place into a bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover bowl with a hand towel. (I just spray my metal bowl for my mixer and use it as not to dirty another dish)

4. Turn oven to 400 degrees for 1 minute, then turn oven off, and place dough inside, close oven door completely. This gets the oven just warm enough to make your dough rise without actually cooking it. Let rise for about an hour or until it doubles in size.

5. Caramel: When the dough has risen, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, place your 6 Tbsp. of butter melted.

6. Bread Balls: Gently remove the dough from the bowl, and pat into an 8-inch square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces. Roll pieces into balls.

7. Place your dough pieces, brown sugar mix, and butter bowl into an assembly line like style. Give your Bundt pan a good spray with nonstick cooking oil, this will get very sticky, and you don’t want to have to dig your bread out of the pan, destroying the shape.
Dip your balls of dough into the melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl. Then, roll in the brown sugar mixture and layer balls in the Bundt pan. I gave them a pretty rough toss into the Bundt pan, you want to make sure they all stick together to form a solid shape.

8. Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place back in the oven for about an hour or until the balls puff up on the second rise. The dough balls will be about an inch or two short of the top of the Bundt pan when finished.

9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is bronzed and caramelized, about 30 minutes.

10. Remove from the oven, and cool in the pan for 5 MINUTES, then turn out onto a platter and allow it to cool slightly. Flipping your Bundt pan onto a plate after five minutes is very important. If you let it sit any longer, the caramel cools and hardens, making it quite and ordeal getting your bread out of the pan!

11. For the glaze: While the bread cools, mix the powdered sugar, milk, and syrup in a small bowl until the lumps are gone. Drizzle the glaze over the monkey bread, letting it run over top and down the sides of the bread. Serve warm.

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