Monday, November 23, 2009

Monkey Bread

Do you know it? I've been craving it like crazy, and you'd think, given my slightly obsessive addiction to all things carmel-y and gooey and doughy and all, that I would be fluent in the language of monkey bread. But for whatever reason I have NEVER made it myself. Unbelievable, I know.

Anyway, I had to go on a hunt for a recipe which included wading through many, many imposters, the most offensive of which are made from canned biscuit dough.
Gasp. I know. Like a swear word...right?
And my grandmother used to make it using frozen bread dough (sorry, swearing again) which, obviously, I just could not abide, particularly given my recent obsession with all things bread baking.
So I ended up sort of punting and chose the all purpose sweet dough recipe from Mary Ann Esposito's book "What You Knead" , a sauce borrowed from Alton Brown's recipe, and the trick of dipping the dough blobs in water (instead of butter, which IIRC is what my grandmother used to do) stolen from the King Arthur website before rolling in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar and tucking into the tube pan I had to buy just for the occasion.
Because even with the insane amount of kitchen real estate devoted to baking at my house, I have not been in possession of a tube pan since sometime back in the 80's when my first one met with an unfortunate event and I never bothered to replace it.

Ah, the unfortunate events of the 80's. I know at least some of you will understand.

Anyway

monkey bread

It turned out beautifully, at least looks-wise. And the caramel/cinnamon/sugar component part was delicious, but I think I'll try another dough recipe next time. I was anticipating something that baked up fairly toothsome and chewy like regular bread dough, while the recipe I used produced a very tender almost cake-like dough. Delicious enough and surely right proper for a sweet dough, but not exactly what I had in mind based on my childhood memory. Still, it was pretty great, because as I've said, in my world it's hard to go wrong with any form of sugar and cinnamon and dough.

BTW, did you know that monkey bread has a savory version, too? I saw several recipes that called for herbs and cheese, and I think that sounds like something I need to try asap!

Comments:
Yes, I think you need to get on that savory version STAT.

Can you believe I have never even had monkey bread? I've seen many references to it and have always wanted to make it or try it but never have. Hmm, maybe I should make monkey bread for our Turkey Trot breakfast instead of pumpkin cinnamon rolls?
 
Hi! I just wanted to suggest using brioche dough. I used to work in a bakery and we made something similar to monkey bread with brioche, needless to say, it was delicious!
 
If it doesn't make your teeth hurt, it can't be Monkey Bread. You may need to come up with an alternate name for a savory version.
 
The "Sweet Potatoe Queens" do a savory version with parmesan cheese and bacon, among other amazing things. It's worth looking up.
 
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