What a day! I am writing this in the early hours of the morning since my boys have been playing tag with who wants to sleep. Braydon had such a late nap this afternoon, he was nowhere near going to bed at a decent hour and because Cole went to bed early, he woke when Braydon decided to go to bed tonight! My goal was to have breakfast prepared the night before so that we could sleep in a bit and just warm our bread when we woke. I am still hopeful that we will get to do this, especially since Jeremy will be home and we will have no agenda for our day.
To make monkey bread, a lot of time is invested- but the end product is completely worth it. To save time, you can use pre-made dough from the store, but tonight I decided to let my bread machine do the work. I made a basic sweet bread dough by combining 3/8 c milk, 3/8 c water, 1 egg, 3 c flour, 1/3 c sugar and 1 1/2 tsp of yeast. I set my bread machine to the dough setting, with a 1 1/2 pound bread loaf in mind- after 90 minutes, my dough had been mixed, kneaded and had risen.
At this point, I prepped my space for rolling the dough. I melted a stick of butter in a bowl and in a separate bowl I mixed 3/4 c sugar with 1 tbsp cinnamon.
I used a tsp to measure the size of the dough pieces I was rolling. After I tore a piece of dough away and rolled it, I dipped it in the butter ...
and then into the sugar and cinnamon.
After each piece of dough was coated, I placed the dough into the bunt pan. I repeated this process until my dough was all rolled.
Braydon helped me dip a few times ...
It only lasted a few moments though, as he become more interested in eating the dough than dipping the dough.
Once you have finished rolling all the dough, the texture should resemble this photo.
Hooray! Now you have reached the BEST part! I love the caramel sauce. When the bread bakes, the sauce caramelizes and melts in your mouth. To begin, grab a saucepan and a whisk. I am a big fan of this whisk- it is heat resistant, which is awesome when using over the stove, but it also has the rubber balled tips which prevents scratching your pans as well.
Add 3/4 c brown sugar, 3/4 c butter and 1 tbsp cinnamon to the saucepan.
Over medium heat, continuously stir the ingredients until a syrup is formed. Bubbles will begin to form soon after, so make sure to keep an eye on it so the butter doesn't burn.
When your sauce resembles this amount of boiling, remove from the stove and let it cool for about 15 minutes, still stirring throughout.
Once the sauce has cooled, pour over the bunt pan.
Be sure to pour as evenly as you can, by doing so you are ensuring that the sauce will properly bind the bread together.
You are now ready to bake your monkey bread. Place on the center rack for about 40 minutes- until golden brown.
Once the bread is done baking, let it cool slightly. If you are too eager to turn the bunt over, the heat will cause the bread to fall apart and not hold together. After about 30 minutes, you should be able to turn the bread out.
The syrupy sauce will melt in your mouth and add great flavor to your bread. Enjoy pulling your bread apart, piece by piece!!