It’s monkey day people, so we should celebrate with some monkey bread!
Monkey bread, or bubble bread, is a pull-apart yeast bread that is usually served as a breakfast treat. There are many different savoury and sweet recipes floating around, but it is believed that the sweet version first made its appearance in American women’s magazines in the 1950s.
There are a few theories as to how monkey bread got its name, but none of them have been definitively proven. Some believe that it was so named because of its resemblance to the Monkey Puzzle Tree… I don’t really see the connection… Google it and let me know…
Others claim that the preparation gives the tasty treat its name because of all the ‘monkeying around’ you have to do to roll and coat all the little balls of dough.
The best theory for how monkey bread came into its name is the connection to playing with food in a monkey-like fashion. According to The New York Times: ‘Since monkeys are known for gleefully pulling at, well, everything, it makes sense that an audience-participation loaf should be called monkey bread’.
And monkeys sure do love getting their hands on food, especially if they live in habitats frequently visited by tourists and food-wielding guides…
Personally, I prefer cinnamon sugar monkey bread, but you can always spruce it up if you like by adding caramel, pecans or even chocolate chips.
Don’t be turned off the amount of time it takes to make monkey bread; the end result is so sticky, sweetly, gooey that it is worth the effort.
Cinnamon Sugar Monkey Bread
Recipe from Baking Bites. Check it out, there’s some great step-by-step photos.
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 – 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
- ¾ cup warm milk
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ cup butter (melted)
- Lightly grease a standard 25cm bundt pan with vegetable oil. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (all mixing can be done by hand, as well), combine warm water and yeast. Let stand for 2 minutes, until yeast is slightly foamy.
- Stir in 1 cup of the flour, along with the salt, sugar, vanilla, egg, 2 tablespoons of melted butter and warm milk. Mix well until the dough is fairly smooth.
- Remove the paddle attachment and put the dough hook attachment onto your mixer. Gradually add in the remaining flour, mixing at medium speed until the dough comes easily away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 3-4 minutes on medium speed.
- Remove dough hook and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar and spices. Place melted butter in a separate bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and push down gently to deflate so that the dough is relatively flat.
- Using a knife or a bench scraper, cut off small 2cm pieces. Roll each piece of dough between the palms of your hands to form a ball. Dunk each ball in the butter and use a fork to remove it and transfer it to the sugar mixture to be thoroughly coated.
- Place all coated dough balls into the prepared bundt pan.
- Once all the dough balls have been coated and places in the pan, cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap and let them rise for about an hour, or until the dough has almost doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C while the dough rises.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. The cooked monkey bread will spring back when lightly pressed.
- Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a serving platter. Do not let it cool in the pan for much longer as it might stick to the pan and fall apart.
- Eat immediately (or reheat leftovers), as monkey bread is best served warm and gooey.