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How To Make Great Monkey Bread
Monkey bread is such a neat invention. Think of soft, warm homemade bread baked with your favorite glaze. It�s really a pull-apart loaf, something that you can eat with your fingers or a fork and perfect for casual get-togethers. Each morsel of bread is coated with cinnamon, sugar, or another glaze. And it�s so simple�a great project with the kids.
Monkey bread is easy to make and doesn�t require a lot of precision. You have to wait for the bread to rise but there is not a great time commitment. And it�s a great kids� project. Kids love handling and dipping the bread pieces and it really doesn�t matter how it�s put together.
Think of monkey bread as a technique, a type of dessert, with supporting recipes.
The following recipe for Cinnamon Monkey Bread illustrates the basics steps and includes suggestions for great monkey bread. Recipes for more advanced monkey bread can be found at The Prepared Pantry (www.preparedpantry.com).
This is the classic monkey bread and a great starting point. It makes a scrumptious, very cinnamon laced dessert, snack, or party food. Because cinnamon is such a dominant ingredient, use nothing but quality cinnamon.
4 cups bread flour (more or less)
1/2 cup butter
1. Place two cups of flour in the mixing bowl of your stand-type mixer. Add the yeast.
2. Put the egg in a two cup measuring cup. Add enough water to bring the mixture to the 1 1/2 cup mark. With a fork, whisk the mixture until combined and then heat the mixture in the microwave to 110 degrees.
3. Add the warm water and egg mixture to the flour in the bowl and beat with a dough hook for about one minute to hydrate the yeast.
4. Add the rest of the flour, the sugar, salt, dry milk, and dough conditioner. Add the two tablespoons melted butter. With the dough hook and at medium speed, mix for four minutes or until the dough is well developed. Remove to a large greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled�one hour to 11/2 hours.
7. Lightly flour a work area on a clean counter. Press the dough into a disk. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into walnut-sized chunks. Dip the chunks in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place the coated chunks in a large bundt pan. After having placed all the chunks, if you have any left over butter or sugar, spread it over the dough. Cover the pan and let the bread rise until doubled.
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes or until it tests done with an internal temperature of 190 degrees. (Cover with aluminum foil the last ten minutes to avoid over-browning.) After five minutes, invert the bread on a large plate or serving platter. Serve warm.
� Nuts or fruit can be added between layers if desired. If you want to top your monkey bread with nuts, place nuts in the bottom of the pan since the monkey bread will be inverted onto a platter after baking. Chopped nuts were added to the monkey bread in the picture.
� Once baked, let the monkey bread cool in the pan for about five minutes before inverting on a platter. This gives the glaze a chance to set up a bit so that it does not run everywhere when inverted.
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