From Tallulah’s Kitchen: Monkey Bread

From Tallulah’s Kitchen: Monkey Bread

Hello my fellow foodies, and welcome to October’s edition of The Listing!

This month, lovely readers, I would like to share with you another one of my lockdown baking projects. Many years ago, whilst travelling (remember that?) in America I was introduced to monkey bread. It is a sweet, gooey, Bundt cake made from balls of dough rolled in cinnamon. It is eaten by tearing off a piece – like a monkey picking at its food, hence it’s name! I am not sure we have anything quite like it in the UK but I knew once I tasted it I would have to make it myself. I have tried a few versions over lockdown, and my waistline currently testifies to that, but I think I have found the best balance of sweet doughy loveliness and sticky, nutty caramel.

Monkey Bread
60ml warm water
10g dried Yeast
1 tsp sugar
440g bread flour
180ml warmed milk
1 egg from happy and healthy free running hens
45g castor sugar
30g melted butter
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
300g light brown sugar
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
120g melted butter

Let’s begin by oiling the Bundt tin. Next, mix the warm water, yeast and 1 tsp of the sugar in a large bowl and leave in a warm place for the yeast to activate – after approximately 5 minutes bubbles will appear. When you have a good foam action going on, stir in the 100g of flour, the warm milk, the beaten egg, 3 tbs of sugar, 30g of melted butter, the salt and vanilla extract and mix well. Then work in the remaining flour and knead for 5 minutes. Now cover and allow to prove somewhere warm for 30 mins. While this is happening mix together the brown sugar and the cinnamon in one bowl and melt the butter into a separate bowl.
Turn out the dough and knock out the air with more kneading. Next divide the dough into small, walnut sized balls. So, now we get our fingers dirty- dip each dough ball first in the melted butter then in the sugar and then pop them into the Bundt tin not forgetting to scatter in the Pecan nuts randomly as you layer up. (Don’t forget that the dough will prove to double it’s size and will rise again on cooking, so take care not to over fill the tin, it might be worth popping the Bundt tin onto a baking sheet the first time you make this to catch any overfill escapees!)
Now leave the dough for its final prove until double its size. Then place the tin in the oven at 180°C for approximately 35 minutes until the bread is fully risen and a beautiful golden brown colour. Turn out onto a serving plate on removal from the oven, take care to avoid burning yourself on the caramel and allow to cool for 10 minutes before enjoying with a nice cuppa and your own troop of little monkeys!
Until next time dear reader…

Talullah Le Fey