I’ve discovered that my friends and family members know me quite well, because for Christmas I received several baking-related gifts. I now have a super-handy cupcake carrier, a wonderful cake carrier, THREE cake stands, and an extra bowl for my KitchenAid mixer, among other goodies. I also got a mini bundt pan and am pretty thrilled about it.
Now I can bake up tiny treats like these adorable pumpkin cakes (which are two mini bundt cakes stacked — see?):
And it means I can try making mini monkey bread, too, which I’m pumped about.
Step 1: Find a recipe.
I’m going ambitious (a.k.a. homemade and time consuming) with this one, just for the heck of it. For the record, this recipe sounds plenty delicious — and QUICK — if you’re looking for an alternative option. (You can’t go wrong, I’m sure. I have yet to meet monkey bread I don’t like.)
But, after all, I also got a dough hook for my mixer (thanks, Mom!), and so why not give that an inaugural try, too, right?
So, here goes. Homemade mini monkey bread.*
*No need to be deterred if you don’t have a mini bundt pan. You can use a muffin tin instead!
Ingredients (for dough):
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 cup milk, warm (about 110 degrees)
- 1/3 cup water, warm (about 110 degrees)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (NOTE: This might also be labeled as “highly active yeast.” Go for that kind rather than the active dry variety.)
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
- 2 teaspoons salt
Ingredients (for brown sugar coating):
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted
Ingredients (for glaze):
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Grease your baby bundt pan (really well — get in all those nooks and crannies!) and set aside.
- In a large measuring cup, mix together the milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Mix the flour and salt together in a mixer fitted with dough hook attachment (which I now have — wahoo!).
- Turn the machine to low and slowly add the milk mixture. After the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth (6 to 7 minutes). If you think the dough is too wet, add 2 tablespoons flour at a time and mix until the dough comes together (it should still be on the sticky side, just not overly wet).
- Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat lightly with the cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled (1 to 2 hours). (Trick! If you want to speed things up a little, place the covered dough into a 200-degree oven and it will rise much faster.)
- For the sugar coating, while the dough is rising, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Place the melted butter in a second bowl and set aside.
- To form the bread, gently remove the dough from the bowl and press it into a rough 8-inch square. Using a knife, cut the dough into 64 pieces or so (I made mine a little smaller since I was going to be using the mini bundt pan and this recipe was for “regular” monkey bread).
- Roll each dough piece into a ball. Working one at a time, dip the balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into the bowl or pie plate. Roll the dipped dough ball in the brown sugar mixture, then layer the balls in the mini bundt pan. Be sure to pack the dough in tightly to ensure that the bread will stay together once baked (I learned this from experience).
- Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and let the monkey bread rise until it has risen 1-2 inches from the top of the pan (again, 1 to 2 hours). (You can use the 200-degree oven trick again if you’d like!)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around edges 12 to 15 minutes. Cool the monkey bread in the pan for 5 minutes (any longer and the bread will be too sticky and hard to remove), then turn out on a platter or large plate and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
- For the glaze, while the bread cools, whisk the powdered sugar and milk together in a small bowl until the mixture is smooth. Using a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the warm monkey bread, letting it run over the top and sides of the bread. Serve warm.
- NOTE: If you want to prepare this in advance (since it does take a while, and if you’re having monkey bread for breakfast or brunch I’m sure you don’t want to wake up four hours in advance to get it prepped), you have two options: 1. You can make the complete recipe — baking and all — and then, once the bread has cooled completely, wrap it in foil (don’t refrigerate) and then heat it up in a 300 degree oven for 10-15 minutes before serving. 2. Prepare the recipe through the putting-the-dough-into-the-pan step, but before baking cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to bake in the morning, pull off the plastic wrap and complete the recipe.