I have one thing to tell you, before anything, and one thing alone. If you're on a diet, don't even torture yourself with this post. Because this monkey bread will make you lose ALL control on any weight-loss goals you have at any time before you make it. It's sticky and gooey and cinnamony and literally the best-smelling and best-tasting thing, maybe ever. I was dying while I was waiting for this to be done because it smelled so good. I wanted to grab it out of the oven early just to shove it in my mouth and burn all my tastebuds off and not care. But, I didn't. I did, however, not wait the required 5 minutes before tipping it over onto a plate and it may or may not kinda have fallen apart when I did.... But who cares! It was SO GOOD.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who is utterly amazed and feels like a pro when a yeast-based dough actually rises, right? I get so excited! This dough kept rising and rising and rising and it was glorious. I felt like the Monkey Bread Goddess, it was great. What wasn't quite as great was that my monkey bread bites rose so much that the top layer actually fell over the sides when it was in the oven... I'm being serious. I had to grab them with tongs and put them on a baking sheet so they could finish cooking. They were really good though, and perfect to hold me over til the real thing was done. I may have eaten one or two or four. It's okay. It's impossible to resist.
Now, the actual monkey bread was not to be believed. It's amazing. I have no words for it! It's like the squishiest dinner rolls ever, but coated in buttery cinnamon sugar. The sides are all caramelized and crunchy, the bottom (which was the top when it was baking) is super crunchy and sweet, and it's just perfect. I was drooling the whole time it was baking because it smelled so good. Make this! Please! You will be so glad you did. Life-changing, I tell ya.
Monkey Bubble Bread
Adapted from Baked Explorations
Yields: 1 overflowing Bundt of deliciousness!
for the dough:
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 packets instant yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
5 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
for the cinnamon sugar coating:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, melted
In a large measuring cup, measure out your milk. Heat for 20-30 seconds in the microwave til it's slightly above room temperature, then whisk in the yeast. Set aside while you do everything else.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, and salt until evenly combined. Beat the egg in a small ramekin, then add to dry ingredients and mix on low speed til combined. Keeping the mixer on low, stream in the milk. Add in the melted butter, and mix until the dough comes together. Exchange the paddle attachment for the dough hook, and beat the mixture on medium speed for 8-10 minutes until the dough becomes silky and slightly tacky, but not sticky. If it's too dry, add in a splash of milk. The dough should easily stay together and not stick to the bottom.
Take the dough out of the mixer bowl, spray the bowl generously with non-stick spray, and return the dough to the bowl. Roll it around a bit to make sure it's completely greased up, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let it rest in a warm place for an hour, until it's doubled in size.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.
Use clean hands to push down and deflate the dough a bit. You can pat it out into an 8-inch circle and cut 1-inch squares, or do what I did and just pinch out pieces of dough. Roll the pieces into balls, then place the balls on your prepared sheet pan. When finished, cover with plastic wrap. I let it rest here for a couple hours while I did other stuff, but you don't have to!
In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Place the melted butter in a separate bowl.
Spray a Bundt pan very very well with nonstick spray.
Remove the plastic wrap from your prepared pan of dough balls, and dip one ball at a time into the butter, letting the excess drip off. Then, roll it into the cinnamon sugar. Place it in the Bundt pan, and repeat the process til you have no dough left! Wrap the pan tightly with plastic wrap, and let it rest in a warm place for an hour or so, til the dough balls have doubled in size and are puffy.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Remove the plastic wrap, and bake the Bundt until the top layer is deep brown and crunchy, about 30 minutes. If it's getting brown too fast, lower the oven temperature a little (I did to 340F), or cover the top with alluminum wrap.
Let the bread cool for 5 minutes (HA! Good luck with that), then turn out directly onto a serving plate. Serve warm! Leftover (if any) should be reheated in a 300F oven until warm for maximum deliciousness.