Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Overnight Monkey Bread

I was thinking about finding a new breakfast bread recipe the other day and wondered if I could make Monkey Bread the night before. I don't like fussing with bread dough on Sunday morning, and would rather not use refrigerated or frozen dough. I did a quick Google search and found quite a few recipes. Using one from Alton Brown as a sort of foundation, I created my own recipe and it was knockout. Not only was it a breeze to make on Sunday for brunch, but it was completely gone after brunch.

I made a milk bread dough on Saturday evening after I cleaned up the dinner dishes; it really only took about five minutes. I let the dough rise for about 60 minutes and then I put it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning (about an hour before I needed to put the bread together) I took the dough out and let it warm up a bit.

Then I put the bread together, let it rise for 30 to 45 minutes, and baked it when we were about ready for brunch. It was sticky and gooey and sweet, and with a homemade dough it tasted like pure goodness to me. If you want it to be ready to bake in the morning, just let the dough rise and assemble the bread in the Bundt pan the night before. Then in the morning, just let it warm up a tad and then proceed to the baking stage.

Overnight Monkey Bread

2 T. butter, softened
1 c. warm milk
2 t. yeast
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 t. salt
2-1/2 to 3 c. flour
3 T. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 c. butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. raisins (optional)

Place warm milk and yeast in mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
Add 2 T. butter, 1/4 c. white sugar, egg, salt and 2 c. flour.
Stir with the mixer until dough pulls together.
Knead dough (with a dough hook or by hand)
and add flour, a few tablespoons at a time,
until you get a soft dough, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Put dough in a greased bowl, cover with greased wrap
and let rest for about an hour,
or until almost doubled in size.
Refrigerate overnight.

Remove dough in the morning.
When ready to assemble bread,
grease a Bundt pan or ring pan.
Heat 1 c. butter and brown sugar in a saucepan
until butter and sugar are melted and bubbly.
Mix 3 T. white sugar and cinnamon in a bowl.
Pour half of melted brown sugar/butter mixture into Bundt pan
(keep remaining brown sugar and butter warm).
Break pieces of dough off (about a small golf ball size)
roll into a ball, roll balls in cinnamon sugar
and place in bottom of Bundt pan.
If using raisins, scatter half the raisins after placing
half the dough balls in.
After all the dough balls are in the pan,
sprinkle remaining raisins and
any remaining cinnamon sugar on top.
Cover with greased plasic wrap and allow to sit for 30 to 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place bread in hot oven and bake for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, remove bread from oven,
pour remaining brown sugar/butter mixture evenly over the top
and continue baking for 10 to 15 minutes,
until bread is golden browned and sugar is bubbly.

Remove bread, allow to cool for 10 minutes
and then invert on serving plate.
Slice bread or pull dough balls apart with your fingers.

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