cinnamon roll monkey bread
We were helping a friend paint his new apartment and also move in, and I decided, not being the best (most patient) painter in the world, that I would make breakfast. One of the biggest hits was this cinnamon roll monkey bread. My Grandma used to make a huge batch of cinnamon rolls whenever she would come to visit (I mean every pan was used to make them) and we would have them in the freezer for months (maybe just weeks) after she left. My favorite part of cinnamon rolls is the last bite, the very center that is buttery and chewy. Well, this recipe makes a whole cake of the center bites.
1/4 cup warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 tbsp butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
extra soft butter, for greasing bundt pan
1. Sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over warm water and let it sit until it is frothy, approximately 10 minutes.
2. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium-low heat until the butter is just melted. Let cool slightly and then stir in the egg, sugar, and salt, followed by the yeast mixture.
3. Using a wooden spoon, move the milk mixture to a large bowl. Add 2 cups of the flour to the milk mixture and stir, vigorously, until the dough is sticky. Slowly add the remaining 2 cups of flour and mix until the dough is shiny and smooth. Add flour if needed, but you want the dough to be shiny and smooth and remove easily from the sides of the bowl.
4. Transfer the dough to a well-greased, large mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat out to be about a 1/2 inch thick. Cut into pieces about 1 inch squares and roll into balls (should be 1 inch in diameter).
6. Melt butter in microwave and set aside. Grease a bundt pan with butter and set aside. Once dough has been rolled into balls, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Dunk each ball into the butter and then roll in the sugar mixture. Layer the coated balls in the well greased pan. If there is any extra sugar or butter, sprinkle over top layer of dough balls. Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
7. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the pan from the fridge, remove plastic wrap, and bake for 3o-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the caramel is bubbling around the sides. Let the pan cool slightly (about 3-5 minutes) and then overturn on your serving platter. It is going to be hot, and caramel will be everywhere, but let it cool for another few minutes. It is best if it is eaten immediately.