Monkey bread

Monkey bread

By
From
Sweet
Serves
8-10

This is one of my favourite recipes in the book. I first came across monkey bread in the Dumbo (‘Down Under the Manhattan Bridge’) district of Brooklyn, a trendy part of New York, with modern apartments sprouting among old warehouses. I was staying with a couple who own a bakery, where they make this bread several times a day using their leftover doughnut dough. Eat this fresh from the oven with a cup of coffee, and you’ll soon understand why they can barely keep up with the demand.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300ml milk
500g strong plain flour, plus extra for dusting
75g caster sugar
5g fine sea salt
50g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
2 teaspoons fast-action dried yeast
25g fresh yeast
200ml maple syrup

For the coating

Quantity Ingredient
250g demerara sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
200g butter, melted

Method

  1. Place the milk in a saucepan and gently heat on the hob until warm to the finger.
  2. To make the dough, put the flour into a large bowl or a kitchen mixer with a dough hook, add the sugar and salt and mix to combine. Add the softened butter and beat until it forms fine breadcrumbs, or rub together with your fingertips if not using a mixer. Add the yeast to the warm milk and mix everything together to form a soft dough.
  3. If using a kitchen mixer, mix for 5 minutes on a medium speed until the dough is quite soft, sticky and shiny. If the dough is too dry at this stage, the bread will be dry when cooked; a tacky texture between your fingers is ideal.
  4. If you’re kneading the dough by hand, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead gently for about 5 minutes. Wash and dry your hands, then sprinkle the dough with a little more flour and continue to knead for a further 10 minutes until it is very pliable, smooth and slightly shiny – the dough should be slightly sticky, as above.
  5. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with clingfilm or a tea towel. Leave in a warm place for 1–2 hours until well risen, spongy and nearly doubled in size.
  6. Butter a 23cm savarin mould. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back with your knuckles. Knead for 1 minute then divide into 30–35 small, equal-sized balls.
  7. Mix the demerara sugar and cinnamon together and set aside. Toss the balls of dough carefully, first in the melted butter and then in the sugar-and-cinnamon mixture. Place a layer of them into the buttered mould. Continue with all the balls until you have two layers. Cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until the dough is well risen.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake for 25–30 minutes until golden brown. Drizzle the monkey bread with half the maple syrup before leaving it to cool in the tin for 2 minutes. Turn out onto a plate and drizzle with the rest of the maple syrup. You need to turn the bread out while it’s still warm or it will stick to the mould.
Tags:
James Martin
Saturday Kitchen
desserts
puddings
sweet
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