Dessert Dinner Sweet 'n' Savory Yeast Dough

Monkey Bread – 2 Versions

Found: Rachael Ray Magazine | September 2016 (Cinnamon-Bun and Cheddar Bacon)
Donated: March 2016 to Laramie County Library
Librarian Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars – This is Darn Delicious!
Skill Level: 2 out of 5 – Read carefully, cuz there’s a lot of steps!

The only monkey bread that I’ve ever made has been stuffed–same type of dough, but rolled out into little doughy circles and then filled with pasta sauce, cheese and mini pepperoni. Don’t get me wrong. ^That? Was delicious. But Rachael Ray’s version was different and SO MUCH QUICKER.

My boyfriend has been complaining that there’s too much carb action happening at home, so I decided to split a single recipe to make two versions that Rachael Ray offered… seriously, she had so many delicious options that it was worth doing (plus, if you’re home alone and want to try this? Or just want to make enough for two people? This is worthwhile). Lookit these flavors:

  • Zesty Orange (with a brown sugar orange sauce with orange zest)
  • Choco-Nutty Banana Chip (with a chocolate, walnut, and banana ship topping)
  • Chorizo & Chimichurri (with cilantro, shallots and peppery sausage)
  • Cheddar Bacon (with 2 cups of cheddar and literally a whole lb. of bacon)
  • Cheesy Garlic (with parmesan, olive oil and garlic cloves)
  • Cinnamon-Bun Fun (with a caramel sauce, sugar, and ample amounts of cinnamon)

I picked Cheddar Bacon and Cinnamon-Bun Fun…. because he wanted meat, and I wanted sweet. It’s the best combination.

The Recipe

Download a PDF copy here.

Basic Monkey Dough:

1 package of yeast dough (2-1/4 tablespoons)
3.5 cups flour, plus more for kneading
2/3 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 stick butter, at room temperature

1. In a small bowl, mix 2/3 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees) and yeast. Let stand for roughly 10 minutes or until bubbly.

2. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix flour, sugar, and salt. Mix in yeast mixture, eggs and butter. Mix until smooth, about 4 minutes (feel free to add more flour by the tablespoon-full if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl. If working by hand, add more flour in as you knead and it gets stuck to the table).

 

3. Transfer the dough to a buttered bowl; turn to coat. Cover; let rise in a warm draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1.5 hours.

4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Press down the dough. Pull off small pieces and roll into tiny balls. Make a ball pile.

Now… figure out your flavors!

Cheddar Bacon

1 package bacon, thick-cut, chopped
2 cups sharp yellow cheddar, grated
1/2 cup olive oil
3 scallions, sliced
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

5. Coarsely chop 1 package (12 oz.) bacon. In a large skillet, cook it over medium-high heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels.

6. In a large bowl, toss 2 cups grated sharp yellow cheddar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 3 sliced scallions, 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika. Toss.

7. Add the dough balls to the cheddar mixture. Pile into a bundt pan (if using the whole recipe) or place into a smaller vessel (if using a half recipe, a loaf pan or cake pan works great).

8. Bake until the bread is golden and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes (for whole) or 20-25 minutes (for half). Let cool 5 minutes. Invert onto a plate. Let cool 30 minutes.

Cinnamon-Bun Fun

1 stick butter, melted
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, melted

5. For caramel sauce, in a small bowl, microwave 1 stick butter on high until melted, about 30 seconds. Add 3/4 cup light brown sugar and whisk until smooth.

6. In a small bowl, whisk 3/4 cup sugar and 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.

7. In a medium bowl, microwave 4 tablespoons butter on high until melted, about 20 seconds.

8. Roll the dough balls in the butter. Then the cinnamon/sugar to coat. Pile into a buttered bundt pant (if using the whole recipe) or place into a smaller vessel (if using a half recipe, a loaf pan, muffin pan, or cake pan works great).

9. Drizzle with the caramel sauce; bake until the bread is golden and cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes (for whole) or 20-25 minutes (for half).  Let cool 5 minutes. Invert onto a plate. Let cool 30 minutes.

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