one man's ceiling
Sunday, December 17, 2006
  must. make. monkeybread.
i gotta bundt pan for my birthday a week and a half back. i love it.

love. it.

30 year anniversary reproduction of the original bundt pan in a thick non-stick cast-aluminum. i'd wanted one for years, could never justify the expense of a good one and couldn't stomach the disappointment of working from a cheaper, crappier one, and just let it slide.
no more.

no i could finally make the much-discussed, much-desired monkeybread.

essentially, monkeybread is a pull-apart yeast bread, a cake-sized cinnamon bread drizzled with sugar icing. i first saw it in a cookbook for kids and subsequently from martha, where the recipe i used came from. should you desire to make such a thing let me tell you, the aroma in the house is fantastic and you will want to bring an appetite and some tea along when it's time to eat. there are a few considerations before undertaking the making of the monkeybread:

1. bundt pan. accept no substitutes.

2. time. it takes nearly 3 hours from start to finish.

3. mess. clean as you go, as you will use many kitchen items in the process.

4. yeast. fresh is best, especially if you want a nice, light bread at the end.

and some notes about the recipe itself:

1. i hate using shortening, vegetable or otherwise. i understand in baking that ingredients can make a huge difference but margarine or butter works fine.

2. to hell with rubbing that ribbed pan down with shortening/margarine/butter, use a cooking spray all around. if you've got a spray that also has flour in it use that for turning out the dough into for the rising.

3. we're not that big into nuts around these parts, but if you're using them see if you can find some pecans that are already crusted with sugary sweetness. no harm if they're plain.

4. the recipe says a whole stick of melted butter to roll the little dough balls into, but i wound up using only half a stick and that seemed fine. i say start with half and melt some more if you need it.

5. it doesn't say to, but you might want to use a sifter on the brown sugar and cinnamon. or you can force it through a small wire mesh sieve.

6. use a whisk to make the icing. also, drizzle in a teaspoon of vanilla. a teaspoon of orange extract would work equally, though uniquely, as well.

i think the only drawback is the time. it would be great to wake up on a weekend morn -- a holiday weekend morn even -- to the smells of a nice fat ring of monkeybread, but who wants to get up at 7 AM to start working in the kitchen to make it? i'm not saying i won't get up early one morning and do such a thing...
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recipes and musings on food -- and anything else for that matter -- from a guy with a sticky brain who likes food. perhaps he likes food too much.

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