I've been having fun thinking up yummy things to bake and cook for Easter... Today I decided to use my hot cross bun dough to make Monkey Bread! My mum used to make this for us when we were kids (but not with hot cross bun dough). I often asked for it for my birthday cake. I mean, you just can't beat a pull-apart bread made of soft yeast bread, all stuck together with sticky cinnamon-sugar goo - chewy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside! Mmmmmm...
Most of the Monkey Bread recipes I looked at on the internet used dough which was rolled in cinnamon and sugar, then placed in a bundt tin, and a syrup made of brown sugar and butter was poured over. I thought this was a bit of a 'sugar over-kill', so I made it the way I remember Mum making it, rolling each piece in melted butter, then in cinnamon and sugar. It makes it's own sticky syrup as it cooks, and uses way less sugar!!
I did try to make my version of Monkey Bread as healthy as I could - I used Rapadura instead of sugar, lots of cinnamon (I love cinnamon, and it's good for you!), and homemade butter... but if you can't have butter you could use ghee. Or for a lower fat, dairy free version, just roll the dough balls in warm rice-almond milk, then in the cinnamon and Rapadura. You can even use a mixture of warm milk and butter if you like.
Monkey Bread made in a small loaf tin
Okay, so here's how to make Monkey Bread:
1. Make a batch of Hot Cross Bun Dough, but leave the Rapadura (or sugar) out - you won't need it, since it's going to be rolled in Rapadura anyway. Or if you like you can just use plain bread dough. (I make my dough wheat and dairy free, but you can use just a regular hot cross bun recipe if you want to.) Let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size.
2. Melt about a cup of butter or ghee in the Thermomix at 80 degrees, 2 minutes, speed 2 (or until all melted). Pour into a bowl. [If using rice-almond milk instead of butter, warm it up a little.]
3. Prepare tins by greasing with a little butter/ghee. I used 6 mini Bundt tins, and 1 loaf tin. You could use 2 loaf tins, or 1 big Bundt tin.
4. In another bowl, mix together about a cup of Rapadura and 2-3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
5. Pinch off small pieces of dough, roll them into balls, and roll them in the melted butter (and/or milk)...
... then in the cinnamon-Rapadura mixture.
6. Place the balls into the prepared tins, using smaller balls to fill in spaces. Only fill half full, or they'll overflow a bit like mine did! Oops!
7. Drizzle with any remaining butter/ghee/milk...
... then let them rise until they're nearly at the top of the tin.
8. Place in a cold oven and turn it on to 180 degrees C, and cook for about 30 minutes (depending on how big the tins are you're using). They should be nicely browned when done.
(Mine were a little too full!)
9. Let them cool for about 5 minutes, then tip them out, upside down, onto a plate.
(But be careful not to burn yourself because
you can't wait til they cool down!!)