There was a monkey that got to the monkey bread first. He was about 6’ tall and drinking coffee. He had an iPhone, too.
(adapted from LA Times and Cook’s Country via Smitten Kitchen)
Serves several monkeys.
For the dough:
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp.) dry active yeast
1 c. warm milk
1/2 c. melted butter
3 1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Heat oven just until it reaches 200ºF, then turn it off. Put the milk in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in the melted butter and sugar. Add the flour and salt, mix until combined. (This dough comes together quite nicely.)
On a lightly flour a surface, knead the dough by hand for another 2 minutes. Form it into a tight ball, place in a lightly oiled or buttered bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit in the warm oven until the dough has doubled in volume, at least 1 hour.
For the dip:
1/2 c. of butter, melted
1 c. light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Butter a bundt pan, or another pan of your choosing. I don’t have a bundt, and instead used my favorite cake pan with a cookie cutter for the tube in the middle. Take the dough out of the oven.
Gently pat the dough into an 8” square. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into four smaller squares. Cut each of these into another four, even smaller squares. While you work, cover the rest of the dough with a towel so that it doesn’t dry out.
Roll the squares into balls. Dip them one at a time, first in the melted butter, then in the cinnamon sugar, and place in pan. Starting around the tube, fill the bottom with concentric circles. Build the next layer on top of the seams of the previous layer.
Cover the pan and place in the barely warm oven. Let rise for at least another hour. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Unwrap the pan and bake until puffy and a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then carefully unmold upside-down on a plate.