Thursday, April 4, 2013

Bubble Bread

Oh, I am so ready for some baked goods!!  I know, it's only one week a year, but that's an entire food group, plus legumes and corn.  And I don't like matzoh.

Not sure where this inspiration came from.  It came a day after the Taco Bell Breakfast Crunchwrap dream.  Yes, that's how much I was missing chometz and bacon.  I got one of them with the freebie coupon, but this was a wonderfully yeasty teatime treat that kept me from buying donuts.

Whether you call it Monkey Bread or Bubble Bread, it's dough rolled into balls and baked so you can pull apart the pieces.  You can make it with refrigerated biscuit dough like Grands, and it doesn't have to be sweet.  We're doing a version at work with garlic butter and asiago cheese.  You could do chocolate instead of cinnamon.  The dough here is neutral, with just a tiny bit extra sugar to make the dough mature overnight with a richer taste.

I did a half-recipe for my practice and the photo so I wouldn't eat too much.  You actually have to double the recipe below to use a packet of yeast and it would fill a Bundt pan.  That definitely makes this a party item or something to serve a large family.

1 C milk, 100ºF
1/2 C butter, divided, plus more for pan
3/4 C sugar, divided
*1 tsp yeast
3 C flour
1 tsp salt
*2 Tb cinnamon

1.  Stir butter and 1/4 C sugar into warm milk.  Butter does not need to melt.  Stir in yeast and allow to proof until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2.  Stir together salt and 1 C flour in stand mixer with paddle.  Add milk mixture and beat into a batter, about 2 minutes.  Add another cup of flour and beat again 2 minutes into a thick batter or runny dough.

3.  Using about half of the remaining cup of flour, liberally dust work surface.  Turn out dough onto board and knead into a soft dough, adding as little flour as necessary to provide stability.  You probably won't use the whole cup.  When dough is smooth, pull into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hr.

4.  Punch down dough and let rest 10 minutes.  During that time, heavily butter a loaf pan.  In one small bowl, stir together remaining 1/2 C of sugar and the cinnamon.  In another small bowl, melt remaining 1/4 C butter.

5.  Chop up dough into small pieces.  Remember, something that looks "bite-sized" is going to grow when you proof it.  Coat each piece in butter, then in cinnamon sugar.  Place in loaf pan.  The bottom layer does not need to touch each other or the edges of the pan, and subsequent layers can just be tossed on.  All the spaces will fill eventually.  Sprinkle top with any remaining sugar.  The dough can either be proofed now, or covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 12 hours.  This second method gives the dough time to mature and will result in a slightly different texture.

6.  When ready to proof, remove plastic wrap and set in warm place for 45 minutes, or until doubled.  Bake at 350º for 35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.  Let sit in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto serving plate before the sugar hardens and you can't get the loaf out.  (I skipped this step and ended up with just bubbles.  The butter needs to cool enough to make everything stick together.)  Serve warm or cooled, and just let everyone pull pieces off as they wish.

Makes 1 standard loaf, about 8 servings

Difficulty rating :-0

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