It’s been almost a year since I made my first Monkey Bread (recipe in Spanish) and in the meantime, I’ve been reminded of how delicious it was and have been asked to make it again like… a million times? I lost count after a thousand… To be honest, after a new recipe on the blog every week, there’s not much room for chef’s specials (repeating an old recipe? quite an achievement!). But today I stopped counting; that wonderful scent and those smiles on their faces had to come back home. And this is how these Monkey Bread Muffins were born.
The round of applause could be heard all around the neighbourhood. Who could resist such manifestation of enthusiasm? Each bite is oh so rich, and tender, and full of subtle flavours and aromas that you wouldn’t want to put it aside, so after the first one, there will be a second one, and a third… Thus, if you haven’t tasted this delicacy yet, be sure it won’t be long before you resolve that little, inexcusable drawback.
Yeah, I know, I know, Christmas and all its beautiful extravagances are just around the corner and here I am trying to tempt you with yet another flamboyant treat. I’m afraid I can’t help it… But I’m not sure if there will be many more recipe posts this year. I’m considering the idea of slowing down the posts frequency during these coming holidays, so that I can enjoy every minute with my family and friends. Furthermore, this way I will be able to eat anything that happens to drop in my lap without the need to take a thousand pictures of it 😉
But don’t fret! I’ve got a few more deliciousnesses in store, so I’ll be around here anyhow.
And having said that, I leave you with the recipe. Enjoy your reading (I hope you don’t end up droolling all over the screen) and make yourself a bunch of these monkey bread muffins soon. You’ll thank me…
- 1 teaspoon (3 g) active dry yeast
- 2½ - 2¾ cups (325-360 g) all-purpose flour (+ plus extra for rolling out the dough)
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) whole milk, lukewarm
- 1 large egg
- 2⅓ tablespoons (30 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water, lukewarm
- 1 cup (220 g) light or dark brown sugar
- 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon (to taste)
- ⅓ cup (75 g) unsalted butter
- ½ cup (60 g) confectioner's or icing sugar
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- In a small bowl, melt the butter and set aside; it must be at room temperature the moment we use it.
- Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast and let it sit for about 2 minutes.
- Place 2½ cups (325 g) of the flour in the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the hook dough (or in a large mixing bowl). Make a well in the center and add the egg, lightly beaten, sugar, salt, melted butter, warm milk and yeast mixture. Knead at low speed for 6-8 minutes (alternatively, transfer the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 8-10 minutes) until the dough is smooth and elastic, although a little sticky by now. If it were too soft to handle it, add more flour, a teaspoon at a time, while kneading a little more until desired consistency.
- In case you were using a stand mixer, transfer the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with floured hands for a few more minutes. You will know the dough is ready when you give it a firm poke with your finger; if the indentation fills back quickly, you're good to go, if it stays looking like a deep dimple, continue kneading a little longer. Do not over-knead, which will yield a bunch of tough, chewy muffins.
- Form the dough into a ball and place into a large greased bowl, turning once to grease the whole surface. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1½ - 2 hours or until doubled in size*.
- When the dough is almost ready, melt the butter in a medium size bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together until totally combined. Set aside.
- Once the dough has risen correctly, transfer again to the work surface and very gently punch the dough down to release all the gases and air. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Roll out the dough with your hands into a square about 1-inch (2,5 cm) thick. Using a large, sharp knife (or even, a pizza cutter) cut the dough into 1-inch wide by 1-inch long strips. You should end up with a lot of small dough squares (I got about 70).
- Roll each square of dough into a ball (cover the rest dough squares with a clean kitchen cloth while you work). Now individually dip each ball in the melted butter, allow the excess butter to drain out from the dough ball and then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until totally coated.
- Arrange them into each well of a previously buttered muffin pan as you go, a little over the rim. Do not over fill, as the dough will rise a little more during baking and it might over flow. (Depending on the room temperature, you may need to melt the butter again somewhere along the process.)
- Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow your dough balls to rise again for about 40 minutes in the same way as before.
- Twenty minutes before this second rising is complete, preheat oven (electric) to 350 degrees F (180ºC) and place the oven rack in the middle position.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes until risen and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before unmolding.
- Let cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before glazing.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, sift the confectioner's sugar.
- Add the maple syrup and whisk all of the glaze ingredients together until smooth and thick.
- Pour over the warm muffins.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Monkey bread muffins taste best served on the same day, but will stay fresh for 2-3 days if stored covered at room temperature.
- You can still enjoy some tender monkey bread muffins after the first day; you just have to place them in the microwave at 50% power for 15-25 seconds (check every 10 seconds).
- As with the original version (in Spanish), you can add a bunch of chocolate chips to these muffins; ⅓ cup (55 g) would be enough as a starting point but feel free to add a few more to taste!