Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread
It's tradition at our house to eat Monkey Bread on Christmas morning. Every year we try a new recipe, some years it works... but most years it fails. Last year, I took it into my own hands, and it was a raging success. This year I remade it, changing it a little and doubling it to better feed our growing family (weddings and exchange students adding a few). 

I combined a couple of recipes I found plus a little improvisation of my own, and this is what I got. I healthified it a little (for my own conscience) by replacing some all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and almond flour, using coconut oil instead of butter (making it dairy free), swapping some oil with applesauce, and sticking with honey instead of refined sugar (for my diabetic father).

Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread
This monkey bread is the perfect amount of goo and sweet. It tears apart easily and doesn't stick to the pan (hallelujah). The applesauce gives it a little bit of apple flavor while also decreasing the oil and fat content significantly. It takes a little bit of prep time since it needs to rise once and each piece has to be rolled and dipped. In the end though, it's worth every minute.

Feeds 6-8 people 

Dough Ingredients:

1 cup lukewarm water + 1-2 Tbsp
4 tsp. instant yeast 
2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
2 large eggs
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. honey
1 cup all-purpose flour 
1 cup almond flour
2 cups whole wheat flour + more for kneading

Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut sugar
4 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey


1. Place 1 cup water, yeast, oil, eggs, salt, and honey in a medium bowl and stir well with whisk.
2. Add almond flour and all-purpose flour, stirring to blend.
3. Add 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1-2 tablespoons of water, stirring to make cohesive dough. Let the dough sit for 5 minutes; this gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquid, making it easier to knead.
4. Knead the dough, adding extra flour to keep dough from sticking, until it's soft and smooth.
5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, spray the top of dough, then cover with cling wrap and place in warm place. Let the dough rise for 25 to 40 minutes, till it's doubled in size.
6. Mix topping while dough is rising. Combine cinnamon and coconut sugar in a small bowl. In another bowl, whisk together applesauce, melted coconut oil, and honey. 
7. Gently deflate the dough, and place it on a clean, lightly greased work surface. Roll it into pieces about 1 1/2 inches in diameter; you'll make 45 to 50 pieces.
8. Lightly grease a Bundt pan. Dip each piece in honey-oil mixture, and then roll it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat.
9. Place the pieces in the prepared pan. Pour remaining liquid over top of dough. (It will be soupy; use it all)
10. Cover the pan, and let the bread rise for 30 to 60 minutes, till it's visibly puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
11. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350°F. You may need to cover with foil after 25. Invert pan on plate immediately and serve warm.

** If making ahead and baking the next day, cover pan with cling wrap and place in fridge after step 10. Dough will rise a little overnight. The next day, preheat oven and let dough sit for 20 minutes on counter before baking.