Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Banana and Cinnamon Monkey Bread

A moreish sticky treat. I haven't worked out the calories and have no intention of doing so. There's no point - my maths isn't good enough to deal with than many numbers ! I'm sure this is absolutely tops of bad calorie charts.... Well - maybe not... it DOES have banana in it .. !?!
We've got a new, black silicone bundt mould just come in as part of our Daily Use Range. It's actually just the same as the blue one we already do - but a more practical colour to blend in with traditional bakeware. What better excuse to make a new treat. I took it to work yesterday, and it's life was short lived. Staff and customers soon ripped it to shreds, devouring and savouring every gooey cinnamon mouthful.
I'd seen recipes for Monkey Bread before - but never had a go. It seems to be a popular American treat and most make it with a premade dough stuff that you buy from the supermarket chiller cabinet... I don't think you can get that here in the UK, and I can't believe it's anywhere as good as a fresh homemade dough without preservatives.
Weird name - but it seems to be because you pick and pull at the balls of dough just like a monkey would. It's like a kind of tear and share bread
So - I had a go myself and created the recipe below. It's kinda like Cinnabon - but 100x better
INGREDIENTS - for the dough
500g strong bread flour
1.1/2 teaspoons sale
1 sachet of fast (breadmaker) yeast
200g (peeled weight) mashed bananas
2 tablespoons of sugar
50g of melted butter
250ml lukewarm water
For the coating
1 cup soft light brown sugar
1 cup soft brown sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons mixed spice
125g butter - melted
Basically, put all dough ingredients in a big bowl and bring together with a fork. Turn out and knead until Gluten develops and the dough becomes silky.
As you can see from the photo below, this is a really sticky dough and a bit on the wet side. My pastry cutter from Lakeland is a god-send for sticky doughs like this as it makes it easy to scrape it back up off the work tops and get into a ball. If you really struggle with it, you could add a bit more flour... but it IS a loose dough. Alternatively, make it in a mixer with a dough hook if you have one

Once the dough is well kneaded and very pliable, put it back in the bowl and cover with clingfilm until doubled in size.

When the dough has risen, knock it back and roll it out. I cut mine into strips and then into small cubes - about 3/4" and rolled into balls.
Dunk each ball into the melted butter and then roll in the sugar and spice mix. I found it easy enough to do 6 > 8 balls in the sugar mix at the same time.
Nestle all the balls into the silicone bundt mould. It'll be a little over half full. Cover in plastic and put in a warm place for at least an hour until doubled in size.
I actually had my oven on when I was making this, so I shoved it on a rack in the top oven (switched off). It rose and rose and rose - and then rose more in the oven. About 8 of the dough balles ended up cascading over the mould as it was a little too full - but no harm was done.
Do note that the bundt mould needs to be used on a baking tray. Here is mine ready to go in the oven. My husband think it looks like brains !

Shove it in the oven at 180deg C (fan) for 30 mins. The base should be crispy.
Leave to cool for 10mins after taking out - the syrupy stuff will be ever so hot - so let it cool before turning out or you could burn yourself.
I pulled the edges of the mould away from the monkey bread to check it was free (no problem there)
Put a plate over the top of the mould and turn the whole lot upside down.

This mould was NOT greased or oiled in any way.
I gave it a little wiggle and a push and squeeze from the top. The Monkey Bread released easily

It would have been really nice as it was, but to take it to another level - I smothered in in great dollops of cream cheese icing.
Sorry - I don't have the volumes for the icing. Just 100g cream cheese plus icing sugar until a nice this consistency. I then zapped it in the microwave for 10 seconds to get a dropping consistency. If you do this, don't let it stand about for long afterwards as the icing starts to set fairly rapidly. Finished picture at the top.
Serve when still warm - though was perfectly edible the next morning :-)

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