The Easter holidays are here, and that means I can make an abundance of Hot Cross Buns. We love eating Hot Cross Buns in our house. My hubby and I love the traditional fruit ones. The kids love the choc chip variety. But whatever delicious bun it is, we love smothering them with a thick layer of butter.
If you don’t know what a Hot Cross Bun is, it is a spiced sweet bun made with sultanas or raisins and is marked with a cross on the top. Traditionally it is eaten on Good Friday but they do start to appear in stores as early as January. You can read more about the tradition of a Hot Cross Bun here. We do resist the temptation and don’t buy them until it is closer to Easter. It is hard, but they are worth the wait.
Can you smell this amazing cinnamon sweet bread? If only there were a scratch n sniff screen.
This yummy treat is Monkey Bread.
I made this for my kids during the school holidays.
Have you had Monkey Bread before? It is balls of dough smothered in a brown butter sauce and cinnamon sugar then after it has been baked you cover it in a sweet, sticky vanilla glaze. It’s delicious, gooey and oh so good!
You need to prepare the dough for this recipe the day before, and you put it in the fridge. Overnight it rises in the fridge so in the morning you just need to roll the dough into little balls.
3 Tablespoons (45ml) heavy cream (or milk for a less creamy texture)
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir it around a bit and let it sit for about 2 minutes. Add the milk, melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes (using a dough hook if you have a stand mixer or using a hand mixer). By hand add enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. About 5 cups total.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Do not over-knead, which will yield a tough, chewy bread. The dough is ready when it is smooth and when you can poke it with a finger and it springs back. Form dough into a smooth ball and place into a large greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. I greased the bowl with cooking spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Make the coating: melt ½ cup of butter in a small bowl. Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon together in another small bowl. Set aside. You will use the rest of the butter, brown sugar, and vanilla later.
Spray a 10-12 cup bundt pan with cooking spray. I used a large baking tin and lined it with baking paper. Set aside. Punch the cold dough down very gently to allow the air bubbles to release. Pull apart pieces and roll into balls, about 1.25 inches in diameter. You will need 40-45 balls total, so be modest with their size. Dip each ball, one by one, in the melted butter and then generously roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat them. You may need more cinnamon-sugar depending how heavy you coat each ball. Arrange them in the bundt pan as you go. Cover the pan and allow dough balls to rise again for about 45 minutes at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 180°C/150°C fan forced. Melt the remaining ¼ cup of butter and whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla until combined. Pour the buttery mixture over the dough balls in the bundt pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cover loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly. Cool for 5-10 minutes and invert onto a large serving plate.
Top with the glaze. Simply whisk all of the glaze ingredients together and pour over the bread. You may either cut the bread into generous slices or let everyone pick off the gooey pieces themselves. Monkey bread tastes best served on the same day, but will stay fresh for 3 days if stored covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
So what do you think of this yummy gooey warm goodness?
My kids were hanging around the kitchen waiting for the Monkey Bread to cool so I could drizzle it with the glaze. You just want to make sure the Monkey Bread has cooled slightly as you don’t want the glaze to melt.
Monkey Bread is a pull apart of sticky bites of goodness. We devoured this warm, and we found it was best eaten on the day. And just a little warning: there might be some licking of sticky fingers.