Monkey Bread

 

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If you love Hot Cross Buns, Monkey Bread is an addition to your Easter feasts that you’re sure to love!  Served warm, in the middle of the table, you’ll be able to pinch off balls of sweet, soft pastry that have been rolled in butter & cinnamon sugar!  Baked in a Bundt tin, it will be a centrepiece on your table that is sure to get your friends & family talking.

You can mix this up a bit too – add some cinnamon & mixed spice to the dough in step 1.  You could also add some sultanas or currants to the dough, so it’s more like a hot cross bun (see notes).  For a dairy free option, you can substitute the butter for coconut cream.   If you prefer a healthier Monkey Bread, check out Quirky Cooking for her Spelt Hot Cross Bun Monkey Bread.

The sweet dough in this recipe is a basic sweet bun recipe, that you can use to make things such as sweet scrolls, finger buns, add fillings or cover with icing or sugar glaze.

Sweet Dough Ingredients:
275g lukewarm water
2 sachets dried yeast (or 5 tsp dried yeast)
550g bakers flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp milk powder (optional)
65g brown sugar
45g soft butter

Ingredients for Monkey Bread assembly:
150g butter
100g raw sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice (optional)

Method:
1) Add all dough ingredients into your TM bowl, in the order listed in the recipe. Mix 40 seconds/speed 3.
2) Knead 8 minutes/dough setting. (it’s best to stay in your kitchen when using the dough setting, to keep an eye on your machine)
3) Transfer dough to a ThermoMat, wrap & let it rest/prove for 30 minutes in a warm spot, or until doubled in size.
4) Once proved, place the dough on your Thermomat or floured surface & knock back the dough with your hands.
5) To assemble the Monkey Bread, place 150g butter in TM bowl, melt 3 minutes/65 degrees/speed 2. Set aside in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, place sugar & spices & mix together.
6) Grease your Bundt tin well, with butter or non stick spray.
7) Pinch off walnut sized pieces of dough & roll into balls.  Roll the balls in melted butter, then in the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Place balls in your tin, making sure you keep the level of balls even around the tin.  Drizzle over any remaining butter.
8) Cover with a clean tea towel & allow to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes.
9) Place tin into a cold oven & turn on to 180 degrees.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.
10) Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then serve warm.

 Notes:

If you add sultanas or dried fruit to your dough, add them for the last minute of kneading (step 2).

 If you’re having trouble finding a warm place to prove your dough, pour boiling water into your ThermoServer & place your dough on top.  The heat that comes trough the lid will be enough to prove your dough.

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When you roll the dough balls in butter & sugar, keep them at an even level around the tin, as the top of this tin will become the base of your Monkey Bread. 

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This has been proved for a further 30 minutes (I just sit the tin on top of my ThermoServer full of boiling water).  Look how much it’s risen!

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The Monkey Bread has just come out of the oven & smells amazing!  Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes & then turn out onto a platter & serve.  This is definitely best eaten warm, as the dough is so light & fluffy, however, my kids have enjoyed a few balls of this everyday for the last few days.  It’s great as a treat or snack – even a few balls in the lunchbox. 

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If you don’t have a ThermoMat, use a stainless steel bowl greased with olive oil & cover with glad wrap instead. 

Parmesan Crusted Olive Bread

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I came across this recipe on a UK blog called The Thermo Queen.  Immediately, I thought this sounds really good!  I love parmesan cheese & I love olive bread, so it sounded like a match made in heaven to me.  I’ve made a few changes to the method of the original recipe & the result is delicious.  This is a great bread to serve when entertaining, as it tastes amazing I bet your guests won’t believe you made it!

Ingredients:
30g parmesan cheese, cubed
1 clove garlic
2 sprigs rosemary leaves
300g water
1 sachet dried yeast (or 2 tsp dried yeast)
500g bakers flour
1 heaped teaspoon salt
20 g olive oil
150-200g whole Kalamata pitted olives

Method:
1) Place parmesan into TM bowl, grate 8 seconds/speed 9. Set aside.
2) Without cleaning TM bowl, add garlic & rosemary, chop 5 seconds/speed 7.
3) Add water & yeast, warm 1 minute/37 degrees/speed 1.
4) In this order, add flour, salt & oil. Mix 6 seconds/speed 6.
5) Knead 2 minutes/closed lid position. Add olives, knead for 1 minute.
6) Remove dough from TM bowl & wrap in thermomat to prove for 30 minutes. The dough is very wet/sticky, so you may need to use your TM spatula to remove all the dough.   As the dough is sticky, to help clean the TM bowl, cover the blades with cold water, a squirt of dishwashing detergent & turbo 3-4 times.
7) After proving, place dough on an oven tray lined with baking paper & shape the dough any way you like. Top with grated parmesan cheese.  Below is my bread dough, prior to going in the oven.

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8) Place into a cold oven, turn oven onto 180 degrees celsius & cook for 1 hour.

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Notes:

This bread is put into a cold oven, so the dough has it’s second proving as the oven warms up.

Before cooking, you can shape the dough into any sale you like.  I recommend a long, thin shape, as the dough spreads out quite a bit when cooking.

If you love olives, use 200g, however, you can adjust accordingly.

Raisin Bread

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I now make this raisin bread once every week.  Trust me, once you try this, you won’t want to buy it from the supermarket anymore.    Firstly, this tastes so good & doesn’t compare to store bought raisin bread.  Secondly, this bread costs about $1.50 per loaf to make, even less if you buy your bakers flour in bulk like me.   It’s also very easy to slice & freeze, as you will see from the photo’s I’ve included in this post.   This dough is a little sticky, so you will need to give your blades a good clean after, so I’ve included a few cleaning tips in the notes.

Ingredients:
100g sultanas, soaked in water (and/or raisins, craisins or other dried fruit)
300g water
1 sachet yeast or 2 tsp dried yeast
20g olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
500g bakers flour
60g brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice

Method:
1) Place sultanas into a bowl & cover with water, allow to soak for 5 minutes.
2) Zero scales & weigh 300g water into TM bowl. Add yeast & heat for 1 minute/37 degrees/speed 1.
3) In this order add flour, oil, salt, sugar & spices. Mix 6 seconds/speed 6. Then knead for 2 minutes.
4) Drain sultanas & add to dough in TM bowl. Knead for 1 minute.
5) Transfer dough onto Thermomat & work into a ball. Allow to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes or until double in size (see before & after proving photo’s below).

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6) Pre heat oven to 200 degrees. Knock back the dough & place into a greased or lined loaf tin. Allow to prove in a warm place for a further 20 minutes.  See photo’s below how much the dough rises again in 20 minutes.

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7) Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
8) Allow bread to cool thoroughly, before removing from the loaf tin & slicing.  I will often leave my bread to cool all day or overnight before slicing.  Bread can be frozen in a freezer bag & slices taken for toasting as desired.

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Notes:

To clean the blade after making the dough, add some cold water to the bowl (enough to cover the blades) & a squirt of dishwashing liquid.  Please bowl back on your machine & turbo a few times.  This will release most of the dough.  You will find that you still need to remove the blade to give it a good clean though.  I use a baby’s bottle/teat brush for this.

You can substitute the brown sugar in this recipe with 60g of honey.  I prefer using the sugar, as the honey makes the dough even stickier & it can stick to the Thermomat & inside the bowl/blades.

To prove my dough, I simply place boiling water in my Thermoserver & sit my Thermomat on top.  The heat that comes through the lid is enough for proving.

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Hot Cross Buns (includes Choc Cross Bun variation)

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 These Hot Cross Buns are delicious!  There is not a great deal of difference between the Thermomix hot cross bun recipes you’ll find on the internet, but my recipe is a mish mash of the ‘Everyday Cookbook’ recipe & the Chocolate Hot Cross Bun recipe from ‘Devil of a Cookbook’.  The secret is letting them prove for at least 2 hours before baking.  You could even let them prove all day (the longer the better).   Ideally, you would make the dough in the morning, allow it to prove, shape the buns & allow them to prove again, then bake in the afternoon.  This would be a great activity to do with the kids on Good Friday.

To make Choc Chip Buns, substitute the sultanas & currants in step 3 with 150g choc chips.  I usually prove my dough in a ThermoMat on top of my ThermoServer full of boiling water (see notes), however, I don’t do this for the chocolate buns, as the choc chips will melt.  Instead, I’ll prove the dough in a warm place or in my oven that has reached 60 degrees then turned off.  Also add 20g cocoa & 20g water to the piping ingredients.

Bun Ingredients:
250g full cream milk
2 sachets dried yeast (14g) or 30g fresh yeast
500g bakers flour
1tsp sea salt
70g softened butter
50g brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
85g sultanas
45g currants

Piping Ingredients:
80g plain flour
pinch sea salt
5g olive oil
80g water

Syrup Ingredients:
40g water
40g caster sugar

Bun Method:
1) Place milk & yeast in TM bowl, heat 1 minute/37 degrees/speed 1.
2) Add flour first & then remaining ingredients, except for sultanas & currants. Mix 6 seconds/speed 7, then knead 5 minutes.
3) Add sultanas & currants, knead for 1 minute.
4) Transfer dough onto Thermomat & work into a ball. Wrap dough in Thermomat & allow to prove in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.

5) Flatten dough into a large square, approx 3-4cm high. Cut dough into 16 bun pieces.
6) Take each bun & pinch diagonal corners to the middle of bun underside, forming a rounded top. Place buns on a tray lined with baking paper & allow to prove & rise for at least 2 hours.

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.

Piping Method:
1) Place all piping ingredients into clean mixing bowl, mix 30 seconds/speed 4.
2) Pour into a piping bag & pipe crosses onto the top of buns.

3) Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Syrup Method:
1) Place water & sugar into clean mixing bowl, cook 2 minutes/100 degrees/speed 4.
2) Brush buns with hot sugar syrup as soon as they come out of the oven.
3) Allow buns to cool for 5 minutes, before serving, or transferring to a wire rack to cool.

I keep a container of sugar syrup in my fridge, that I use for cake & biscuit decorating using fondant.  Syrup will last for a long time in the fridge – at least a year.  For the hot cross buns, I just pour a little syrup into a bowl or coffee mug  & heat in the microwave for 20 seconds.  If you’re planning to make a few batches of buns, make all the syrup at once, to save you some time later.

Notes:

Adding boiling water to my thermoserver & placing Thermomat on top is warm enough for the dough to prove

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Disposable piping bags can be purchased at cake decorating shops or in the cake mix aisle of most supermarkets

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