Pumpkin Monkey Bread

Nov 17th

A seasonal hybrid! If this monkey bread recipe and these pumpkin cinnamon rolls had a baby, this is what it would be. “Pull-aparts” are wonderful because it’s nearly impossible to gauge how much you’re eating, which means you can’t feel guilty. Hey that’s my theory and I’m going with it. 

I made this for dinner club brunch; I thought about what I’d like to wake up to in an ideal world. Everyday I’d like a gigantic pot of brewed, Starbucks coffee and a serving plate full of monkey bread. And a side of dark chocolate. This came out of the oven just minutes before everyone walked in, and it disappeared before the meal was done. I say it serves 8 because that’s how many people ate it; it’s probably more accurate to say it serves 12.

More on yeast, since you know it’s a fave topic of mine. Usually dough rises twice. Once in a ball, and once after it’s been shaped (into rolls, pull apart bread, loaves, etc). Most recipes call for a rise time of 1.5-2 hours at room temperature for both rises. Warmer air makes dough rise faster, and cooler air makes it rise slower. At any point in either rise time, you can put the dough in the fridge. It won’t die; it continues to rise at a VERY slow pace. Usually I do the first rise on the countertop and the second rise in the fridge. I leave it in the fridge anywhere between 3 and 48 hours, and let it sit at room temp about 1 hour before baking. Hope that helps!

Pumpkin Monkey Bread

Serves 8

Dough

1 c. milk (whole or 2%)

2 tbsp. sugar

1 package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp.)

4 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 c. pumpkin puree

1 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil

Coating

1 stick butter, melted

1 c. sugar

1 c. brown sugar

1 heaping tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/8 tsp. salt

Glaze

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tbsp. butter, melted

1 tbsp. milk

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer (or large mixing bowl), whisk milk, sugar, and yeast. Let sit about five minutes. Whisk again. Make sure milk isn’t hot – it can kill yeast. It should be warm to the touch, about 11o degrees. 

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, salt and pumpkin pie spice. With mixer running on low (and dough hook attached), add dry ingredients a cup at a time until combined.

3. Whisk pumpkin and oil in a small bowl and add to mixer. Beat with dough hook on medium low speed for about ten minutes. Dough should come together into a ball after the ten minutes, leaving the sides of the bowl clean. If dough seems too wet, add 1 tbsp. flour. If it seems too dry, add a tiny amount of water.

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4. Spray a large mixing bowl with nonstick spray and add dough to bowl, turning to coat in oil. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and let rise, 1 1/2 to 2 hours at room temperature. Dough can be put into the fridge at any point – this will be a slow rise (up to several days). 

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5. Pull off golf ball sized balls of dough and shape gently into a ball. Melt butter in a bowl and whisk other ingredients together in a second bowl.

6. Spray a tube or bundt pan with nonstick spray. Dunk dough ball in butter and then roll in sugar mixture. Place in pan. Continue with rest of dough.

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7. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise in the fridge over night, or 1 hour at room temperature.

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8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove, let cool for several minutes, then turn out onto serving dish.

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9. Whisk glaze ingredients together and pour over bread. Serve immediately. Add powdered sugar if too wet, or more milk if too dry.

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