monkey bread

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Hey guys, remember this thing from my Christmas brunch?

Allow me to refresh your memory: it involves soft, pillowy dough, lots of cinnamon and sugar, and a warm, gooey, butterscotch glaze.  Is that jogging your memory at all?

Good.

You know those dishes that just instantly transport you back to your childhood?  You smell it cooking and suddenly you’re eight again at grandma’s house rolling pieces of dough around?

This is one of those dishes.

I know we all love to do all the things and make things from scratch, but sometimes it’s nice to just take it easy, ya know?

When I was little, monkey bread started with cans of biscuit dough and cinnamon sugar, then over the years taking bits and pieces from other family traditions the biscuits evolved into bread dough and the cinnamon sugar got amped up with pudding mix.

I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it at first too.  Pudding mix?!?

Yeah, wipe that skeptical look of your face.  It works, and it’s not only “good” but it’s like, irresistibly good.

So good that your fiance may have an intense internal debate on Christmas morning about which is more important: eating monkey bread or your relationship.

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He may then stare at you in still in his pajamas, lured out of bed by the smell of baking cinnamon,  like you’re the meanest person in the world for telling him that he has to wait for company to arrive before he can eat it.

This may force you to remind him that the only way he will have monkey bread in his future is if you’re still around to make it.

All theoretical, of course.

Oh, and the best part about this delicious magical breakfast bread?  You can assemble it the night before and then just bake it in the morning.  Doesn’t that just beat the crap out of getting up at the buttcrack of dawn to make some fresh cinnamon rolls or pull-apart bread?

Yeah, I thought so too.  I mean, I love my family, but we all have our limits.

So make this and it can be your “easy” dish, or your only dish, no one will care how long it took (or didn’t take) you to make it because it’s so gosh darn delicious.

FH and I were still eating it like five days later and IT WAS JUST AS SOFT AS THE FIRST DAY.  I swear this stuff is magic.

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pumpkin pull apart bread

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Thanksgiving is Thursday, and I know that we are all very busy, but I just wanted to share this one recipe.

Just really quickly.

I’d been planning on making this bread for so long but have had a long succession of extremely busy weekends, and then… we had a stormy weekend that made me want to stay in PJs all day and do nothing but bake.

So I did.

So I’ll share just this one recipe and then I’ll let you relax and then I’ll relax too, because it’s almost Thanksgiving.  And we are all very busy.

Too busy to write, too busy to read, too busy to even think sometimes.

So don’t think, just look at this warm, cinnamony, pumpkiny, pull-apart loaf.

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Now, yes, I realize it’s CALLED a pull-apart loaf and we just spent countless minutes (ALL THE MINUTES!) slicing and stacking and cutting and piling, so it is only logical that the best way to eat it would be to pull it apart.  That being said, I assure you that is just as good, if not better, sliced.  That’s right, I said it, SLICED! Sliced just like a real loaf of bread.

In fact, I found slicing the bread to be a much more efficient way of stuffing the bread into my face.  I wish I had taken a picture of how pretty the sliced bread looked, but again, the face-shoving prevailed.  Plus your fingers get sticky with the sweet sugary insides (and outsides) and who wants to handle a camera with sticky sugar fingers when the other option is to lick the sweet sugary goo off of your fingers?  Not this girl, no sir.

However, that whole pull-apart thing is much better for acting like you’re going to have “just a bite” and walk away, plus it makes a darn good-looking loaf of bread.  I mean, sure you could save all that time and just make a “swirl” bread but then it wouldn’t look this awesome.  The outside would be boring, like plain bread.  As you can see, the outside of this bread is way awesomer than regular bread.

Shall we compare?

On the left you will see a loaf of someone else’s cinnamon swirl bread that I found by googling “cinnamon swirl loaf”.  I’m sure it is perfectly delicious loaf of bread on the inside, but how do you know that it’s awesome from the outside?  You don’t.  For all we know it’s a loaf of plain bread that is just masquerading as cinnamon swirl bread.

By contrast, the bread on the right is obviously awesome or at least filled with stuff, which gives it a much greater potential for awesome.

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To review: Left = Boring; Right = Exciting.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, slicing.

I sliced the remainder of my loaf and stuck it in the freezer, so that future Natalie & Fiance can have pumpkin french toast.

(Note: To this point I have continued to refer to my beloved Fiance as “BF” out of sheer laziness, plus I kinda think the word “fiance” sounds pretentious.  It does a little bit, doesn’t it?)

I’m such a thinker, always watching out for future Natalie & future Fiance and their tummies.

I was originally going to make a filling with some spices and pumpkin puree, but then I saw a jar of pumpkin butter in the pantry so I just went ahead an slathered it on.

And it was good.

So good.

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Of course, I couldn’t resist a bit of a glaze on top.  Apparently I’m on a glaze-kick though.

If that’s a thing.

I think it is.

I’ll warn you now that I’m not doing a Thursday Things for this week, because it’s Thanksgiving and that would just be silly… Hopefully this recipe will help to keep you company in my place.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:20]

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cpa bread

cinn pull apart bread I love cinnamon (especially cinnamon + sugar) so much it hurts. Not really, but it’s going to start hurting soon, once the diabetes develops and I can’t consume my current levels of sugar anymore. I saw this bread on Annie’s Eats and immediately started drooling all over my computer.

I learned a couple things here: First, my counters are perfect for pastry-rolling if I do say so myself. Second, my oven is rebelling. BF says it’s just jealous because it’s the only part of the old kitchen that remains. I told him we should upgrade then I don’t mind!  😉 Anyway, the oven’s uneven heat caused the outsides of the bread to bake much more quickly than the middle, resulting in a funny-looking concave mutant loaf. I also learned that mutant loaves of cinnamon pull-apart bread are still flippin’ delicious. Guess mom was right, you really shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

sad, little mutant loaf

This bread has all the flavor of a cinnamon roll, with none of the rolling. Okay, well there’s a little rolling, and some slicing, and stacking. But it’s so worth it, and once you eat the ends, every single slice in there is just like the inside of a cinnamon roll which, let’s be honest, is everyone’s favorite part. I totally should have made a cinnamon roll glaze to put over the top of this, or possibly as a dipping sauce on the side. Guess I’ll just have to make it again… Just gotta get this oven whipped back into shape.

 

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[ Adapted from Annie’s Eats ]