After I found a recipe online for Monkey Bread and made it for a newsroom brunch this week, my friend sent me her mom's recipe.
It's much more simple (and calls for biscuit dough, not for making your own yeast dough). And as I suspected, it has a certain technique to make it all the more caramel-y and crunchy.
So, to compare recipes and making sure Rob got to try Monkey Bread, I made more. I know, I know - that's a lot of butter to consume in one week. But hey, it's the holiday season, right?
Here's the recipe, from Pat Bluhm, through her daughter, Kristin Smith:
4 7-ounce packages of canned biscuits
2/3 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick margarine
Melt, not boil, brown sugar and margarine in small sauce pan. Cut each biscuit in fourths and roll in white sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place in greased Bundt pan. Pour brown sugar/margarine mixture over biscuit pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Cool slightly and turn onto serving plate. (Careful - may get messy and it's hot!)
I didn't have canned biscuits so I just made more of the dough from the previous recipe. But I tried substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour. This made the dough not-so-pillowy, but it was still OK.
The rolling the pieces in cinnamon-sugar is the secret to this recipe, and it's a lot less messy than dipping each individual piece of dough into melted brown sugar and butter. The mixture carmelizes around the edges of the bread, and it is so good.
Also, when you're cutting up the dough – kitchen shears are the way to go. It made the whole process much easier.
When I make Monkey Bread in the future, I'm using Pat's technique. It's definitely the way to go.