Fluffy homemade monkey bread with a crunchy sugar topping.
Proof yeast. Place the yeast, milk and 1 tsp of sugar in your mixing bowl. Make sure your milk is warm not hot, or the yeast won’t activate properly. Let stand for about five minutes, until the yeast has dissolved and the mixture has taken on a slightly spongy appearance.
Make the dough. Add 1/4 cup sugar, the salt, and 1/2 cup of the melted butter. Slowly stir in the flour (as opposed to dumping it all in at once) until you have a soft dough. You can do this in a mixer with a paddle attachment, or by hand with a large spoon (which is how I did it.)
Knead and proof. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough bounces back when you press your thumb into it. About 1 – 2 minutes. Shape into a ball and transfer the dough to a bowl that has been lightly greased with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Prepare toppings. Just before the hour is up, melt the 1/2 cup remaining butter and add 1 teaspoon of honey or agave nectar to it. Spread a fair amount of sugar over a large plate (about 1/2 cup) so that you can dip the dough pieces in it before baking.
Prep your tools. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray the insides of your bundt pan with PAM. Set aside.
Shape dough. Punch down dough, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and using a rolling pin, roll out to a thickness of 1/2 inch. With a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 2-inch squares.
Assemble. Dip each piece of dough in the prepared butter, then dip all sides of it in the sugar. Layer the slices of dough in your bundt pan. Work your way around the pan, holding up that first piece of dough with one hand to prevent it from collapsing. If it does fall over, it’s not a big deal, simply prop it up when you’ve worked your way to that first piece of dough. Eventually all the pieces of dough will support each other.
Second rise. Once you’ve filled the pan let the dough rise in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until doubled in volume.
Bake and cool. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes, then enjoy!
*1/4 cup for making the dough, 1 teaspoon for proofing the yeast, and 1/2 cup for dipping the dough
Keywords: fluffy monkey bread, pull apart bread, homemade monkey bread, dessert bread