Wondering how this recipe got its very unusual name?
The monkey part was simply given to this bread because of the way it’s eaten – tearing off pieces of bread with your fingers – while the boozy part is the booze in the original recipe when you add bourbon to the caramel sauce.
This delicious Drunken Monkey Bread is the perfect dessert for your Heritage Day braai on Saturday.
How to make Drunken Monkey Bread:
For the brioche:
- 1 cup of warmed milk
- 1 tablespoon of instant yeast
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups of bread flour
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
For the Bourbon Banana Caramel:
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, diced
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 ripe banana
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- fine fine sea salt or fleur de sel
- 3 tablespoons bourbon (substitute 2 teaspoons vanilla if desired)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
- 1/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
SEE ALSO: Concert guide: Heritage Day events you don’t want to miss
To prepare brioche:
- Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pour the yeast into the warm milk and whisk until it dissolves and foams (if it doesn’t, your yeast is dead – start over with fresh yeast).
- Add the melted butter, sugar, eggs and salt and mix well. Slowly add 4 cups flour (leaving 1/2 cup AP flour aside) and mix until incorporated; switch to the dough hook and knead for 5-7 minutes or until silky and elastic, adding more flour as needed, until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl (it will still stick to much of the bottom of the bowl). ). This dough is more sticky, but in the warmer months you may need to add some extra flour to make it a little stiffer.
- Transfer the dough to a well-oiled bowl; also brush the top of the dough with oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning, take the dough out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before baking to allow it to come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Generously grease or spray a 12-cup pan with cooking spray. Postpone.
To prepare caramel:
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and stir until it begins to boil and the butter and sugar are slightly emulsified. Mix salt.
- Blend the cream and bananas in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add to the caramel sauce and stir over medium heat until it bubbles quickly and foams, then remove from the heat and add the bourbon, stirring gently until the foam subsides. Transfer to a heatproof container or measuring cup with a rim and let cool while you make the batter.
- Place the melted butter in a shallow dish; in another shallow bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. It should still be a bit cool to the touch and quite pliable like soft clay. Press it into an even rectangle, then, using a pizza cutter, cut a grid out of the dough, giving you 40 to 50 equal-sized pieces.
- Form each portion into a ball, folding the edges under itself to form a smooth outer skin. Pinch the seams to seal and roll between your palms or on an unfloured surface to form a ball.
- Roll in melted butter and then in cinnamon sugar; place in the prepared pan, distributing the balls as evenly as possible. Repeat until half of the dough is rolled out and placed in the pan. Pour about 1/3 cup of the warm caramel sauce.
- Continue to roll, dip and cover the rest of the dough and arrange in the pan. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan as the batter will almost double in size as it bakes, so you don’t want to fill the pan more than 2/3 full.
- Drizzle another 1/3 cup caramel over top. Place the pan on a baking sheet to let the excess rest, then place in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until bubbly and deep golden.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then carefully (the pan will still be hot) invert onto a serving plate. Drizzle with more caramel sauce and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Serve with more caramel on the side for dipping.
Monkey bread is best eaten fresh from the oven, but leftovers can be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and reheated in the oven or microwave before serving.
*This recipe was found at www.loveandoliveoil.com.