Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Monkey Bread, With Whole Wheat Flour & Love

whole wheat monkey bread recipe

It drives me insane when a writer uses an exclamation point in place of a question mark. Everyone should know a sentence no longer makes any sense if it's supposed to have question mark but it instead is finished off with an exclamation point.

It is unnecessary to yell. You're asking a question.

It gets under my skin. I am the wife who went to college for words, the husband told everyone on Facebook after he beat me at Words With Friends for the third time. So, there you have it: The misuse of the exclamation point drives me batty.

It is true I sometimes write in incomplete sentences, though I scold everyone at work for doing it. And I sometimes struggle with when to use a semicolon. (My solution? Avoid the semicolon. Write around it. Do whatever you have to do to get out of using one.)

It also makes me a bit crazy when I've had a regular ol' breakfast, a salad for lunch and (hot!) leftovers for dinner, and I'm left with not a whole lot to blog about. I guess that leaves me no choice but to rewind to Christmas Eve when the husband talked me into making him monkey bread for breakfast.

It was quite a lengthy process in which I spent about 45 minutes in my craft room with a space heater trying to get the dough to rise. (The recipe said the dough needed an 85-degree spot. Well, we keep our house at 62. What was I to do?) And the bread probably raised our blood sugars a whole lot more than we needed, but it was Christmas weekend.

It was doughy and sticky and cinnamony and sweet. Oh, the bread was good - definitely a recipe I'll make again, but possibly not again until next Christmas. (Let's be honest here, it was a labor of love that I don't often have the patience for in the morning.)

It is a keeper, though, for sure, and one I recommend you bookmark for future special occasions. You might even want to throw an exclamation point on that bookmark it's so good: A great monkey bread recipe!

It also just occurred to me that every paragraph of this post started with "it." Poor writing. How do you like that!

Monkey Bread
Idea inspired by The Mom Chef
Recipe, which I've slightly altered, by Cooking Light

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons quick-rise yeast
1 cup very warm fat-free or low-fat milk (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F)
1/4 cup very warm orange juice (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F)
nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup local honey (spray the measuring cup with nonstick spray before measuring the honey!)
2 tablespoons light butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar (I actually think I used about 7 Splenda packets instead of all this sugar)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons fat-free or low-fat milk
2-3 tablespoons light butter, melted

Spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached; mix until combined. With mixer on, slowly add 1 cup milk, juice, honey and 2 tablespoons melted butter; mix dough at medium speed 5-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. 

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

Combine granulated sugar (or Splenda), brown sugar and cinnamon in a shallow dish. Combine 3 tablespoons milk and 1-2 tablespoons melted butter in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk.

Punch dough down. At this point Cooking Light suggests dividing the dough, rolling the dough portions into 8-inch ropes, forming 1-inch balls and yada yada. I tried this for about five minutes before I got bored and decided just to pinch off pieces of dough and roll them into balls. It's your call.

As you roll the balls, dip them into the milk mixture, turning to coat, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Throw the balls into a 12-cup Bundt pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat procedure until all of the dough has been used. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over dough. 

Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, 1 hour or until almost doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden. Cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Place a plate upside down on top of bread; invert onto plate. 



  1. I have the same dough-rising issue in our house (heat is firmly at 62!). I just let mine rise in the oven with the light on and the door closed. That usually seems to be enough heat, no space heaters needed!

  2. I love that you incorporated whole wheat flour into the mix - a little less guilt for a sinfully delicious holiday. Yummy! (Sorry, one exclamation point was necessary. :) ) Happy New Year ~ Megan

  3. @jenic ... great idea! I think I'll put that tip to use in the near future.

    @Megan ... I don't mind your exclamation points. ;) You know how to use the question mark, so we're good. And, yes, I really enjoyed the whole wheat flour. The husband said he could definitely taste it, but I like the flavor, so I didn't mind. I guess if you don't like the taste of whole wheat this might be a problem.

  4. I am terrible with bread. I can't make it but I can't stop eating it. It's a very expensive habit! :)

    This looks fantastic! But really, I'm sort of reeling from your last post. Your husband made dinner? And it was edible? So impressive.

  5. Oh, Ameena, the husband made dinner ... with a whole can of jalapenos! I think the man was trying to kill me. Needless to say, he hasn't cooked since. He's on probation.

  6. I let it rise over night in the fridge and bake in the morning.


Thanks for taking the time out of your day to show my space a little love.


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