Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Loaf AND Monkey Bread

So today I am blogging two different bread treats made with one bread recipe.
It is my Portuguese sweet bread recipe (or Pao Doce) that I perfected a few years back. I use it anytime I want a sugary bread cinnamon buns.
Sue made it into the most delicious monkey bread and I made it into the cinnamony sugary pull apart loaf that was also delicious.
Basically, once you have made the dough you can shape it or create whatever you like with it.
Well...within reason....
I'm not sure you could make a lifesize dinosaur out of it.

Portuguese Sweet Bread (Pao Doce)

2 pkgs active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup very warm water (110 - 120 degrees)
1 cup very warm milk (Scalded, then cooled a bit)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 - 6 cups of flour
1 tbsp oil

Dissolve yeast in warm water ina large bowl. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, butter, and 3 cups of flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).
Grease a large bowl with the Tbsp of oil.
Put dough into the bowl and turn over to coat with oil. Let rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
At this point you can shape it however you would like. When you are done - cover and let rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 350 and bake until golden brown, depending on size and shape, usually between 30 - 45 minutes.

To make the MONKEY BREAD

Additional Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I believe Sue used salted peanuts)

Grease a pundt pan generously with butter. Set aside.
Place melted butter in a small bowl. Set aside.
Place brown sugar and cinnamon in another small bowl. Set aside. 
After the dough has finished its first rise, punch it down to deflate it. Pull off ping pong sized balls of dough. Roll each ball in the melted butter and then in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Place the balls in the bottom of a well greased bundt pan. When the bottom of the pan is covered, sprinkle with half of the chopped nuts. 

Repeat this again for a second layer.  Top with remaining chopped nuts. If you have a bit of brown sugar leftover in your bowl you can throw that on there too!
Note - Sue has also made this with a handfull of homemade granola thrown in there instead of the nuts. You can pretty much throw in whatever topping you like.

Cover bundt pan with a tea towel and let rise for about an hour (until doubled in size).
Preheat oven to 350. Bake until dark golden brown (about 30 - 45 minutes). 

Looks delicious, right? I think the best way to enjoy this is warm but I can choke it back cold. You's tough but someone has to do it.

To make the Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

Additional Ingredients
1 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Melt butter in a small bowl. Set aside.
Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. I won't give you sizes here because you can use basically whatever size you want to. Just make sure when you cut the strips they are the same width as the pan.
After the dough has finished its first rise, roll it out to about a 20 X 12 size rectangle. Using a pastry or basting brush, generously spread the butter over the dough.
Evenly distribute the sugar mixture over the butter. (Yup, use it all!) Cut into 6 strips, trying to make them as even as possible. (Total conformity is not necessary)

Next - carefully stack the 6 strips on top of one another.

Now - cut this stack into equal portions. (This is where you cut them to the width of your pan)

Carefully place into your prepared pan until full. There should be a little wiggle room for the dough to rise.
Cover and let rise until doubled (about an hour).

Preheat oven to 350. Bake until golden brown (about 30 - 45 minutes).

Now, in case you didn't notice, both of these are pull-apart breads. This means they are perfect for when you don't want a whole big piece of bread. (Does that actually ever happen to people?)
This way you can just pull off as big a piece as you want with either the monkey bread or the cinnamon sugar bread.
I can't wait to try this with my other go-to bread recipe for savory breads. (See HERE for that recipe)
Can you imagine a monkey bread with bacon and cheese and green onions?

FYI - If you want to have the Pao Doce as it is traditionally served you simply let it finish its first rise, punch the dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a round, slightly flat loaf. Place each loaf in a greased, round 9 inch cake pan. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Heat oven to 350. Beat an egg slightly and brush it over the loaves. Sprinkle with a tsp of sugar. Bake until the loaves are golden brown, 30 - 45 minutes.
It is really, really good warm with just a little honey or jam spread on it.
Be sure to check out Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons for some great links!

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