Remember Monkey Bread? This is a good project if you happen to have a house full of monkeys home for a snow day (just me?). There is more dough here than you need – if you don’t have eager helpers who like to play “bake-off” with extra dough (just me again?), you can half the recipe and it will be A-OK (use 2 tsp yeast). The bread is my favorite Japanese Milk Bread from New York Times – it is so good.
- Tangzhong starter:
- 45g bread flour
- 120 ml whole milk
- 650g bread flour
- 120g sugar
- 3 1/4 tsp quick-rise yeast
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 eggs
- 240ml whole milk
- 8 TBSP softened butter, cut into tablespoons
- Butter and Cinnamon Sugar mix:
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 TBSP cinnamon
Make Tangzhong – In a small saucepan, combine flour and milk. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until very thick. Set aside to cool.
In stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, and yeast. Whisk eggs, milk and salt together in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add to the flour mixture and stir. Add tangzhong starter and knead for 5 minutes, until the dough comes together.
Add the softened butter and knead for another 10 minutes – it will take awhile for the butter to incorporate.
Grease a large bowl, place dough in the bowl and cover to let rise for 1 hour.
Melt the additional stick of butter. In another small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large bundt pan.
Turn dough out onto work surface. With a bench scraper, cut dough into quarters. Give a quarter of the dough to the dirty little hands that are milling around your work surface. Cut the remaining quarters up into small pieces – about 8-10 per quarter. Roll the pieces into a rough ball, pinch it, dip it in butter, roll it in cinnamon sugar, then toss it in the bundt pan. Repeat until the bundt pan is 2/3 full. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and let rise for 30-40 minutes.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
Let rest 5 minutes before turning out onto a platter. Invite the monkeys to tear and share.