Friday, August 1, 2014

Greek Monkey Bread

Baklava meets monkey bread.

Cool and rainy, what kind of weather is that for the first day of August? It has actually been cool here all week, and this weather has made me crave
comfort foods. So today to combat the rainy day blues, monkey bread. Not just any monkey bread, Greek monkey bread, inspired by my love of baklava. Honey glazed, walnut studded, cinnamon sugar rolled balls of dough baked to ooey gooey perfection. Do I need to say more? This bread is made with the same dough used for the Blueberry Biscuits with Vanilla Glaze recipe. So, if you haven't tried those, this is your opportunity to get two great recipes for the weekend from one batch of dough! Or make two of these, one for you and one for everybody else :)

Greek Monkey Bread

For the Bread:
5 Cups All Purpose Flour plus generous amount for rolling dough
2 Cups Buttermilk *
1 Cup Shortening
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Envelope Quick Rise Yeast-dissolved in ¼ cup warm water-let sit five minutes
2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt                                                                      

For the Glaze and Sugar Coating:
1 Cup Roughly Chopped Walnuts
¾ Cup Honey
½ Cup Butter-1 Stick Butter
½ Cup Water
½ Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cloves-Optional
Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in bowl. Whisk to mix ingredients together.  Add shortening to flour mixture, cut in with pastry cutter, two knives or hands if you prefer until mixture looks crumbly. You will have some bigger and some smaller pieces-this is ok.  Make hole in the middle of this mixture add buttermilk and yeast/water mixture. Mix until dough comes together and moves away from the side of the bowl.
Dust counter top with a layer of flour, turn dough onto floured counter. Dust top of dough with flour, fold dough several times until is no longer sticky on the outside, adding flour as needed until dough has an elastic consistency.  Cut dough in half, wrap and refrigerate one half.  You can make up to this point and dough will stay good in refrigerator for up to three days.  Take remaining half of dough and roll (or press with hands) into a rectangle that is approximately twelve inches by twelve inches. Cut into thirty-six even pieces and roll into balls. Keep hands dusted with flour to keep dough from sticking to hands. Mix sugar, cinnamon and cloves if using. Roll dough balls in cinnamon sugar mixture.
Bring butter, honey, water and lemon juice to a rolling boil, reduce heat and simmer for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat to cool for at least five minutes.
Spray bundt pan with cooking spray. Layer sugar rolled dough and walnuts in bundt pan in three layers. Pour cooled honey mixture evenly over dough.
Place in cold oven, set to 350 degrees, and bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown.
Cool in pan for twenty minutes; turn out onto surface big enough to hold the extra glaze from bread.

*You can sub for buttermilk by adding to a two cup measure: two tablespoons vinegar and filling to two cup mark with milk, give a quick stir. I use this sub often in baking for buttermilk!

©Christy’s Cooking Creations. Please do not use my images without prior consent. Please link back to this post even if recreating and posting this recipe in your own words.

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