Chef John’s Praline Cinnamon Monkey Bread

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Chef John’s Praline Cinnamon Monkey Bread

Course: Breads, Breakfast & Brunch
John is our Regional American Cuisine expert, and his menus stretch from Maine Lobster Rolls to the BEST Southern Biscuits this side of Charleston. This latest incarnation of Monkey Bread is one of our new favorites, and we can’t wait for you to give it your own spin!
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup Buttermilk 260g
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Sugar 65g
  • 2 Tbsps Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Water 60g
  • 4-1/2 cups Bread flour 585g
  • 4 Tbsps Instant yeast
  • 6 ounces Butter 168g, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup Pecan pieces
  • 6 ounces Butter for the dough balls
  • 1-1/4 cups Sugar for the dough balls
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnamon for the dough balls

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand or hand held mixer, combine buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, sugar, honey, salt and water, mix well. Whisk yeast with flour and add to bowl and mix the dough until just combined. Let this rest for 6 minutes.
  • Using dough hook on medium speed, knead until elastic and smooth, at least 7 minutes not more 9. Gradually add pieces of butter to the dough allowing it to be fully incorporated before adding next amount.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic food wrap and set in a warm place until dough doubles in volume, about 60-80 minutes. In the meantime, generously butter a 10 inch Bundt pan or tube pan and sprinkle with a small handful of pecans.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl. The dough will collapse (totally normal)! Fold dough onto itself to make a tight ball. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Melt remaining butter and allow to cool. Mix sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Cut dough into 25-30 pieces, about the size of golf ball. (Smaller if baking in a muffin pan). Dip each dough piece into melted butter and then roll into cinnamon sugar. Place into prepared pan and sprinkle pecans between dough balls.
  • Cover with plastic food wrap and place in a warm area. When dough has gained about 60% in volume preheat oven to 350°F. Place in oven when ready and bake for approximately 46-50 minutes or until an inserted thermometer reads 200°F.
  • Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Allow to cool about 10 minutes (not much longer as it will stick to pan) turn bread upside down onto a serving platter.

Notes

I tell my students this dough is “nearly explosive” as it rises a lot… particular in the oven so be sure to use a nice roomy pan for the baking. Or make it in muffin tins. If you do, don’t fill much more than 1/2 way up with dough balls.
The dough recipe is a favorite for brioche, the buttermilk adds a tangy that makes it great for cinnamon or sticky buns. Make it without the vanilla and it makes awesome burger buns.