Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays to cook and bake for. I love to cook and bake and have always felt that one of the ways I show love for my family and friends is through sharing food creations with them.
This year I decided that I would make breakfast for my little girls using a recipe that my mother used to make for her children when we were little. Growing up we always called it Bubble Bread, although today it seems to be more well known as Monkey Bread. I haven’t made it since my older two girls were probably closer in age to the younger ones. That’s been awhile! I knew I would have to get up pretty early to have it ready for breakfast, since I make the bread dough from scratch.
I know I have mentioned that during my childhood convenience type foods were not a staple in our home. My parents made everything from scratch when they cooked and baked. So, while most of my friends grew up with recipes that called for Bisquick or refrigerator biscuits, I grew up making recipes that called for yeast or baking powder/soda and flour, salt, liquid, fat, etc. I love baking bread from scratch and am thrilled that I can share the delicious taste, texture, and smell with my children and loved ones!
I did make a few modernizations or modifications to the recipe as I was making it. I tend not to use shortening in my recipes, so I added butter instead. Also, it called for me to scald the milk on the stovetop, and I heated it in the microwave. Below is the modified recipe for Bubble Bread / Monkey Bread.
- 2 Tablespoons quick rise yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- ½ cup milk
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 – 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ½ stick butter, melted (or more)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Grease a 9-inch tube pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add yeast to warm water. Set aside. In a large glass bowl microwave milk until boiling. Add 1 stick butter and stir to melt. Microwave at 20 second intervals if needed, stirring after each interval until butter is melted. Add ½ cup sugar and salt. Stir to combine and set aside to cool. When milk mixture is lukewarm add 1 cup flour. Beat well. Add yeast mixture and beaten eggs. Beat for 2 minutes with a mixer or 200 strokes by hand. Mix in remaining flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Place dough in greased bowl, turning once to cover entire surface with oil. Cover and let rise in warm place until double in size. Punch down, and re-cover. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Melt ¼ cup butter, or more, in a small bowl. Set aside. Mix ¾ cup sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Pinch off dough and roll into balls, just under golf-ball size. (You should get about 28 balls) Roll each ball of dough in melted butter and then in cinnamon sugar mixture. Arrange dough balls in tube pan to cover the bottom and start a second row. Sprinkle any remaining butter or cinnamon sugar on top. Cover and let double in size. Bake for about 35 – 40 minutes until golden brown. Cool in pan, on a rack for 15-20 minutes. Invert onto a platter or plate and remove pan.
My girls were surprised that I could MAKE Monkey Bread. I feel like I have somehow neglected them on this. I usually make cinnamon rolls if I’m going to make a yeasty bread delight for breakfast! I’m glad that I did this for them, and look forward to making these again… maybe for my grandchildren.
I do love sweet yeasty breads for breakfast, but this does take more time than cinnamon rolls, and is a little messier. Plus, there was no ooey gooey frosting to put on top.
I hope you have enjoyed this recipe from my childhood and take an opportunity to try it for yourself (or your loved ones)!