Thursday, August 2, 2012

Strawberry Monkey Bread

I have been looking for an excuse to make another batch of sweet bread dough. You know, the dough that I used to make roasted banana cinnamon rolls a few months ago... I mean, not that I need a real excuse... But with everything else we make around here, it's good to at least have some kind of reason to make something else...

Then this morning I found my excuse. In reading through the most recent blog post by Lisa over at Parsley, Sage & Sweet, I learned that there's a new monthly bread baking challenge in the blogosphere. It's called Twelve Loaves and it was started by Lora over at the beautiful Cake Duchess blog. Lisa and Lora, along with Jamie from Life's A Feast and Lora's mom Lizzie from food and thrift have come together to host a delicious bread baking challenge that inspired me immediately. 

The theme for this inaugural Twelve Loaves challenge, combined with my desire to try something new with my sweet dough, came together deliciously today. The theme that they chose was Summer Fruit. Yup - all of that delicious fruit that is extra sweet and perfectly fresh this time of the year, baked into any kind of bread (quick or yeasted) was fair game.

And guess what I just bought yesterday?

Two pounds of bright, beautiful and perfectly sweet strawberries.

So the only thing left to figure out was the best way to combine these beautiful berries with the sweet dough I'd been itching to make. I didn't want to to cinnamon rolls again, so my next thought was the keeper - monkey bread.

(note - I thought I was being kind of original with this idea. Then, during one of the dough's rise times, I googled "strawberry monkey bread" and learned that I wasn't all that original after all... that being said, while I pretty much followed my own thoughts as far as creating this bread, I did see this beautiful post, which only served to confirm my decision to proceed as I'd wanted to...!)

While I cut the strawberries, little miss mixed up some cinnamon sugar for me.

We then worked together to roll small balls of the dough in the beautifully mixed cinnamon sugar.

As we layered the sugared balls of dough into the greased Bundt pan, I also threw in lots of little pieces of the strawberries.

At the same time that we were doing that, I also had our other component going. You see, monkey bread is more than just balls of cinnamony, sugary dough - it's cinnamony, sugary dough drenched in a caramel-y sauce.  

In this case, strawberry, caramel-y sauce.

Once the sauce comes to a boil, simply pour it over the completed pan of dough.

Then the whole thing bakes.

And smells delicious.

And comes out looking golden and beautiful.

Unsure as to how to serve this, I turned it out onto a plate.

Showed the delicious, caramel-y goodness, but didn't help me figure out how to serve it...

So I actually put it back in the Bundt pan and we just, well, scooped it out...

But oh. My. Gosh. This was amazing.  Seriously delicious. Like, wanted to dive in and eat the whole pan good.

I can't wait to try this with other fruits.

If you'd like to participate in this month's Twelve Loaves, check out Lora's or Lisa's (absolutely delicious) posts for the full rules.

Then bake, post, and add yourself to this linky! (which you can also find on Lora or Lisa's posts).

This bread has also been submitted to Yeastspotting, on the Wild Yeast blog.

Strawberry Monkey Bread
(mostly my own, though reinforced by Double Portion Inspiration)

For the Dough:
(from allrecipes)

1 cup milk
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar and butter. Heat until slightly warm to the touch then remove from heat and stir in the yeast. I found that I had to let the milk mixture cool a bit before adding the yeast, as the milk got pretty hot in order to dissolve the sugar. Once the yeast has been added, let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Mix in the eggs, oil and the yeast mixture. Mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn once to coat. Cover and let stand in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.

For the Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup diced strawberries

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.

To build the Monkey Bread:

prepared dough
about 1/2 cup of cinnamon sugar (1/2 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon, well combined)
1 cup diced strawberries
prepared syrup

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and generously spray a Bundt (or tube) pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Once the dough has rested, gently deflate it. Take small portions of the dough and roll them into ball. Roll each ball of dough in the cinnamon sugar, then place it in the prepared pan. Interspersed through the balls, toss some of the diced strawberries so that they are evenly layered throughout the pan. Once all of the dough and berries have been added to the pan, pour the prepared syrup evenly over the top.
Place the Bundt pan on a cookie sheet and place the bread in the preheated oven.
Bake for 40 - 50 minutes. Check on the bread periodically to make sure that the top is not over-browning. If the top starts getting too dark, simply cover it loosely with foil as it continues to bake.
Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.



  1. oh my goodness...what a treat! Now how do I magically get some for breakfast tomorrow morning. LOVE love your monkey bread. Thank you so much for baking along with us, Shelley:)

  2. I'm so glad you took part in Twelve Loaves, Shelley! I was so excited when I read your comment and you already had it in the oven. Can I just say 'WOW'?? I love Monkey Bread..but this is a twist I've never seen...helloooo strawberry syrup! It's gorgeous - and I wish I could have a 'scoop' now!! xoxo

  3. Incredible bread, moist and with so many strawberries! The syrup idea is just awesome. Great recipe

  4. Hi Shelley, thank you so much for linking up with Twelve Loaves, and for the great mention about the challenge, mentioning and linking to each of us!

    Your monkey bread is spectacular, beautiful, and very creative. I must say that you 'outdid' yourself, and your bread is so yummy, with the strawberries, and the cinnamon sugar. What a labor of love forming all those little balls to accomplish a beautiful cake. I will certainly pin this, and bookmarking to make soon! Thanks for sharing!
    BTW-both Lora and I are happily following your blog, and invite you to follow us, as well. We sure would want to stay in touch with you!

  5. Oh my gosh this looks so delicious!!! And I totally need to do this, both the recipe and the group! :)

  6. That's very creative! I like it.

  7. Your bread looks wonderful! I have always wanted to make a monkey bread, and baking together with the strawberries caramel looks so good! Great bake!
    Thank you for dropping by my blog, great to know you via TL! I'm your newest follower!

  8. hello! stopping by from the twelve loaves challenge - my husband would love this - can't wait to try it!


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