Friday, October 21, 2011

Sugar-High Friday: Monkey Bread Muffins

I try to limit my use of sugar in this house for multiple reasons: 1) it's not good for you; 2) there are healthier and tastier alternatives; 3) I want the girls to see non-sugar treats as tasty and worthwhile; 4) I can't keep my fingers out of the batter/dough/frosting/ before, during, or after the baking. I am frequently at my computer drooling over the sugary goodness that people are creating. Many of the blogs I read are only food, with little to no pictures of the people. I want to see the people because, if they surround themselves with that much sugar yet maintain a slim and trim physique, I want some schooling from those people in self-restraint!

We had some very special friends for a visit this morning and, to make the snack extra special AND to celebrate a birthday with them, I gave in to the temptation and turned the morning into "sugar-high Friday". I saw this recipe for Monkey Bread earlier in the week and bookmarked it. We were up and about early today, so there was time for some dough to get a-rising. The original recipe makes the Monkey Bread in a bundt pan; I did individual muffins instead. The dough had a great texture, it was easy to work with, and the bread was springy and delicious. I changed the ratio of white flour to whole wheat flour but kept everything else basically the same. The dough requires two rise times - mine was about an hour the first and 35 minutes the second. It was easy and will remain bookmarked!
Monkey Bread Muffins
  • 2 C organic whole wheat flour
  • 1 C organic whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 C organic white flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (I was just out of table salt, otherwise would've used table)
  • 1 package rapid rise yeast
  • 1 C warm organic milk
  • 1/4 C orange juice
  • 1/4 C local honey
  • 2 T organic unsalted butter, melted
    • In the bowl of stand mixer, and using the dough hook attachment, combine flours, salt, yeast
    • Slowly add milk, orange juice, honey, melted butter
      • I heated the milk in the microwave and got it fairly hot; slowly stirred the orange juice into the milk to cool it a bit and to avoid having to heat the OJ as well
    • Let mixer run for 5-8 minutes, until the dough is well mixed and holds its shape
      • I added 1-2 T flour while it was mixing as the dough was sticking to the bowl; after about 7-8 minutes, a very nice dough ball had formed
    • Transfer dough to an oil-coated bowl and leave to rise for 1 hour
      • I heated my oven to 100°, turned it off, covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it sit
    • Once dough has doubled in size, punch down
  • For the cinnamon-sugar coating:
    • In one bowl, combine 2 T melted butter and 3 T milk
    • In another bowl, combine 1/4 C brown sugar, 1/4 C white sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon
  • To make muffins:
    • Form 1-inch balls of dough
    • Roll each ball in milk/butter mixture and then in cinnamon-sugar mixture
    • Place 3 balls in each muffin liner
  • Cover entire muffin pan with plastic wrap and return to warm (but off) oven for 30-40 minutes
  • Once dough has risen a second time, bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes
  • For a glaze, I just mixed some powdered sugar and milk (approx 3 T sugar and 1 T milk) 
To the LJ crew: thanks for trekking to Lawrence to spend the morning. We are so happy to have you close and have now celebrated, in person, 3 birthdays with you in the past 3 months! That is, without a doubt, worthy of a little sugar. Now I'd better go see about the whispering in the next room - sounds like "sugar-high Friday" might be synonymous with "no-nap Friday"! :)

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