Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Pumpkin Monkey Bread with Cranberries and Pecans

Have you ever made monkey bread? Apparently I've been living under a rock, since I didn't even know it existed until about a year ago, but I wanted in on the action!

Monkey bread is a marvelous thing. It’s little blobs of soft dough baked together in a pan. The result is a knobby sweet bread that you can pull together with your fingers. The individual pieces remind me of donut holes.

I based this bread on the sweet potato monkey bread recipe in Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-In-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day, substituting pumpkin and warm spices for the sweet potatoes and layering the bread with cranberries, pecans and a syrupy glaze.

Pumpkin Monkey Bread with Cranberries and Pecans
by Lauren
Adapted from Make Ahead Bread: 100 Recipes for Melt-In-Your-Mouth Fresh Bread Every Day by Donna Currie

For the dough:
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 1/2 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup room temperature water
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon buttery sweet dough flavor or vanilla extract

For the topping:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup dry cranberries
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter

Line a mesh sieve with a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Add the pumpkin and let drain 30 minutes. Discard the liquid.

Combine the pumpkin with the remaining ingredients, adding enough flour to form a thick dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until it doubles in size - about 1 hour.

Divide the dough into golf ball sized pieces and arrange in a greased 8-inch pie plate. Scatter the pecans and cranberries between the dough balls. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, heat the oven to 325ºF. Remove the pan from the refrigerator. Melt the brown sugar and butter in a saucepan and pour over the bread.

Bake 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reads 190ºF. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.
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