I am sure you have heard, seen or even tried monkey bread. Bits of left over dough, tossed in cinnamon sugar and thrown into a bowl to be baked to an gooey pull apart perfection. This recipe is a similar idea but uses fruit preserves and a loaf pan. It makes for a minimally messy breakfast and a fun way to eat your morning toast. I have a family dough recipe that I use for cinnamon rolls or any sort of recipe that needs a sweet dough, and it seemed perfectly fitting to be used in this way. Although, I did add a little cinnamon to the dough for this application. I am currently photographing a cranberry jam for a client and it brought me a little taste of christmas in August. I am sure after you look at the photos, you will be looking forward to cups of hot cocoa, christmas trees and family gatherings around the dinner table. I used a cranberry jam, but your are welcome to use whichever you like. You can decide if you want cinnamon or not, it is totally optional.
Here’s what you need:
5 1/2 cup flour, additional for dusting
1/2 cup sugar (hold 1 tablespoon out for yeast mixture, see directions below)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 packages dry yeast or 4 1/2 teaspoons bulk
1 cup milk
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter melted
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
To make the dough, start by mixing all your dry ingredients together. Place a tablespoon of sugar in a measuring cup with the 1/4 cup melted butter and 1 cup milk. If the milk and butter mixture isn’t warm, warm it up slightly. You don’t want it so hot you cannot touch it, but warm enough it will encourage yeast growth. Add your yeast to the milk mixture, stir to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and Remaining sugar. Once the yeast mixture is frothy, add it to the dry ingredients, including the eggs and water. Using a dough hook, mix the dough until a solid dough forms. Add additional flour as needed until the dough doesn’t stick to the side of the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
Once the dough has rested for 24 hours, remove from the fridge and let rest to come to room temperature before rolling out and cutting. Next roll out the dough to the desired thickness, about 1 centimeter in thickness . I used a biscuit cutter that was the same width as my loaf pan. Make several circular cut-outs from the dough. Next coat the top of each round with a little butter and fresh preserves. Stacking one layer on top of another before placing them into the loaf pan. Once the pan is full, brush the top of the dough with an egg wash before letting it rest and rise for 30 minutes to an hour.
Set your oven to 350 degrees. Once your dough has rested, bake until the top starts to turn golden brown. Then cover with foil and bake for another 15 minutes. This will prevent the top from burning and cook the center of the loaf so it isn’t undercooked. No one likes biting into raw dough.
Top with preserves and a little honey for added sweetness, serving while warm for best results.