I was introduced to Monkey Bread a few months ago when I made it for the first time and it was for #TwelveLoaves too. I thought a Strawberry version would be perfect for this month’s #TwelveLoaves bread baking party. The monkey bread cooled overnight, since I was working on it late last night, so the icing didn’t melt and smooth out like I would have liked.
I wanted to incorporate strawberries in every bite of monkey bread, so I put a little in the center of each dough ball. This version has strawberry mascarpone icing instead of cream cheese icing. Hopefully this recipe and the slightly warmer weather reminds you of the coming spring. If you like super gooey and sweet treats, this one is for you. You can definitely taste the strawberries but it’s not overpowering.
Strawberry Monkey Bread
Yield: 6 to 8 servings Cook Time: 35 minutes
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup milk, warmed to 110 degrees
- 1/2 cup water, warmed to 110 degrees
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3 1/4 cups flour, plus extra for work surface
- 2 teaspoons salt
Coating and Filling:
- 1 to 1 1/2 packed brown sugar (I used 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 16 ounce container frozen strawberries, thawed and drained and liquid reserved
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- 1/4 cup reserved frozen strawberry liquid
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 or more tablespoons reserved frozen strawberry liquid or milk
Step 1: For the Dough: Mix the milk, water, melted butter, sugar and yeast in a two cup measure. I used a microwave safe glass measure and heated the milk and water at full power for 1 minute, 20 seconds to reach 110 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour and salt. Using the dough hook attachment, start the mixer on low. Add the milk mixture slowly. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed until the flour is incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium (raised my KA to the 5 setting) and let it knead for another 6 to 7 minutes. If the dough looks overly wet, add 2 tablespoons of flour at a time and continue mixing until the dough forms a mass. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the bowl and spray the dough also. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and use my tip below to aid the rise. Let the dough rise until doubled. If using my tip, it will double in 45 to 60 minutes. If not, it may take 1 to 2 hours.
Step 2: For the coating: As the dough rises, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Place the melted butter in a small bowl and 1/4 cup reserved frozen strawberry liquid. If you would like to dial back the sweetness and gooeyness of the recipe, use the lesser amounts of sugar and skip the 1/4 cup reserved strawberry liquid. Set aside.
Step 3: For the shaping the dough balls: Sprinkle a clean work surface with flour. Transfer the dough onto the floured surface. Spread and press the dough into about an 8 inch square. Cut the dough into 8 by 8 slices with a bench scraper or knife. This will give you 64 pieces. If there are any strawberries that haven’t been cleaned and the stem still remains, remove the stem. I had two that were like this. Flatten out the dough ball into a small square and rectangular shape and then pinch together dough ends, top to bottom corners. This should create a well in the middle. Place a small amount (about 1/4 teaspoon or less) of the defrosted strawberries in the center of the dough and then enclose in the dough by pinching the ends together. Since the strawberries are moist keep a paper towel nearby, so you dry your hands and the dough will stick together better when pinching with dry hands. Shape the dough into balls and place back on the counter. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
Step 4: Spray the bundt pan with cooking spray. If any of the dough balls have reopened, pinch them together to fully enclose the strawberry pieces and create a uniform ball shape. Mix the butter mixture well and also periodically while dipping the dough balls. Dip each dough ball into the melted butter mixture individually. Then roll them in the brown sugar mixture until they are well coated. Place the dough ball into the bundt pan. Layer the dough balls so they are offset and the dough ball on top is placed on the seam of dough balls below. Repeat until about half the dough balls are in the bundt pan. Spread any remaining drained strawberries evenly on the dough. Repeat preparing the dough balls until they are all in the pan and have covered all the strawberries. If there’s any remaining melted butter or brown sugar, set aside.
Step 5: Cover the bundt pan with a clean dish cloth or plastic wrap. Let rise until puffy and until they are about an inch or two from the top of the pan. Mine rose to the top of the pan. If using my oven tip below, let rise for 45 minutes. If not, let rise for 1 to 2 hours. If there’s any remaining melted butter, drizzle it over the top of the dough balls. If there’s any remaining brown sugar, sprinkle it over the top of the dough balls too.
Step 6: Bake unwrapped 30 to 35 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. When done the top should be browned and the coating begins bubbling a bit. Let bread cool in the pan for a maximum of 5 minutes. Any longer and it will be difficult to depan. Invert bread onto a large plate.
Step 7: For the Icing: While the dough cools a bit, add butter and mascarpone cheese to a large mixing bowl. Beat 2 minutes. I beat them on high using a hand-held mixer. Beat in vanilla extract and cinnamon. Mix in the powdered sugar at a lower speed (this prevents having powdered sugar everywhere). Mix in the reserved strawberry liquid or milk. If you want a thinner icing, add more reserved strawberry liquid or milk in teaspoon increments until you reach desired consistency. While the bread is still warm, spread the icing on top of the bread – the icing will drizzle down the sides of the dough. Serve warm or cold.
Recipe inspired by Cooks Illustrated.
Tips: If your house is chilly like mine always is and your dough doesn’t rise, you can boil a pot of water while preparing the dough and place the water and dough in a cold oven. The boiling water will create a warm moist environment in the oven for the dough to rise well. Leave the oven light on and it will add to the warming effect.
#TwelveLoaves March: Strawberries. February was a delicious month of Chocolate breads! We are ready for spring and chose Strawberries for our March theme! Choose a recipe featuring strawberries. (Your bread of choice could be accented with fresh or dried strawberries, strawberry preserves) Whatever you bake, (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, braids, flatbreads, etc) have fun and let’s have a delicious month of bread with STRAWBERRIES. Let’s get baking!
If you’d like to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!
1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this March, 2014, and posted on your blog by March 31, 2014.
#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess. #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days and this month the fabulous Alice of Hip Foodie Mom.
Look at all the incredible strawberry breads from our #TwelveLoaves bakers:
- Strawberry Bread with Rhubarb and Bananas by Renee from Kudos Kitchen
- Strawberry Buttermilk Scones by Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Balsamic Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls by Felice from All That’s Left Are The Crumbs
- Framboise Muffins with Strawberry Jam by Rossella from Ma che ti sei mangiato
- Strawberry Dessert Rolls by Dionne from Try Anything Once Culinary
- Strawberry Hazelnut Buttermilk Quick Bread by Heather from girlichef
- Strawberry Swirl Sweet Rolls by Donna from Cookistry
- Strawberry Bread by Holly from A Baker’s House
- Strawberry Cheesecake Sweet Bread by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins by Deepti from Baking Yummies
- Strawberry Danish by Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Strawberry Bagels by Lora from Cake Duchess
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