Monkey bread - for morning baking…
Posted: 26 October 2009 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2009-10-26

Over this weekend I made a batch of monkey bread and it was wonderful! (The Bread Bible, pg 506) I have great plans to make it again for family occasions - like Christmas morning - but the scheduling stumps me.

The proof of the sponge can be refrigerated overnight but there’s then 3.5 hours of rising time plus shaping, etc then an hour to bake. As much as I love my family, getting up at 5am or earlier on a holiday is not my idea of fun. Make that 3 am since my kids are (very) early risers.

I was pondering whether I could get to the stage of shaping the balls of dough then freezing them. I would then assemble the bread using the frozen dough balls and put it in the fridge to thaw and proof to be ready fo baking the next morning.

Anything thoughts? Suggestions? Has anyone tried this? Is there a better way to handle it?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 October 2009 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  324
Joined  2008-03-19

Although I have never done this particular recipe this way, you could assemble the monkey bread, cover it, and immediately put it in the fridge so that the final rise happens in the refrigerator overnight. This way, all you have to do the next morning is pop the pan in the oven and bake it. You will probably have to increase the baking time because the dough will be cold when it goes into the oven.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 October 2009 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  535
Joined  2008-05-03

I agree with Christine.  I prefer to leave the loaves out for about an hour before putting in the oven (or at least the time the oven takes to heat up) just to take the chill off the dough.  You will probably get quite a bit of oven spring - but that’s good.  I haven’t tried it with this particular bread but have with many other loaves.  Please don’t get up at 3am on Christmas Day!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 October 2009 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2009-10-26

My only concern with this is how much the bread proofs. In the hour at room temperature, plus then the oven spring (I’m not up on the technical terminology so if I’ve used this wrong, let me know! : ) the dough, well… it got pretty big. One of the balls actually fell out during baking. Humorous really…

How long do you think it can spend ‘safely’ in the fridge before I have to call animal control?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 October 2009 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  324
Joined  2008-03-19

Once the dough reaches refrigerator temperature, the dough will stop rising. So, to be clear, do not let the dough sit out once you have assembled the monkey bread. Put it into the refrigerator immediately. It will rise in the fridge until it reaches refrigerator temperature, at which point it will stop rising. The next morning, when you take the bread out of the refrigerator, the yeast will not become active again until the dough warms up considerably. This takes some time—up to a few hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. (Even here in Los Angeles, the ambient room temperature in my house in December is cool—around 67 degrees F, and dough takes much longer to warm up in the winter than it does in the summer.) That is why Annie’s suggestion to let it sit out for only an hour before baking is not putting you in the danger zone. The cold dough will not have enough time to warm up and cause trouble.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 October 2009 12:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1077
Joined  2007-11-15

I just wanted to add a couple of things—one, if you freeze dough, you need to add more yeast because some of it will die in the freezer (although I would follow the advice you already received about using the fridge).  Two, I had the same thing happen to me with the dough balls popping out.  I learned that my pan couldn’t quite handle every piece, so I just fill around half full and have a few pieces of dough leftover unused.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 October 2009 09:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  3
Joined  2009-10-26

Thanks everyone. I’ll give it all a try.

At some point I’m going to freeze a batch of balls, with extra yeast, to see how far in advance I can do that step. With two live monkeys in the house (4 and 2 y/o) timing sure gets complex! I’ll let you all know how it turns out…

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top