Wow- I'm getting better with my bookmarking behavior. I tried this recipe less than a week after bookmarking it! Bakers' Banter is one of my favorite baking blogs; written in a kind and encouraging tone and with well-tested recipes. I took one look at the excited faces of the kids making monkey bread (sweet rolls that you pull apart and gobble up) and wanted to try the recipe right away.
The recipe calls for a handful of simple pantry ingredients. Flour, oil, egg, salt, sugar, instant yeast and cinnamon. I've been baking bread a lot these days, and I finally got a big pack of instant yeast, much more economical than buying the single-use packets.
I made a quick dough, let it rise in a bowl, then divided it into 16 rolls, coated them in water and then cinnamon sugar and let them rise for a second time. The little rolls rose obligingly to fill up the pan.
I thought these pull-apart rolls were really easy and a lot of fun to make. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone who has either never worked with yeast before. Of if the yeasty beasties have not cooperated with you before and you need a confidence boost. It would also be a fun project to do with school-age kids. Here's what the bread looks like after baking.
You get 16 fluffy rolls, crunchy and sugar on the outside, soft and airy on the inside when you pull them apart. I tasted one and sent the rest of the batch for V's co-workers, my obliging tasters for all sugary baked goods that are too dangerous to keep around the home.
I did think this recipe is a little bland, though. Next time, I will add a little vanilla into the dough. Or slather them with a cream cheese frosting. And I might let the rolls rise overnight in the refrigerator for tastier bread. This will also make it more convenient to make them for breakfast or take them in to work.
I'm sending these sweet rolls to Bread Baking Day #22: Sweet Breads.
Now I'm all excited about pull-apart breads. It is very silly to keep saying "yay" and picking bread apart but there you have it. Apart from this monkey bread variety, there's the pull-apart coffee cake and cloverleaf rolls which also fall in the same genre.
I fully intend to play around with this basic recipe, maybe adding whole wheat, stuffing the rolls, coating them with seeds etc. I do believe an excellent variation on the recipe is the one suggested by 'Dr. Lauren from Illinois' in the comments on the recipe page. She coated the rolls in herbs, garlic and parmesan to make savory garlic bread. Now that sounds very tempting!
PS: It turns out that clearing the bookmarks folder is a Sisyphean task, because minutes after I made this recipe, I saw the latest post on the same Bakers' Banter blog and promptly bookmarked it!
Dale wants you to follow his lead and get some good R & R this weekend!