Slow Cooker Monkey Bread
Authors: Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François
The school year is upon us, and many parents and kids alike are finding themselves in a completely new routine. Our children are trying to navigate distance learning, hybrid learning (or something in-between) while parents are juggling jobs and their new teaching career. It’s wild, and often overwhelming, to say the least.
Since our kids are now home more, they are encouraged to take on more responsibility; we all have to pitch in to make our Covid lifestyles work. One area they are taking charge in is the kitchen: chopping vegetables, baking bread, and learning to use the Crock-Pot are all on their to-do lists.
We have several recipes on our site for Crock-Pot breads, and they have been a huge hit. But we’ve found that teaching our kids to use the Crock-Pot is a win-win: it’s easier to use than the oven, and there is less chance of getting burnt transferring items in and out of it. Combine it with the ease of our no-knead bread, and the options are endless.
If you head to the Red Star Yeast Instagram page, you can watch our stories of River (below) mixing the brioche dough and shaping the monkey bread. We’ve made this bread extra-simple by topping it with store-bought caramel sauce that is poured on after baking, so you don’t have to worry about transferring and flipping hot caramel.
- (makes about 4-lbs of dough)
- 1½ cups lukewarm water
- 1 Tablespoon Platinum Yeast
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup [170 g] honey
- 1½ cups [340 g] unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 7 cups [990 g] unbleached all-purpose flour
- 8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1½ Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup store-bought or homemade Caramel Sauce
- Make the dough:
- Add water, Platinum yeast, salt, eggs, honey and melted butter in a 6-quart round food container with lid.
- Mix in flour without kneading, using a spoon, a Danish Dough Whisk or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). The dough will be loose and shaggy but will firm up when chilled.
- Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises for approximately 2 hours. Then refrigerate for at least four hours before first use; it is easier to handle when thoroughly chilled. This dough can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge. Beyond that, the dough stores well in the freezer for up to four weeks in an airtight container, in one-pound portions. When using frozen dough, thaw in refrigerator overnight then use as instructed.
- To Assemble and Bake:
- Line your slow cooker with parchment paper. You will use this paper to remove the monkey bread from the pot, so make sure it is coming up the sides of the slow cooker. It may have some creases, but this won't affect the bread baking.
- Sprinkle the surface of your dough with flour and take out a 1½ pound piece. Place remaining dough back in refrigerator, loosely covered.
- Divide the dough into about 32 pieces, as even in size as possible, but perfection is not needed here.
- Roll the dough into small balls. If the dough is sticking to your hands, coat your palms with a small amount of flour.
- Combine the sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Drop the dough balls into the melted butter, then the bowl of cinnamon sugar and roll them around to evenly coat the outside of the balls.
- Place the balls in the lined slow cooker, cover and turn it to high. Leave the crock pot covered until the dough is cooked through and springs back when touched, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on your appliance. Use the parchment paper ends to remove the Monkey bread from the pot.
- Flip the monkey bread onto a serving plate and remove the parchment paper (which is now the top).
- Drizzle the Monkey Bread with the caramel sauce and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Eat and enjoy!
Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François met in their children’s music class in 2003 and have written bread cookbooks with more than 715,000 copies in print. Jeff, a doctor by training, is a self-taught baker who grew up eating great bread and pizza in New York City, and longed to recreate it himself. Zoë is a pastry chef and baker trained at the Culinary Institute of America. Her work appears in blogs all over the United States, and her dessert menus grace fine restaurants in the authors’ hometown, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Jeff and Zoë were among the very first cookbook authors to support their readers with personal responses on their website, BreadIn5.com, beginning in 2007, where they blog about their super-fast yeast breads.