The pumpkin kick continues! Yes, I know it’s only September, and I know school doesn’t start for another couple weeks. Although actually, that’s just me being on the quarter system. For semester kids, school’s been in session for a while now! So I’m perfectly justified in making pumpkin recipes. Shelby and I decided to make a yeast bread, for once. I never really bake with yeast, just because I don’t keep it on hand for myself, but my mom apparently keeps it in the cabinet, so we decided to make this lovely Pumpkin Monkey Bread. Why is it called monkey bread? I have no idea, and after a quick Google search, it seems that no one else really does either. If you find out, let me know!
If you are afraid of using yeast, don’t be. I’ve never used it before, but this recipe showed me how foolproof it is. This recipe doesn’t even call for dissolving the yeast in warm water, you just mix up the warm ingredients and add in the yeast and it works just fine. This bread takes a long time, but it’s not all that much active work. There’s a lot of waiting around for the yeast to take effect. It’s worth the wait! Added bonus, you can make other sweet treats while you’re waiting for the dough to rise! Or you could do other productive things, like clean the house, study, go for a run… You have options!
This bread is not overly sweet or dense, rather like a donut. There is very little sugar in the dough, but the cinnamon sugar coating gives the bread a light sweetness. Shelby and I also omitted the glaze, but if you did that as well, it would make this bread even sweeter. This bread reminds me of a cinnamon roll, except with a bit of pumpkin spice flavor to it. One little thing that’s a bit of an annoyance about this recipe is that it only uses 2/3 of a cup of canned pumpkin. Which, if you use pumpkin often, you know cans of pumpkin are usually 15 oz, a little less than 2 cups. But never fear! You can use the rest of the can of pumpkin for this wonderful Pumpkin Spice Muffin recipe! Now, onto the recipe.
Pumpkin Monkey Bread
adapted from Sugarcrafter
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring the board
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup warm water
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup white sugar
2 1/4 tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, melted
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and spices. In a small bowl, beat together the milk, water, pumpkin, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add in the wet ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir until the mixture comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, until smooth and elastic.* Once the dough is smooth and elastic, grease a clean bowl and place the dough inside. Cover and set it in a warm area of the kitchen until it rises to double its size, about an house.
While the dough is rising, go do something productive. Or you can sit and watch it rise, it’s up to you. Once the dough has risen almost as high as you want it, start preparing for the next step. Grease a bundt pan. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Melt the butter in another small bowl. Once the dough has risen completely, pull off and roll little dough balls about an inch and a half in diameter.* Dip each ball in the melted butter, then roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture, then place it in the bundt pan, layering them as you go. Once you have layered all the dough, let that sit in a warm area of the kitchen until it doubles in size again, about another hour.
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Once the dough has risen, bake the bread until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before turning out onto a large plate. Cut into slices or just pull off pieces (we found that cutting it doesn’t work until completely cooled). Enjoy!
-The dough will be very sticky. I probably used about 1/4-1/3 cup of flour to flour and re-flour the board, and that gets worked into the dough, but it still turned out fine, so it’s not a big deal.
-Smaller balls result in higher cinnamon sugar to dough ratio, so if you like your bread sweeter, make your dough balls smaller. You can also do what Shelby and I did, and sprinkle (more like pour) the extra cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the dough balls. It made a nice crackly crust after baking.
Well there you have it, pumpkin monkey bread! Stay tuned for more pumpkin goodness 🙂
Now onto the workout for the day. I chose Fitness Blender’s 1000 Calorie 84 Minute HIIT Cardio, Strength, and Abs Workout. I know that seems pretty crazy, but 84 minutes is just under an hour and a half. It’s really not that long. This workout video also includes a full warmup and cool down/stretch, so that’s a bonus. As for the workout itself, it was a decent workout. The HIIT portion is difficult, as HIIT workouts always are, but the strength workout wasn’t too challenging. I’m sure it would have been more challenging if I had heavier dumbbells, but I only have 2’s and 5’s, so it wasn’t that hard. The abs workout is pretty good, nothing too crazy. Overall a solid workout, although I do wish I had heavier free weights to do the strength portion with.