Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The Breakfast Club – Blueberry Monkey Bread

As I mentioned in my last post, 2015 has been a year for big breakfasts, with big groups of friends. It’s been fun spending more time together in a more sociable (and less drunken) environment, and I hope that we can keep it up throughout the year. As hosts this weekend, James’ croquet madame muffins went down a treat, and my blueberry monkey bread was well received too. This recipe has been adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction's recipe for Homemade Cinnamon Monkey Bread. I forgot to take a photo of it before everyone tucked in, but you can see in the photo that I did manage to take what the structure is like inside. 

For the dough:
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 and 1/4 cups warm, full fat milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
For assembly:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
100g ground almonds
200g frozen blueberries, defrosted
4 tbsp acacia honey
100g chopped mixed nuts

In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it rest for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients for the dough to the yeast and mix on a high speed for 5 minutes using a dough hook.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. It should spring back when poked once it's been kneaded enough. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge over night (or a minimum 8 hours). It will rise quite a bit, so make sure your bowl is big, and there is enough height on the shelf in your fridge for it to rise.
In the morning, take the dough of the fridge and turn it out onto a slightly floured surface. Use a sharp knife to divide the dough into approx. 35-40 roughly equal pieces, and roll these into rough balls. Melt the 1/2 cup of butter in a small saucepan, remove from the heat and put to one side. Combine the granulated sugar and ground almonds in a bowl and put next to the melted butter. In a separate saucepan, combine the defrosted blueberries, honey and chopped mixed nuts and simmer over a medium heat for 5 minutes until it thickens into a sauce. Remove from the heat and use a potato masher to mash the blueberries, give it a good mix and set the sauce to one side too.

Pre-heat your oven to 180c and lightly grease a large bundt tin.

Now to assemble! Take each dough ball, coat it in the melted butter, then roll it in the sugar/almond mix and arrange the coated balls in the bundt pan. Once all the dough balls are in the pan, pour the blueberry sauce over the top, letting it seep down in between the gaps. A lot of the nuts will sit on the top, but the sauce will still make its way the bottom.

Bake in your pre-heated oven for about 50-55 minutes, covering the top with foil for the last 15-20 minutes to top the top burning. It'll be golden around the edges, and will be springy to the touch. The best way to test it is remove one of the dough balls from the top (as this will be the bottom when turned out) and give the inside a little prod - if it's spongy and springy, it's ready, but if it's squishy and doughy, put it back in for a further 5-10 minutes.

Once it's cooked, leave it to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before running a spatula around the edge and turn it out onto your serving plate. It's best enjoyed warm from the oven, but it will keep for a few days if stored in an airtight container.

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