A toast for this designer bread

Caramelized Apple Walnut Monkey Bread

I am a relatively new entrant into the world of baking. Originally a civil engineer, my quest for baking started as a hobby, when I took a break from work to concentrate on kids’ academics.

It’s been over three years and I’ve slowly transformed this passion into a profession where I take orders for customised cakes and breads. As more people become aware of healthier options which are free from preservatives, chemicals and acidity regulators, this industry is booming. I also take workshops as many homemakers are interested in learning this. 

From different varieties of breads to designer themed cakes and imprinted breads, I make everything. The bread imprints, where every slice of bread will have a flower imprint, are made using vegetable purees and powders. I also use a lot of flours like maida, baked, ragi, rawa and oats to make these breads. 

One of the challenges is the short shelf life of these breads as we don’t use  preservatives and chemical ingredients, though the texture is as good as the ones in the market. The cost is also on the higher side because each cake/bread is customised and made from scratch when an order is received. Though Bengalureans are becoming health conscious now, the number of enquiries that translate into customers is not high. But it is good enough for me, as long as I am able to make a positive impact. 
 

Ingredients

To Make the Bread

  • Dough: 450 g Whole Wheat
  • Flour: 2 teaspoons instant active yeast
  • 60 g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 250 ml milk
  • 70 ml water
  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • 150 g toasted walnuts chopped
  • To Make the Caramel Sauce
  • 225 g butter
  • 350 g packed brown sugar
  • 120 ml Amul cream
  • A pinch of salt
  • To Make the Cinnamon Sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Bake in a bundt pan.

Instructions

To Make the Dough

Mix the yeast in a little lukewarm milk (from the required quantity) and 1 teaspoon sugar and test if it’s active.

Mix the flour, rest of the sugar and salt.

  • Heat the milk, water, butter until it’s lukewarm and the butter is melted.
  • Mix these with the dry ingredients along with the activated yeast and knead it to a smooth dough for around 10 min. The dough will soon become soft and non-sticky.
  • Coat a large bowl with vegetable oil (or any flavourless oil). Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat lightly.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled. This will take 1½ to 2 hours, depending on the ambient temperature of the kitchen.

For the Caramel

Combine all the ingredients in a pan and heat until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Set aside to cool. 

To prepare the dough

  • To form the bread, gently remove the dough from the bowl and knead lightly on a floured surface, knocking out the air.
  • Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into equal size pieces (about 20 to 30 g).
  • In a large bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon and toss in your dough pieces, covering each piece generously.

To Assemble the Monkey Bread

  • In a Bundt pan, drizzle in a layer of the caramel sauce and one-third of the walnuts.
  • Layer in half of the cinnamon sugar coated dough pieces.
  • Repeat the second layer by scattering on another one-third of the toasted walnuts and go another round with the caramel sauce.
  • Top off with the remaining dough pieces, toasted walnuts and the last of the caramel sauce.
  • Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and let the monkey bread rise at room temperature for 25-30 minutes or until puffy (it should rise 1-2 inches from the top of the pan).
  • Preheat the oven to 180 deg celsius. Unwrap the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top is beautifully brown and caramel begins to bubble around edges.
  • Cool the bread in the pan for five minutes exactly (or the bread will be too sticky and hard to remove), then turn out on a platter or large plate and allow to cool slightly, for about 10 minutes.

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A toast for this designer bread

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