To preface this recipe, there’s something you should know. In our house we have an unspoken rule about the television.
If there’s nothing on worth watching, it goes on a food channel.
“When in doubt, watch Food Network”
Lately, I’ve been drawn to The Cooking Channel. If you don’t get this channel, it’s like Food Network; it even has some of the same chefs and shows. What I like about it is the chefs that aren’t on Food Network. They are hilarious!
This recipe came from Bobby Flay, whom most of you will, at least, have heard of and a good portion will have made something created by him. C’mon! It’s Bobby Flay!
It was by pure luck one night, after The Big Man came home from work, I was watching The Cooking Channel and Bobby Flay came on with this recipe.
He loves pecan pie and I had been itching to try my hand at monkey bread. Talk about perfect: Father’s Day was coming up!
Oh! And just so you know, this can be a lengthy process, even if you “cheat” like I did by using a bread maker for the dough. Bobby has you making the dough and refrigerating it overnight. By using the dough setting on my bread machine, it took a quarter of the estimated time.
To be honest, that wasn’t my original goal by using the machine. I just don’t have a stand mixer and needed a paddle attachment. I figured using the machine was the easiest way around my lack of kitchen accessories.
For the Dough:
- 1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast (this = 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup warm
- 5 cups all-purpose flour (I did not end up needing this much and I had extra dough)
- 1/4 cup warm milk (I used whole, but the recipe calls for 2%)
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted*
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp
- 2 eggs
If you’re using a bread machine, follow the directions on how to add ingredients for your specific machine. Since one of the steps from the recipe is to add 3 of the 5 cups of flour called for, then slowly add the rest a little at a time while mixing, if you’re using a machine, this can be hard to judge. While on the dough setting, the lid can be raised without interrupting the mix cycle, so add enough of the remaining flour to get a firm dough. If you are lucky enough to have a stand mixer, Bobby’s directions can be found here.
Lucky for me, I got to skip the hours of letting the dough rise and the punching down part (though I hear it’s therapeutic). Once the machine had finished, I whipped up the caramel sauce and was ready to assemble.
*I used the guide on the butter stick for 1/3 cup, but ended up using a measuring cup to get 1/3 cup after melting. It’s close, so use your best judgement.
For the Caramel:
- 6 tbsp butter, cubed
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 6 tbsp heavy whipping
- 6 tbsp chopped pecans (or to taste – I bought a 2 oz pkg and used most of it.
Bring butter, brown sugar and cream to boil in a small saucepan. Cook and stir about 3 minutes, then remove from heat.
Bobby says to pour half in the bottom of a greased bundt pan. I eyeballed about a third, then added some chopped pecans.
- 1 cup sugar with 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon mixed in, or to taste, in a bowl
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, in a separate bowl
Flour a flat surface or cutting board so your dough won’t stick. Break off balls of dough (about 1 inch each). Dip each dough ball in the melted butter completely, then roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat.
For each layer, you want about 20 dough balls before adding another caramel-pecan layer. Since Bobby did a half n half version, you’ll only need 2 layers each of dough to caramel-pecan. My version had as many dough layers, adding 10 extra dough balls to second layer, then I added the rest of the caramel-pecans on top.
After all that, you think you’re done and ready to bake, right? No. You get to let it rise in the bundt pan for another 45 minutes to an hour. Your dough should be at/near/slightly over the edge.
Now you’re ready to bake! Do so at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before inverting onto serving plate. Serve warm, gooey and delicious!