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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Jo Lathan

Cranberry-Orange Monkey Bread

Updated: Dec 31, 2023


Sometimes on the weekends, if I know friends will be stopping by during the daytime, I make this here dee-lish-us Cranberry-Orange Monkey Bread. It looks beautiful and tastes wonderful! Nuthin’ says to your guests, “I’m so glad you stopped by!” like this absolutely divine pull-apart bread. Serve it up a cup of coffee and dig in! YUM!


Cranberry-Orange Monkey Bread

Recipe by: Bobbi Jo Lathan

Recipe type: Brunch

Cuisine: Southern

PREP TIME

30 mins

COOK TIME

35 mins

TOTAL TIME

1 hour 5 mins

INGREDIENTS

Dough:

1 package of active dry yeast

1 cup + 2 teaspoons whole milk (warmed)

½ cup orange juice (warmed)

¼ cup pure honey

2 tablespoons butter (melted)

2 eggs (beaten)

1 teaspoon salt

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Coating for dough balls:

½ cup butter (melted)

1 cup sugar

1 fresh orange (zested)

¾ cup dried cranberries

Glaze for monkey bread:

½ cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Let’s make the dough. First off, I use my stand mixer with its big mixing bowl for this recipe because it’s easier and it has a dough attachment. My kneading by hand days are limited. However, if you don’t have a stand mixer, then git out a big mixing bowl.

  2. It’s easier for me to use a glass measuring cup and add the yeast to the cup. Then, add ¼ cup of the warmed milk into the measuring cup containing the yeast and give it about two stirs with a spoon handle. Let that sit for about 5 minutes until it starts to git all bubbly and activated.

  3. Add the rest of the warmed milk, the honey, the orange juice, the melted butter, the beaten eggs and the salt into your mixing bowl. Stir all ingredients until combined.

  4. Next, add the activated yeast that’s in your measuring cup to the mil-butter mixture in your mixing bowl and mix that ‘til blended.

  5. Now, add two cups of the flour and beat with your dough hook about 3 minutes. Then, a little at a time, add the rest of the remaining flour and knead that with your mixer (or by hand on a floured counter top if you don’t have a stand mixer) for another 4-5 minutes. You should have a smooth, sort of elastic dough. If it is too still and not pliable, add a teaspoon of water until more elastic.

  6. Spray another large mixing bowl with some cooking oil spray.

  7. Form a big ol’ ball with the dough and place it in the greased mixing bowl. Now, you have 2 choices here. You can either refrigerate the dough overnight to rise, or you can place a clean dish towel over the dough, and place the bowl with the dough in a warm place to let it rise for at least an hour and a half until it has doubled in size.

  8. After the dough has risen, punch it down a few times and we’ll start making some dough balls to place in your bundt pan. So, git out your bundt pan and spray the pan with the cooking oil spray and set it aside.

  9. Next, git out a little pot and melt the ½ cup of butter over a medium heat. ( Or you can nuke it…I don’t like microwaves and don’t own one.) While the butter is melting git a little bowl and add the ½ cup of sugar with the orange zest and mix them together ‘til blended. Once the butter is melted, turn it down to low heat and add the sugar-orange zest to the butter and stir to combine until the sugar is dissolved.

  10. Now, begin pulling off pieces of the dough and rolling the dough into balls a little smaller than a golf ball. Dip each ball into the melted butter-sugar-orange mixture and then begin placing a layer of the balls in the bottom of your bundt pan.

  11. Once you have the bottom layer of the bundt pan filled, then place a couple of the dried cranberries between the balls in all 4 corners (so to speak). Some folks just sprinkle them all over the layer of balls and then add the next layer. But, I like to create a sort of diamond effect with the cranberries once it’s baked, rather than have random cranberries interspersed everywhere. Keep rolling more balls, dipping them in the butter-sugar mixture and adding more layers of the balled dough and cranberries until you have used up all the dough. Now, place the bundt pan in a warm place and let the balled dough rise for another 30 minutes.

  12. Preheat your oven to 350°. Once the dough has risen again, then place the bundt pan with the monkey bread in it, into the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes until the top is nicely browned. Once browned, remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes.

  13. While the bread is cooling, we’ll make the glaze. Git out a mixing bowl and whisk the orange juice and the powdered sugar together until your glaze is of a pourable consistency. If it’s too thick you can just add a teaspoon more of orange juice, at a time, until it is thinner and pourable.

  14. Once the bread is cool, place a plate over the open part of the bundt pan and flip it over. The bread should slide right out, and ready to glaze. Now, pour the orange juice glaze you made over the top of the whole bread which will give it a really nice sheen.

  15. Oh my gosh! My mouth’s waterin’ just thinkin’ about it. Now, serve it up warm! It’s so much fun! Everybody can just pull a piece off and delight their sweet little mouths with this fun bread! This here Cranberry-Orange Monkey Bread not only looks beautiful, but tastes divine! YUM!

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