This monkey bread is the perfect, delicious breakfast or brunch item to serve during the holiday season. The dough takes about 10 minutes to prepare and then you can let all the rising happen overnight in the refrigerator. A few more minutes of assembly in the morning and you have an amazing pumpkin bread covered in gooey, sweet caramel that will impress everyone!
Overnight bread recipes are my absolute favorite. The long, slow rise process gives the bread wonderful, fluffy texture and this dough is extra special with the pumpkin puree and seasonal spices blended in. Of course, you could make this all in one morning, using a traditional room temperature rise but that process doesn't develop the flavor or texture of the dough as well and it makes your morning prep time longer. This recipe is super easy for entertaining guests during the holidays or even just for a family weekend brunch. With my two little ones running around all over the place and/or needing to be held 24/7 I just love a good recipe like this one. Little K (age 2.5) really loved helping assemble the dough in the morning. He was great at rolling the dough into balls and he had a blast coating them (and my entire kitchen) in cinnamon/sugar. Feel free to add-in an additional ingredients like raisins or pecans to kick the flavors up even more. Please let me know if you give this recipe a try and how you like it!
Pumpkin Caramel Monkey Bread
1/4 cup salted butter (if using unsalted, add a pinch of salt)
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) quick rise yeast
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ginger
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg yolk
5 cups all-purpose flour, approximately
Heat the milk and butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat to the temperature recommended on your yeast. This was 120F to 130F for me. If you don't have a thermometer the mixture should feel very warm to the touch (be careful)! Add the butter, milk, sugars, spices, and yeast to a stand mixer bowl or other large bowl. Give everything a stir and let the yeast activate for about 5 minutes, it should get foamy or bubbly. Add the pumpkin, egg, and egg yolk and mix until well combined. Mix in the flour, one cup at a time, until just combined. The dough will be sticky to the touch. Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl covered with plastic wrap to rise. If making the monkey bread right away, let the dough rise at room temperature for one to two hours or until doubled in size. If making the the monkey bread in the morning, place in the refrigerator overnight to rise. Let the dough sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before assembling. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and get ready to assemble.
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a bundt pan. Combine the white sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, Pinch off one inch size pieces of dough, roll into balls, and then roll into the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Continue this process until you have rolled the entire batch of dough into balls and placed them evenly around the bundt pan.
Heat the brown sugar and butter in a small pot over medium heat until the butter is melted and the sugar crystals are dissolved (about 5 minutes). Pour the butter mixture evenly over the top of the dough and place in the center of the oven to bake for about 40 minutes. You may want to put the bundt pan on a baking tray to avoid any potential bubble overs into your oven.
When you remove the bread from the oven, let it rest for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a plate or serving tray. The bread is VERY hot and sticky so be sure to let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.