M is for Monkey Bread

We have uncovered a modern miracle. It appears that in this country of America is it possible to make bread out of biscuits. To be precise, Monkey Bread.

Child 2 was at a sleepover last week for one of his swimming chum’s tenth birthday. Monkey Bread was the breakfast treat for the boys the morning after. The recipe, which my friend kindly gave me, is a minefield for the UK English speaker (me!)

She said: ‘You need 3 packages of buttermilk biscuits. 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, cup of brown sugar. Cut biscuits into pieces. I do bite size. Mix cinnamon and half cup of sugar. Roll biscuits pieces in that and place in buttered bundt pan. Melt butter and add rest of sugar and brown sugar. Bring to boil and pour over biscuits in bundt pan. Cook for 30mins at 350F’

The finished bread should look like this:

Monkey_Bread

So the first challenge was obviously not knowing what buttermilk biscuits were or where to buy them. But the great thing about being foreign and having a British accent is that you can ask any silly question and people tend to find you quaint rather than stupid. Not that I’m aiming to be thought quaint mind you; but better quaint than stupid ;).

On advisement, then, the kids and I went to the supermarket and bought Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits. I think that once, long, long ago, I might have bought croissants that exploded out of a tin, all damp and slightly grayish but it’s a faint memory, perhaps for good reasons. I don’t know where Pillsbury stands on the shelves of Sainsbury’s these days but if you are familiar with their products at all, you will know that opening them is the main challenge. As I struggled with the first pack, Child 2 muscled in, announced he was ‘American’ and tore a pack open. Boys! Anyway, here is a picture of these so-called biscuits being chopped into bite-size pieces:

photo(51)Extremely appetising, no? Child 1 and child 2 thought so. Next we measured out the butter and sugar and because we are living over here we used our cups, not our scales. What we got looked like this and there is no doubt that this healthy mix is what makes Monkey Bread an occasional treat only.

photo(52)The bits of “biscuit” dough, having been rolled in sugar (more sugar!!) and cinnamon were then put in our newly acquired bundt pan. I’d never heard of this before. Had to google it. And text my mum! A bundt pan looks like this and its key feature are fluted edges and the ring shape made by the hole in the middle.

800px-Bundt_cake_panThe nearest UK equivalents that Mrs T Snr and I have come up with for this are a Savarin pan (of French origin, no fluted edges) or a Rum Baba mould.  Here is our Bundt pan ready for the oven:

photo(53)

And after 30 mins at 350F, it turned out like this:

photo(50)

But was it bread? Or biscuit? Or nice, even? Well…

Child 2 reported that it didn’t look quite as good as his friend’s mum’s monkey bread. That was no great shock. We had a lot of caramel to “biscuits” and I’m not sure my 3 packs were the same size as hers. But it did taste okay, if a little like a heart attack on a plate.

But bread? No.

Biscuit? No way.

Because Monkey Bread, is a cake. You heard it here 😉

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