Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pumpkin Monkey Bread

For a couple of weeks, I have been really jealous of my friends who were posting on Facebook and tweeting about wearing boots and scarves and sipping pumpkin spice lattes because Fall continued to escape us here in Fort Sill. Last week, the temperatures were still in the 80s. That is not Fall. Then suddenly, it was 50 degrees for no explainable reason, and though I know it's going to be back in the 80s next week, I am embracing these 5 days of 40-50 degree weather and diving in head first to a new pumpkin recipe.

I made this pumpkin monkey bread for Sunday school this week. It's amazing how some lessons and sermons seem like they're so specifically meant for me. We've been in 1 Peter for a few weeks now, and today were talking about how husbands and wives should relate to one another. If I'm being completely honest, Fort Sill has not been great for me. We are fine, but I've just really felt like I was in a funk since we got here. I am frustrated with the licensing process (5-6 weeks for application review?? try 9 weeks and still going...) and feeling like I'm just not contributing a lot. This week at Sunday school, I was really struck with some ways I could be focusing my attention rather than desperately trying to get where I think I should be in my career. We talked about the ways that husbands and wives can pray for each other in order to encourage growth, and I'll definitely be spending some extra time in prayer to do this.

So this is what I made. It was pretty time consuming. I made it last night because I didn't want to get up at 5 am to make this before heading to church.

For the dough:
3 1/4 cup flour, plus some extra for kneading
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup warm water
1 can pumpkin
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

For the coating:
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
3/4 stick butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, milk, water, pumpkin, and yeast. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the pumpkin mixture into it, combining it with a wooden spoon.

After it's well combined, knead it on a floured surface for about 8 minutes. Spray a clean bowl with non-stick spray, put the dough in, and cover it to rise for an hour.

After the dough has risen for an hour, tear it into bite-size pieces. Melt the butter for the coating in a small bowl, and in another small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. When I tore the dough into pieces, it was still really sticky, so floured hands are helpful. Roll the dough in the butter and then roll it in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Place it in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Typically, I'd make this in a bundt pan, but since I didn't bring one of those to Oklahoma, I made it in a cake pan. Tastes the same.  I had some extra cinnamon/sugar, so I sprinkled it on top. You can never  have too much cinnamon and sugar. After all the pieces have been coated and placed in the pan, cover it and let it rise for another hour. About 30 minutes into this hour, turn the oven on to 350 degrees, and let the pan sit on top of the oven to finish rising another half hour. This will help with the tenderness of the dough.

After it has risen for an hour, bake it at 350 for about 30 minutes. Let it sit for about 30 minutes before turning it onto a serving dish. So delicious!

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