April 8, 2014
by tartella
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food: eleanore’s rice pudding

While driving home from swim class with little A. last week (already hungry even though ‘swim class’ with a baby actually requires very little exercise on my part) on a grey and rainy morning, I was thinking about what would be good for lunch. I had a quick flash of a memory of my grandmother taking her rice pudding out of the oven, and that was all I needed to set me off in search of her recipe. A little over an hour later, everyone was enjoying a warm and cozy lunchtime treat.

 

rice_pudding_4-3-14

 

While I would say this is a Scandinavian recipe (my grandmother was Swedish), I think that most cultures have a similar dish in their repertoire. For example, our dear Peruvian friend has brought a chilled rice cream dish for brunch that has much less sugar, but included Grand Marnier and Curaçao.

This dish is great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or even as a side for dinner. My grandmother would often serve this with ham for an excellent sweet and savory meal. Here is her recipe.

 

ELEANORE’S RICE PUDDING

(serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup rice (rinsed)

2 quarts whole milk

4 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

cinnamon

butter (for greasing dish)

1/4 cup raisins (optional)

- preheat oven to 350˚

- cook rice and 1 quart of milk in double boiler until rice has absorbed the milk- stir often while cooking.

- beat eggs together with the remaining quart of milk, sugar, salt and vanilla.

- put the warm rice into a buttered casserole dish (around 3 qt.- you want some depth to the dish, but also don’t want it to spill over in the oven) and then pour over the egg/milk mixture. stir in the raisins, if you wish.

- sprinkle cinnamon on top before baking in the oven for 1 hour. let cool for about 15 minutes before serving, to allow the custard layer on top to set.

- serve alone or with jam.

ENJOY!

 

 

February 20, 2013
by tartella
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life: transitions

cut paper art

cut paper art

 

It’s time to hit the refresh button. I began the year with so many uncertainties that I didn’t feel like making resolutions would be helpful or wise. Now, almost two months into 2013, I’m feeling just (if not more) adrift than when the year began. And stressed.

Since stress isn’t good for me or anyone in my sphere of influence, and many of these things are beyond my control, I’m going to change my focus:

- Back to Work: It’s been piling up. And, while my excuses and procrastination have gotten me this far, I fear they won’t work much longer. Time to re-commit myself to Dreamweaver and Illustrator.

- Back to Baking: I’ve been avoiding it. Again, excuses of 1/2 my baking paraphernalia being in storage (true) not allowing me to be the best baker I can be (false- my mother does wonders without even a decent knife, grater, or (gasp!) a Cuisinart). But, truth be told, nothing soothes me like kneading or rolling a dough into submission. And that requires nothing more than my hands and a pin.

What do you do to keep your mind off of things that you can’t control?

December 12, 2012
by tartella
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food: lucia day

Tomorrow, December 13th, is Lucia Day, celebrated widely in Scandinavia and Italy. When I was young, I often partook in ceremonies that involved walking around with lighted candles on my head and serving cookies. Luckily, it didn’t take long for my mother’s friends to find an electric version of the wreath headgear, saving my scalp from dripping wax + a general fear of setting something afire.

In one version of this ceremony’s origin, the Saint Lucia was working to help Christians hiding in the catacombs during the terror under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, and in order to bring with her as many supplies as possible, she needed to have both hands free. She solved this problem by attaching candles to a wreath on her head. - from Wikipedia

Of course, the fact that winter solstice is fast approaching, and my relatives in those northern European countries can use light from where ever it may come, toting candles around (even if they are on the head!) probably doesn’t seem like a bad idea. I’ll admit, what I like most about this holiday is the food (I know, shocking!). In this case, a delicious, lightly sweetened bread that is perfect for a breakfast treat, or a mid-afternoon coffee break. I’ll be thinking of Norway, relatives + holiday cheer all the while making this treat tomorrow morning!

LUCIA BREAD

- adapted from Martha Stewart’s Saint Lucia Day Coffee Cake

(makes 1 braided loaf)

Bread Ingredients:

1/4 cup warm water (for yeast- not scalding hot!)

1 envelope active dry yeast

1/2 cup sugar (plus, a pinch for yeast)

3/4 cup + 2 Tbs. whole milk

1/2 tsp. saffron threads, crushed

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp. salt

4-5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

1/3 cup golden raisins

1/3 cup dried cherries

Grated zest of 1 orange

Vegetable oil, for greasing bowl

1 egg yolk, room temperature

Icing Ingredients:

1 Tbs. heavy cream

1 cup confectioners sugar

 

- in the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together warm water, yeast and a pinch of sugar. let stand until foamy, about 5 minute.

- meanwhile, heat 3/4 cup milk in a small saucepan until just steaming. remove pan from heat. add saffron; cover, and let steep 5 minutes.

- in a medium bowl, whisk together saffron milk, butter eggs, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. add to yeast mixture. using the dough-hook attachment, beat until combined, about 1 minute. with mixture on low, add flour- 1 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from side of bowl but is still slightly sticky (you may not need all the flour).

- add raisins, cherries & orange zest. continue to mix dough on low until elastic and smooth- 7-8 minutes.

- place dough in a large, lightly-oiled bowl, and loosely cover with a clean, cotton tea towel. let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour, or refrigerate overnight (let dough come to room temperature before proceeding).

- preheat oven to 375˚, with rack in the center. punch down dough, and divide into three equal pieces. gently roll each into a rope, 18-20 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches thick. on a lightly floured work surface, lay ropes vertically in front of you. working toward yourself, braid ropes. then form the braid into a circle (wreath); pinch ends together to seal.

- transfer braided wreath to a parchment-lined baking sheet; loosely cover with the tea towel- let rise 20 minutes.

- in a small bowl, whisk egg yolk and heavy cream. brush dough with egg wash. bake 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 350˚. continue baking until golden brown, 15-20 minutes more. transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

- when ready to serve, make icing by stirring together confectioners sugar and 2 Tbs. milk until smooth in a small bowl. then drizzle over cake.

LIGHT YOUR CANDLES + ENJOY!

June 18, 2012
by tartella
2 Comments

design: apron inspiration

We’ve been harboring a secret over at Tartella. We’ve been looking into another way to create our kitchen goodies. As much as I love handprinting each piece, things have gotten out of hand, literally. I just can’t physically keep up with demand, nor are a lot of retailers willing (or able!) to pay for the additional cost of me sweating it out over each printed piece. From a design perspective, I can’t be as free or colorful with my patterns, because I am very aware of the labor and cost implications of an additional few inches of design or another layer of color could have.

We’ve been a little mum on this decision, in part because we are far from ready to start a manufacturing line. We’ve only just begun on the research part, and have a lot to learn on everything from sourcing fabric to designing for fabric vs. individual pieces. Part of this is creating a book of inspiration- from patterns, styles and finishing details–everything around us is fair game for inspiring a new line, collection or piece.

Last week I pulled out some favorite half aprons from my own stash and spent some time photographing them and noting what draws me to them::

 

Ruffled Beauty- I found this one in my MIL’s basement. It was the print and colors that first attracted me…

 

But, it’s the tiered ruffles that I most adore now!

 

Simple Lace- this one is all about the details. The construction is simple and lightweight, but the white-on-red-lace stands out enough to make this a perfect hostess apron.

 

Even the pocket is embellished!

 

Country Chic- my sister brought me this one from a Texas vintage shop. Although it’s construction is also relatively simple, additional fabric and a wide band gives this apron some shape (think circle skirt). The colors make it fun! CORRECTION: My sister MADE me this apron! I was duly chastised for not remembering that…

And, details like vintage buttons elevate an apron beyond the functional.

I certainly have my share of standard bib aprons from events and more, but it’s the aprons that resemble skirts and dresses that I adore most. It’s part of my cooking and baking ritual and I can’t wait to make some for Tartella!

June 8, 2012
by tartella
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food: homemade twinkies

Twinkies

last week, while staring a dairy-free month in the face (we’ve determined that June will be ‘Happy Healthy Month’ in our household, which apparently means no dairy in B’s estimation. I’ve assured him that while I might be ‘healthier’ without dairy, I will, by no means, be ‘happier.’), I received these little goodies in the mail that I had ordered some time ago from Fab.com.

To be honest, I hadn’t really looked at the size when I ordered them, and so I was surprised by how small they were. What could I use them for? They’d really only hold enough batter for a cupcake-sized treat, but who makes rectangular cupcakes? I mean rectangular cupcakes…how silly! Oh, right. Twinkies!

I happened to have a ton of buttercream frosting in the freezer leftover from Mother’s Day treats, so decided to try my hand at making my own Twinkie cupcakes. Below is the ingredients that I used, but would imagine that any combination of cupcake batter and frosting that you enjoy would be terrific. My current favorite is adapted from Martha Stewart:

HOMEMADE TWINKIES

(makes 24-26 cupcakes)

Cake Ingredients:

8 oz. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pans

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tbs. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs (take out of refrigerator 30 mins before using)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 cup whole milk

 

Buttercream Filling Ingredients (this will make about 5 cups of frosting- waaaaay more than you need for these, but I like that this frosting refrigerates and freezes well. Just put the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze up to one month. To use, bring it to room temperature and then stir with a rubber spatula until it’s back to the original consistency):

1.5 cups granulated sugar

6 large egg whites

4 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into tablespoon-sized pieces

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- STARTING THE CAKE: preheat oven to 350˚. lightly butter the insides of mini loaf pans or use a baking spray. (i did NOT do this with mine, since the manufacturer says it’s not needed, but since you need to unmold these in order to fill with frosting, greasing the molds would make that process easier and neater.)

- whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside. put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; cream on med-hi speed until pale (2-3 mins). then, on medium speed, add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. add vanilla and mix, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. with the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two batches of milk. stir with a rubber spatula until the batter is evenly blended.

- pour batter into greased molds, filling each two-thirds full.

- bake until a cake tester inserted into centers comes out clean, 15-18 mins.

- let cupcakes cool on a rack until at room temperature, before unmolding and filling.

- MAKING THE FROSTING (while the cupcakes are baking and cooling, make the frosting): whisk sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 140˚ on an instant-read thermometer, 2-3 mins.

- fit an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, and beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks and the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 10 mins.

- reduce speed to med-lo, and add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition (meringue will deflate slightly as butter is added). Add vanilla; beat until frosting comes together, 3-5 mins. beat on lowest speed until air bubbles diminish, about 2 mins. stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.

- ASSEMBLING THE TWINKIES: unmold the cooled cakes (I kept each one in front of it’s mold, so I could pop it right back into the one it came from. But, since the molds are all the same size, this probably isn’t necessary). Fill a pastry bag fitted with a pastry tip (I used a #4, you need something skinny enough to get a decent way into the little cakes) about 1/2 to 2/3 full of frosting and twist the end until the frosting begins to come out. insert the pastry tip as far as possible (ideally, close to half way) into one long end of a cake and squeeze the frosting in while slowly pulling the pastry tip out. Repeat on the other side of the same cake. This allows you to fill almost the whole length of the cake. If you want a little extra frosting ‘oomph,’ you can insert the pastry tip a few times from the bottom of each cake, too. (I seem to remember seeing this on the Hostess Twinkie cakes when I was little…but there were so few of those allowed in my childhood, and it was so long ago!). Place the filled Twinkie back into it’s loaf pan and repeat with the remaining cakes.

ENJOY!

Twinkies

 

May 18, 2012
by tartella
0 comments

food: inspired bread

we love bread at tartella. we love to eat it, draw it and bake it. when we bake it though, we tend to pick the easier types- the no-knead bread, the brioche, the quick breads. artisanal loafs we tend to leave to the professionals. until now. in the airport a few weeks ago, i picked up the May issue of Saveur magazine, purely for the cover photo and title, “Make This Bread.” and last week, i did. i’m not sure if it is the project that we are working on for a lovely bakery, or if it was the realization that i’m overspending on groceries (artisanal bread and european butter add up!), but i decided to put in the time to make this ‘Four Hour Baguette‘ recipe.

the instructions were straight forward, and it did indeed take about 4 hours. i’m always amazed by how few ingredients go into a good loaf of bread. water, yeast, flour and salt are all that’s required… plus, a good dose of hand-kneading and patience, of course! a few things to note on my first attempt at baking my own baguettes:

1. use fresh flour. i knew as i was scooping in the last of a bag of bread flour from the back of my pantry that i was taking a risk. and, even though the other 1/2 of the flour used was fresh and fancy flour (special ordered!), i could taste the faint staleness of the old flour in the finished loaves. never again.

2. check the time. this was just silliness on my part, especially with my magical temperature-changes-every-five-minutes-whether-i-turn-the-dial-or-not oven, but for some reason i just set the timer for the stated time and left it (i usually check about 5-10 minutes earlier. they came out ok, but barely. i might have taken them out a few minutes earlier with better results.

3. make 2 baguettes instead of 3. now that the weather is getting warmer, our favorite dinner is a caprese sandwich. slightly fatter baguettes would work better for holding in the fillings. the online reviews for the recipe suggest that you can cut this dough in half (instead of thirds) with the same great results.

4. keep a razor blade in the kitchen. no, not to end it all when you burn dinner, but to make nice neat slashes in your baguettes. i used a slightly dull knife, and ended up deflating the loaves more than neatly slashing.

even with these ‘notes for next time,’ the first-time results were delicious and far easier than i thought. even with revised time and strategy for home chefs, this won’t completely cut out my bread shopping habits. but, if i get into a routine, i could see this becoming a once every other week habit. here’s to baking more delicious bread at home!

 

May 3, 2012
by tartella
1 Comment

design: terrariums & planters

There is a reason that we chose an herb terrarium as our latest Kitchen Print. The herb idea might be a dreamy one, one that we’re not sure would actually work out quite as well as it did in print, anyways! But, terrariums and planters of all shapes and sizes are great houseplants, decorations, gifts and more. We’ve been making a few different kinds over the past few months, working out what works best in our little house with little light. Below are a few of our favorites, along with some tips for how to create your own:

CONTAINER TERRARIUMS:

Container Terrarium

The one pictured here was actually a Christmas gift for our favorite illustrator, complete with a slightly creepy cement doll head that I thought she might find humorous (turns out she found it, well, slightly creepy). We followed these instructions from Design*Sponge practically to a ‘t,’ including shopping for plants and accessories at Chicago’s own Sprout Home. The only thing that I would reconsider is buying the dehydrated moss. While it started out green, it pretty quickly turned brown. I tried it in a variety of pots and applications with the same results. The other fuzzy brown element towards the bottom is the base of the ‘Rabbit’s Foot’ Fern (I’m sure there’s a more technical name for this!) which I absolutely love. The fern grows out from fuzzy ‘feet’ that grow and extend along the base of the plant. Since my sister and I share a love of rabbits, this plant choice was easy. A second (different) fern, air plant and a dried fungus complete the vegetation. Layers of rocks, charcoal and soil appropriate to low-light plants are the base of this terrarium. The container itself was an inexpensive find from a home decor store.

SUCCULENT/SEDUM PLANTER:

Sedum PlanterSucculents are plants that have thick fleshy leaves or stems adapted to storing water. They prefer dry climates and are a favorite for rock gardens and areas with gravel. Sedum is a large genus of flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae (according to Wikipedia, at least), members of which are commonly known as stonecrops. What I know is that succulents (along with some flowering sedums) make for a lovely and low-maintenance planter. Once you choose a planter that accounts for the height of your selected plants’ root structure and has drainage (VERY important for succulents- they like it dry!), you can be very imaginative with your planter!  I found my giant clam planter online after coveting a cement version that I saw in a shelter mag. What I found is a very similar resin version, for a fraction of the price. And, since this is inside most of the year, this was practical on many levels- my little side table would never have been able to bear the weight of the cement version! There are drainage holes in this planter, a gravel layer was not necessary, but I added one anyways. Since I ended up using standard potting soil vs. a kind specially suited for succulents (which is recommended), I’m glad I took the precaution. I purposefully started out with only a few plants in the large planter, as I wasn’t sure how quickly they would grow, or if I’d selected versions that would spread. I also added some smooth beach stones collected from a California trip. Over the past year, I’ve added more when I find one that suits my fancy, or I swipe a cutting from my mother’s collection.

As with the container terrarium, maintenance is low. Water as necessary (wait for any sedum planters to get fairly dry before watering; a fern terrarium should be watered more frequently- but always check the soil first!). One thing that neither planting likes is dead leaves, though. Be sure to pick up or pinch yellowing leaves as a rule, and remove any plants that succumb to rot. This will help keep the rest of the plants healthy!

 

HANGING TERRARIUMS:

Air PlantThe easiest of the three, air plants don’t require soil at all. I found these glass globes at CB2 some time ago, and was just waiting for the right project. Air plants add a little green to a corner of our dining room that needed some life, and the hanging bulbs keep them light and lovely. Outside of a dunk every week in a bowl of water (just for a few seconds, and then let dry a bit before putting them back in the globes), there’s nothing to these. I have lost one in the 6 months I’ve had them, but am not sure why. However, there’s still 5 more going, so I consider that good odds (especially with my tendency to kill houseplants)!

 

HAPPY PLANTING!

April 18, 2012
by tartella
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food: summer cookin’ playlist

Amanda here, Tartella’s illustrator. Andrea asked me to do a guest blog today, so naturally you can expect me to talk about anything but recipes! (I just figured out last week that Greek yogurt is an appropriate substitute for sour cream… not exactly the head Foodie in this family.) I might not be able to cook it, but I can certainly draw it. If there is one thing that Andrea and I do have in common when it comes to cooking and drawing food, it is that we love to listen to music while we do it. Since I am moving to Austin, TX in 15 days I have been listening to even more classic country music than I normally do, combined with the rockabilly, 60s pop and surf music that defines my summer sound. I compiled an upbeat playlist for cooking those first summer meals with the windows open- guaranteed to have you shimmying from counter to stovetop! (Or in my case, something perky to listen to in the drive-thru…) Enjoy!

01. Johnny Got A Boom Boom- Imelda May

02. Shakin’ All Over- Wanda Jackson

03. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’- Nancy Sinatra

04. 19th Nervous Breakdown- The Rolling Stones

05. Sticks and Stones- Ray Charles

06. Sugar, Sugar- The Archies

07. Chick Habit- April March

08. Cecilia- Simon & Garfunkel

09. Back In Baby’s Arms- Patsy Cline

10. Stupid Cupid- Connie Francis

11. Hey, Good Lookin’- Hank Williams

12. It’s A Good Day- Peggy Lee

13. Rum and Coca-Cola- Wanda Jackson

14. Walk Don’t Run- The Ventures

15. Howl At The Moon- The Black Belles

 

March 26, 2012
by tartella
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design: nashville design retreat

after our brainstorming session, we decided it was time to head out of town for a true ‘design retreat.’ so, we put on our road-trip playlist (starting with a current favorite, Imelda May), and headed south to Nashville, TN.  the purpose of this trip was to cut out the distractions and focus on designing a new line of textiles. staying for a few days in a secluded farmhouse just north of Nashville, we managed to do just that. while we still have a lot of work left to do (this is much harder than I thought!), this was a great way to kickstart the design process. we were able to take breaks by the little pond out front (scaring off the wild turkeys, first)- at least until unidentified insects (are those wasps or flying ants?) scared us off! or, take mind-clearing jogs through the 100-acre wooded landscape winding past green bluffs and streams.

our first afternoon, we took a well-deserved break for lunch at nearby Thomas Drugs, where we devoured grilled cheese and Dr. Pepper (made fountain style!) at the aged counter. the true soda-fountain locale (and some fun ‘statues’ we passed on the way back to the farm) called for some instagram-styled pics:

Amanda at Thomas DrugAndrea at Thomas Drug

Gas Station Indian

Appeared to be guarding the diesel pumps at a gas station... or is he saying 'you must be no higher than this to enter'?

Pink Elephant

What is it about pink elephants and alcohol?

after a few days in the serene wilderness, we were ready to pack up and take in some nashville city life. we first headed to the [lovely!] nashville main library to finish up some textile and theme research. the nashville public library, the current version of which was opened in 2001, was a gracious place to hide away on a rainy afternoon, and had spacious and quiet reading rooms that we could pore over design and history books.

after all that hard work, it was impossible to resist the lure of music and drinks on broadway. amanda’s friend suggested a bar to check out and we were lucky enough to stumble upon a great band that played all night at Layla’s Bluegrass Inn.

before leaving town, we had one more stop to make: Hatch Show Print- one of the oldest letterpress studios in the US still making posters just like they used to! i can’t believe that i didn’t take any pictures of the shop, maybe because i was in awe of all the type and woodblocks stacked high along all the wall, with letterpress printers of all shapes and sizes taking up the floor. posters old and new provided a colorful wallpaper backdrop to the studio. this video (produced by Hatch) does a great job of showing and explaining what they do… better than any pictures of mine could!

all in all a successful trip: work, check; sun, check; inspiration, check; fun, check & check!

boots

Until next time, Nashville!

 

 

March 6, 2012
by tartella
0 comments

food: monkey bread

I would like to think I am the kind of woman that would do just fine on her own.* That I would consciously take care of home and hearth, diligently make home-cooked meals for myself, and keep everything running smoothly. I’ve had a few instances to test that hypothesis of late, as B. has had to leave town for a few long stretches recently. And, what I’ve found is that I turn into a bit of a bachelor without him. Cheesey rice dinners with Froot Loops for dessert. There may have even been a day where I never got out of pajamas (working at home can be both a blessing and a curse). The fact is that I thrive when I have others to cook & care for in addition to myself. And, I get dressed.

So, to make sure that B. knew how much I missed him, and to get myself back into the cooking and baking routine, I got up early this morning to make one of his brunch favorites- Monkey Bread. This treat goes by many other names (like ‘bubbleloaf’ and ‘sticky bread’), but is probably most commonly called ‘Monkey Bread’ in bakeries and cookbooks. I’ve actually made this (rather unsuccessfully) once before after buying a special ‘Monkey Bread Mold,’ and using the attached recipe- once again suckered by Williams Sonoma into buying a kitchen tool that I didn’t need… a regular ‘ol bundt pan will do just fine for this treat!

I didn’t find the need to try again once I found an Uptown bakery that had a delicious (and B. approved) version, made in small, individual-sized brioche-style wrappers. Unfortunately, when I stopped by Flourish Bakery late last year for a monkey bread fix and found they were C-L-O-S-E-D (for good), I knew I had to find a better recipe for making Monkey Bread at home. So, I went to one of my favorite sources for getting classic recipes right, America’s Test Kitchen. While Cook’s Illustrated IS a paid subscription site, it pays to sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter from America’s Test Kitchen (which is produced by the same people as CI)- you’ll get access to a few recipes and kitchen tips and reviews every week from Cook’s Illustrated. Monkey Bread was one of them. I’d also recommend watching this clip from Cook’s Country (also related to CI)- with the always informative and entertaining Christopher Kimball and crew!)

Monkey Bread

Needless to say, this version worked out perfectly! The only tweak I’ll make for next time is to use an actual bundt pan, vs. my ‘special’ WS Monkey Bread Mold. With it’s higher and narrower walls, there were some bread balls in the middle that were a tad undercooked, and the bread ended up coming up higher than the rim, which made plating it a bit hard. I think the more open channel of a true bundt pan would allow for more even cooking, and prevent it from spilling over.  So, without further ado:

 MONKEY BREAD RECIPE:

Serves 6 to 8.    Published February 1, 2005 in Cook’s Illustrated Magazine.
The dough should be sticky, but if you find it’s too wet and not coming together in the mixer, add 2 tablespoons more flour and mix until the dough forms a cohesive mass. Make sure to use light brown sugar in the sugar mix; dark brown sugar has a stronger molasses flavor that can be overwhelming. After baking, don’t let the bread cool in the pan for more than 5 minutes or it will stick to the pan and come out in pieces. Monkey bread is at its best when served warm.

INGREDIENTS
Dough:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, 2 tablespoons softened and 2 tablespoons melted

1 cup milk , warm (about 110 degrees)

1/3 cup water , warm (about 110 degrees)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 package rapid-rise yeast (or instant)

3  1/4 cups all-purpose flour , plus extra for work surface

2 teaspoons table salt

Brown Sugar Coating:
1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted

Glaze:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons milk

INSTRUCTIONS
1. For the dough: Adjust oven rack to medium-low position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn it off. Butter Bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Set aside.
2. In large measuring cup, mix together milk, water, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Mix flour and salt in standing mixer fitted with dough hook. Turn machine to low and slowly add milk mixture. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Coat large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and coat surface of dough with cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 50 to 60 minutes.
3. For the sugar coating: While dough is rising, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in bowl. Place melted butter in second bowl. Set aside.
4. To form the bread: Gently remove dough from bowl, and pat into rough 8-inch square. Using bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 64 pieces (cut into 4 even sections, then continue to quarter each section until get 64 pieces).
5. Roll each dough piece into ball. Working one at a time, dip balls in melted butter, allowing excess butter to drip back into bowl. Roll in brown sugar mixture, then layer balls in Bundt pan, staggering seams where dough balls meet as you build layers.
6. Cover Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and place in turned-off oven until dough balls are puffy and have risen 1 to 2 inches from top of pan, 50 to 70 minutes.
7. Remove pan from oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap pan and bake until top is deep brown and caramel begins to bubble around edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out on platter and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
8. For the glaze: While bread cools, whisk confectioners’ sugar and milk in small bowl until lumps are gone. Using whisk, drizzle glaze over warm monkey bread, letting it run over top and sides of bread. Serve warm.

ENJOY!

*of course, I know that I WOULD do just fine on my own… it would just take more than a little practice. And, a self-imposed ban on Froot Loops.

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