Misadventures with Yeast and Foolproof Monkey Bread

I mentioned in my February 6th post that I would share some photos of random recipes I’ve been making while taking a break from blogging about family recipes.

I attempted to make these Baker’s Dozen yeast rolls—TWICE, from a recipe I found in a Taste of Home magazine publication.

When my dough didn’t rise, I thought my yeast from the jar had gone bad, so I bought new yeast in packets and attempted the recipe again. The dough still didn’t rise—and this in spite of the fact that I used a candy thermometer to measure the water temperature before I added the yeast to it to make sure the water was neither too cold or too hot, something I’ve been told is a necessity when working with yeast. I am starting to wonder if I am capable of making anything requiring yeast, as I previously attempted a bread recipe and failed at that recipe more than once, as well (then, I thought it was the recipe that was bad, not the yeast).

I had someone mention to me that I should buy active dry yeast at a natural food store, like WholeFoods, instead of the instant yeast I’ve been buying at regular grocery stores.

Maybe I just don’t have the yeast gene, though? I’m not ready to completely throw in the towel yet, but I am ready to put aside my roll and bread-making attempts for the time being.

However, my craving for something starchy and doughy and loaded with carbs still hadn’t went away, so I decided to make what most people refer to as Monkey Bread using a foolproof ingredient—frozen dinner rolls. I knew I couldn’t mess those up!

Monkey Bread Recipe

from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quick-and-easy-monkey-bread/(I actually cut this recipe in half.)

Ingredients:
12 frozen Rhodes rolls
½ cup brown sugar
½ package butterscotch cook and serve dry pudding mix (not instant)
1/8 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ stick butter
1 cup chopped (shelled) pistachios or walnuts or pecans

Instructions:

At least five hours before you want to start baking these (most people prepare these right before they go to bed for the following morning), grease the sides of a Bundt pan (I use an olive oil mister, but a product like Pam No-Stick Cooking Spray or smearing butter on the sides of the pan with a paper towel would work, as well).

You can either buy your nuts already chopped or if you have whole nuts a nut chopper is a great way to quickly chop them. Another great way to chop whole nuts is to put them in a heavy-duty plastic, freezer bag and take a few whacks at them with a hammer on a sturdy surface—this will probably get rid of any pent-up aggression you may have too!

Sprinkle your nuts evenly around the bottom of the pan, and then place your frozen rolls in a circle evenly around the pan, on top of the nuts.

Mix the brown sugar and butterscotch pudding mix together and sprinkle evenly over the frozen rolls. Then, mix the white sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle evenly on top of the brown sugar and pudding mix. Melt your butter (45-60 seconds in the microwave) and pour evenly over the top. Cover loosely with wax paper.

Overnight, the rolls will rise—in my case, they rose like crazy sticking to and pushing upwards the wax paper I used to loosely cover the pan, showing I’m not a complete jinx to yeast, I guess.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove and toss the wax paper. Place the Bundt pan on a cookie sheet (to catch any potential overflow and keep it from spilling into your oven) and bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from over, flip Bundt pan over onto a large platter so nuts will be on top, serve warm, and watch these delicious rolls disappear before your eyes!

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