Monkey bread as it's usually made is something I'd never eat. It's made from canned biscuits coated with loads and loads of butter and sugar. If I ate something like that, I'd feel bad later from the sugar crash and too much butter.
My mom used to make a savory "monkey bread" from a yeasted dough that was completely different, though. I loved hers, and when I came across a sweet yeasted version in Cooking Light, I knew I wanted to make my own. The magazine reduced the fat and sugar a good bit from the original, and I reduced it more. I also used all whole wheat flour and a good bit more orange juice. The magazine version had icing on top, but I thought it was sweet enough without it. Finally, I had some peeled, roasted pumpkin in my freezer, so I mashed that up and threw it in the dough. To bring the orange and pumpkin flavors together I added cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Delicious, and I feel better after eating some, not worse.
Theoretically this is a breakfast dish, but we couldn't resist having it for dessert. Thus, I'm entering it in Raven's Cook. Eat. Delicious - Desserts, which I am hosting this month. We are headed to the Florida Keys for a week, so I won't be posting in the meantime, but I'll be able to read and comment on your delicious entries to the event, so send them my way!
Orange-Pumpkin Whole Wheat Monkey Bread
1 cup almond milk, warm
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
1 cup mashed pumpkin (mine was roasted but canned would work)
1/4 brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
2 teaspoons yeast (or 1(1/4-oz.) packet)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
3-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
Heat almond milk, orange juice and eb over medium low heat until the eb melts and the mixture is warm (don't get it above 110 F; 105 F is ideal.)
Transfer the almond milk mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, flax seed, yeast and salt. Mix well with regular beaters (or a whisk if mixing by hand.) Stir in the flour, and knead with dough hooks on the lowest setting for 5 minutes, or knead by hand for 10 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover and set aside for an hour or until doubled in size.
Make sugar coating. Oil a 9-inch springform or cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 F.
1/3 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon cloves
Have orange juice at hand in a medium bowl. In another bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
Punch down dough and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and then slice each into 8 chunks. Dip a chunk into the orange juice and roll in the sugar coating. Place in the pan. Repeat with remaining chunks of dough; you'll end up with two layers of dough pieces. If you have any leftover sugar mixture, pour it over the top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until firm in the center. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then pop the ring off the springform pan, or if using a cake pan, turn upside-down over a plate.
Serves a crowd.