Ever since I was a child, I remember watching my mom make monkey bread. All of my friends and my brothers’ friends raved about the sugary barely-breakfast delight. When I got older, I became interested in creating a monkey bread so delicious that it unified those who ate it. So, instead of using pre-made dough, I opted for making my monkey bread from scratch. The first step? Determining the ingredients that I absolutely could not go without for the dough. After scouring the web and conducting an extensive Pinterest search, I realized that almost every dough contains these 6 ingredients:
1. All-purpose flour
Flour plays a central role in the production of monkey bread dough. Aside from bringing starch to the dough mixture, flour consists of a large amount of proteins – glutenin and gliadin. Gluten in the flour creates a breeding ground for a crazy chemical reaction.
This is where water steps in and steals the show. Most monkey bread recipes require the baker to heat the water to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Once this temperature is reached, the water is mixed with the flour. When a baker combines these two ingredients, proteins connect through hydrogen bonds and disulfide structures.
Recipes may not need much salt, but the ingredient shoulders much responsibility for the quality of dough. Salt impacts four important components of dough:
After salt is added to the dough mixture, gluten is more strongly structured and the dough is more pliable.
As a baker inserts yeast into the dough, the sugar molecules in the starch from the flour combine with the maltase in the yeast. The resulting glucose assists the fermentation process. The conversion of various sugars in the mixture creates carbon dioxide – initiating the rising of the bread.
This fatty substance is included in monkey bread recipes to form bread with a softer texture. Butter has the opposite effect of salt – decreasing the strength of gluten connections.
Like the water, milk in a monkey bread dough recipe must be heated to more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit before interacting with the other ingredients. Milk isn’t always viewed as essential to dough recipes. But in the case of monkey bread, milk affects texture, flavor, and the state of the crust.