Cool recipe title, right? Of course, that’s not the point. The point is that brown sugar, yeasty bread, cinnamon, and orange have a new best friend. And that best friend is a hint of smoke.
It’s subtle, not in your face by any means, but that hint of woodsmoke along with all those other cozy flavours takes this Monkey Bread to a whole other level.
The smoke flavour comes from tea. Lapsang Souchong tea, specifically. Lapsang Souchong is smoked over pine needles, giving it an intense, heady aroma.
To be honest with you, I can’t stand to drink it – the smoke flavour is way too strong for me. But baking with it? I’m in love.
The beauty of bringing that pine-smoke flavour to this bread is not only that it adds some complexity to what is a very familiar flavour, but it also tastes exactly like eating a cinnamon bun next to a campfire.
It makes me think of forests, and cozy blankets and chopping wood, and cooking under the stars.
Smoke, cinnamon and orange is such a great combination. And it was so easy to achieve too. I just infused the butter with a few spoonfuls of tea and blammo, mission accompished – I’m really psyched to try out some other varieties and see what happens.
This is my latest favourite update on a classic. Do you ever do that? Take an old favourite and add a new flavour – like when everyone discovered that salt and caramel are best friends? What’s your favourite unusual combo?
- 2 + ½ cups (375g) flour
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 + ¼ tsp yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅔ cup (165ml) milk
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- ½ stick (50g) butter
- 2 tsp lapsang souchong tea
- ½ cup (110g) brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Zest of 1 orange
- Place all the ingredients for the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until it's elastic. (easily done by hand, it'll just take a bit longer!)
- Cover the dough and set aside for at least an hour or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter for the coating, and add the tea. Cover and set aside to infuse for at least 20 minutes, before straining out the tea and placing the butter in a shallow bowl.
- Mix the remaining coating ingredients together in a separate shallow bowl.
- When the dough is risen, punch it down, and then press it out on a lightly floured surface into a square. Cut the square 6 down and 6 across to make 36 small pieces.
- Roll each piece into a ball, and dip first into the butter, then the brown sugar mixture, before placing it into a greased 6 inch bundt tin. Cover the tin and set aside to rise for a further 30 minutes.
- Bake at 180C for 15 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, before turning out onto a plate. Don't let it cool too much in the tin, or it might stick! ENJOY!