Monkey bread has long been a favorite recipe of mine, with its warm, gooey, cinnamon goodness. It’s one of those foods you savor in your childhood and long crave into your adulthood and the rest of your life, but never find yourself enjoying it as often as you would like. As a child, it was a rare treat; my mom didn’t really bake many things outside of muffins, cookies, or birthday cake. Cinnamon rolls almost always came from a can and homemade doughnuts weren’t a thing until I began to bake for fun. Although this pull-apart cinnamon grapefruit bread with earl grey lavender glaze isn’t monkey bread, it closely resembles it (sans the gooeyness) in way of the process.
I recently realized there aren’t any recipes on my site with grapefruit as an ingredient. I thought it best I post at least one including grapefruit before the season runs out, which is when I decided on this pull-apart cinnamon grapefruit bread with earl grey lavender glaze. When it comes to grapefruit Florida ruby red is the best(in my opinion) and it’s what I used for this recipe. Though it’s only the zest you need for the bread, still, I’ve found that that variety is what holds the flavor in the peel the best.
I wish this bread had lasted longer than it did. It was taken rather well by my family, my mom especially. Which is surprising because she doesn’t like lavender and this had dried lavender sprinkled all over the top to add more flavor. In any case you don’t have lavender on hand, just make a trip to your local garden center. Most stores where plants are sold have small pots of lavender growing as of now and you can find them rather cheap as I did. Once you have one, pluck as many buds off as you can and set them out to dry, then use.
PULL-APART CINNAMON GRAPEFRUIT BREAD WITH EARL GREY LAVENDER GLAZE
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
zest from 1 grapefruit
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
sugar, cinnamon, and butter coating
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
earl grey + lavender glaze
1 cup water
2 earl grey tea bags
1 sprig of fresh lavender
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of the tea you made
dried lavender buds (optional)
for the dough
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk and heavy cream until warm. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the yeast and pour in 1/2 cup of the warm milk, stir slightly and let it sit until the yeast dissolves and is foamy(5-7 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl, set aside. Once the yeast has dissolved, add the egg yolk, sugar, and remaining milk and whisk until just combined. Sprinkle in 1 cup of flour, the grapefruit zest, and the soften cubed butter; mix on medium-low speed with the dough hook attached and slowly pour in the remaining flour. Continue to mix until the dough begins to wipe the sides of the mixing bowl clean. It should be very soft, but not sticky. Remove from mixing bowl and place in a lightly buttered bowl. Cover with a thin towel and let it rise in warm, dry place until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- 10 minutes before the dough has finished its rising process, preheat the oven to 350°F / 177°C. Butter well the sides and bottom of an 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper, lightly buttering this as well. Melt the 4 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl and set aside. On a plate, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
- Once the dough has finished rising, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands for 1 minute. Begin to tear various sized pieces (medium to small sizes) of dough in your hands and roll into a ball. Dip the dough ball into the melted butter and cover with the sugar mixture, lastly place the dough ball in the pan. Continue this process until all the dough is used and is evenly distributed in the loaf pan. Place the pan on the lowest rack in the oven and bake for 55 minutes to an hour, until nicely browned. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Using a sharp knife, carefully loosen the bread from around the edges of the pan. Invert onto a plate and drizzle generously with the glaze. Top with dried lavender and enjoy warm!
for the glaze:
- Bring the water to a boil with the lavender sprig, then remove from heat and add the two tea bags. Steep for 10 minutes then remove the lavender sprig and the tea bags. Cool the tea completely before using.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift the confectioner’s sugar. Add two tablespoons of the cooled tea to the sugar and whisk until smooth, it should drizzle thick and not runny. If it’s runny, add a 1/4 more of powdered sugar. if it is to thick, add 1/2 teaspoon more of tea. Drizzle onto the bread when it’s still warm and top with dried lavender buds.