Feasting on Plucket Bread

This morning as I was watching Instagram stories, Kate Bowler mentioned that Sundays in Lent are considered feast days. She said it’s a reminder that we are not to live in fear forever; our suffering does not last forever.

Between some deep sadness in our extended family complicated by the current crisis and the collective experience of social isolation, we are (all) in need of something celebratory.

Being a person of faith and participating in the rituals of the church and spiritual practices does not mean that one is living in denial of the reality of pain and grief in our world, but these actions and disciplines are the anchors that can help steady us in the stormy times.

Following internet advice, I’ve been trying to find ways to make our weekend days different from our week days. We have often had pancakes on Saturday mornings and small group dinner on Sunday nights. But since we are in isolation mode, our past few Sunday evenings have been “snacky suppers.”

My son requested monkey bread (or “plucket bread”to this Mennonite gal) to be part of the menu tonight, and I was glad to oblige.

Because we’re going to be home for the foreseeable future and baking helps me cope, I mixed up a batch of brioche dough from Zoe Francios’ celebration bread cookbook. This recipe makes three batches of dough that you can keep in your fridge and then use throughout the week.

It feels particularly indulgent to be making the brioche bread base for this recipe in this cultural moment since it uses a lot of butter and eggs (which are in short supply apparently). Never fear, you have other options– any bread dough recipe will work (even refrigerator biscuits)– though enriched doughs will yield an even tastier treat.

Ingredients:

Bread dough (or four cans of refrigerator biscuits)

1 T. cinnamon

1/4 c. white sugar

1 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. butter (melted)

Technique:

Portion your dough into small balls (about the size of a ping pong ball).

Roll each dough ball in cinnamon sugar mix (1/4 c. white sugar + 1T cinnamon) to coat. If your dough is not very sticky, you can dip the balls into melted butter and then roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place the coated dough in a well greased baking pan. Today I used a bunt pan. This can be a loaf pan, angel food cake pan…most any shape will work, you just may need to adjust the bake time.

Allow the dough to rise loosely covered in a warm spot for about an hour.

To make the caramel sauce, melt 1/2 c. butter with 1 c. brown sugar (on the stove top or in the microwave).

Pour the caramel sauce over the top of your bread before baking.

Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes. This will depend a bit on the shape of your pan. You want the dough to be cooked through– a bit harder to tell with the caramel topping in the mix.

Carefully turn out your bread onto a plate or serving platter while it’s still warm (otherwise the caramel will cause your bread to be quite stuck in the pan!)

Published by shergerber

Pastor, momma & home baker in the Shenandoah Valley

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