Overnight Monkey Bread
Serves 10 to 12.
Note: This recipe must be prepared in advance. To toast pecans, place the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, and cook, stirring (or shaking the pan frequently) until they just begin to release their fragrance, about 3 to 4 minutes. Alternately, preheat oven to 325 degrees, spread the nuts on an ungreased baking sheet and bake, stirring often, for 4 to 6 minutes. Adapted from Rhodes Bake-N-Serve.
• 24 frozen unbaked, commercially made white yeast dinner rolls (such as Rhodes)
• 1 c. dark brown sugar, packed
• 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
• 1 c. chopped pecans, toasted (see Note)
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 10 tbsp. (1 stick plus 2 tbsp.) butter, melted, plus extra butter for pan
Spread rolls about an inch apart on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and thaw until slightly soft, about 45 to 60 minutes. Using a sharp kitchen scissors, cut rolls in half.
Butter a 12-cup Bundt pan or angel-food tube cake pan.
In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans.
Stir vanilla extract into melted butter. Dip rolls in the melted butter mixture to coat, then roll them in the brown sugar mixture until thoroughly coated. Place rolls in prepared pan, arranging them to evenly fill the pan. Pour any remaining butter mixture and brown sugar mixture over the top of the dough.
Cover pan with a light cloth, set in a warm place and allow dough to rise, doubling in size (until it’s just over the pan’s edges), about 8 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove cloth, place pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake until bread is pulling away from the pan’s edges, an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the pan’s edges to loosen the bread, then carefully invert pan onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.