Hungarian Monkey Bread
4 3/4-5 cups flour, sifted
1/2cupwhole milk, scalded (to scald milk heat in the top of a double-boiler over simmering water, just until a thin film appears)
4 1/2teaspoonsactive dry yeast
1/2cupwarm water (110-115 F)
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup sugar
3/4cupwalnuts, finely chopped (about 3 ounces)
1/2cupsweet butter, melted
1/2cupraisins (about 2.5 ounces
Serve with either:
Soften yeast in warm water and let stand 5-10 minutes so that it proofs.
In a large bowl, combine shortening, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt, then immediately pour scalded milk over mixture.
While mixture is warm, mix in 1/2 cup flour and beat until dough is smooth.
Stir the yeast, then add it to the dough, mixing well.
Add half of the remaining flour and beat until dough is very smooth.
Beat in the eggs and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and let rest 5-10 minutes.
Knead by folding opposite side over towards you, then using the heels of your hands to push the dough away, then give it a quarter turn and repeat the process until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes) (always turn the dough in the same direction and use as little additional flour as possible).
Form dough into a large ball and place in a greased bowl.
Turn the ball over so that the surface on the top is greased and cover the bowl with waxed paper and a towel.
Let rise in warm place (80°F) until doubled in bulk (1 1/2-2 hour).
Punch dough down with fist, pull the edges into the center, and turn the ball over inside the bowl.
Cover bowl and let the dough rise until nearly doubled again in bulk.
Meanwhile, lightly grease the bottom of a 10-inch tube pan.
In a shallow dish combine 1 cup sugar, nuts, and cinnamon and set aside.
Place melted butter in another shallow dish and set aside.
Tear off bits of dough and form into balls 1-1 1/4-inch in diameter (about the size of walnuts).
Roll balls first in melted butter, then lightly in the cinnamon mixture.
Arrange a layer of balls in the bottom of the pan so that they don't touch each other.
Sprinkle about 1/3 of the raisins over the balls and gently press into the dough.
Continue this process until all of the dough is formed into balls and arranged in the pan and all of the raisins have been used up.
Sprinkle any remaining butter and cinnamon mixture over the top layer.
Cover pan with waxed paper and towel and let dough rise until light (30-45 minutes).
Bake at 375°F until golden brown (35-40 minutes).
Run spatula around sides of pan and invert onto a plate.
To serve, break cake apart with 2 forks.