Bacon and orange are the stars in this sweet and savory monkey bread. The homemade dough takes some time to make, but the result is a perfectly fluffy dessert you'll want to make for your family time and time again. Drizzle with a sweet orange glaze or serve on the side for dipping.
For the sweet dough: Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it just starts to simmer, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and granulated sugar until melted. Set aside to cool.
Put the warm water in a small liquid measuring cup and stir in the yeast. Let it sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Combine the milk mixture, yeast mixture, eggs, salt and half the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the remaining flour, mixing until a smooth ball forms. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to knead the dough until very smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Coat a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray, then place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 60 to 75 minutes.
For the bacon and assembly: Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve the bacon drippings. Chop the cooked bacon into 1/2-inch pieces.
Stir together 4 tablespoons of the butter and the brown sugar in a small bowl until combined. Spray a 3-quart Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, then use a pastry brush to brush the butter-sugar mixture all over the inside of the pan.
Punch down the dough and invert it onto a worksurface lightly dusted with flour. Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces, then roll into balls (about 36 balls). Microwave the remaining 8 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl until melted, about 1 minute. Add the reserved bacon drippings to the butter and stir to combine. Stir together the granulated sugar, cinnamon and orange zest in another medium bowl. Roll each dough ball first in the melted butter, then coat in the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Layer in the prepared pan, scattering some of the chopped bacon as you go between the layers. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cover the pan with foil and bake until the edges are lightly browned and the dough has puffed and started to set, about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until well browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes more.
Let it sit 15 minutes, so it has time to cool slightly, then run a small offset spatula around the edges of the pan and invert the monkey bread onto a serving platter.
For the orange glaze: Meanwhile, whisk the confectioners' sugar, milk, orange juice and zest together in a small bowl until smooth; it should be thick but pourable. Drizzle over the monkey bread or serve on the side for dipping if desired.
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