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The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
Start with the dough. Put the milk and butter into a medium pan and heat gently until the butter melts and the milk is at a simmer. Cool for a few mins, then beat in the eggs with a fork. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl with 1½ tsp fine salt, then add the liquid and stir to a sticky dough. Leave for 5 mins, then tip onto a floured worktop and knead for 5-10 mins until smooth and springy. Use a little oil to grease a large bowl, add the dough, turn it in the oil to coat, then cover the bowl with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size. Knead in a tabletop mixer with a dough hook if you prefer.
To assemble, grease a 25cm bundt pan with butter. Melt the rest of the butter in a pan. In a medium bowl mix the spices and sugar plus a pinch of salt. Spoon 2 tbsp melted butter, 3 tbsp spiced sugar and 4 tbsp pecans into the bottom of the tin.
Pull the dough into about 65 small pieces and roll into balls. Taking 4 or 5 at a time, dunk the dough balls into the melted butter, let the excess drain off, then tip them into the spiced sugar. Roll to coat, then put haphazardly into the tin. Repeat until there’s a full layer of dough in the tin. Scatter with the rest of the chopped nuts, then carry on filling the tin with the coated dough balls. Tip any leftover sugar and butter over the dough. Can be frozen now for up to 1 month. Defrost in the fridge then let prove.
Cover the pan with oiled clingfilm then leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr, or until risen and the dough no longer springs back when you poke it.
Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Bake the monkey bread for 35 mins, or until well risen and golden. Let the pan cool for 5 mins, then give it a sharp rap on the counter. Leave in the tin until just warm.
Whisk all of the ingredients together to make the glaze. It will thicken as the melted butter cools. Turn the monkey bread onto a serving plate, then drizzle with the glaze. Let it set, if you can bear the wait.