1/4cupwarm water105-110 degrees F -- warm but not hot
1.5teaspoonsinstant or active dry yeastI use instant, but either works in this recipe
1/4cupmelted unsalted butter
3-3.5cupsall purpose flour
2-3 tablespoonslemon zestfrom 4 lemons
1cuppowdered icing sugar
Yeast bun dough
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the 1/4 cup warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes or until bubbly -- this is how you know your yeast is working. This step is technically not required when using instant yeast, but I do it always anyways, so that I know my buns will be a success.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a very large bowl if you are kneading by hand), whisk together the 1 cup warm water, butter, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt. Add the bubbly yeast mixture and stir to combine.
Place the bowl in the stand mixer and put the dough hook on the machine. You can also knead by hand.
Add the flour, one cup at a time, and mix until nearly combined before adding more. You can use all purpose or whole wheat or a combination. Start with 2 cups flour, mixing until each is incorporated, then gradually adding more.
Add up to 3.5 cups flour total, very gradually at the end, until the dough comes together in a smooth, soft ball and does not stick to the sides of the stand mixer. When you touch it, it should be smooth and slightly tacky but not sticky.
Place dough in a large lightly greased bowl (you can use the same bowl and grease it), and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Set in a warm spot (I use the oven with the light on -- turn the oven on to preheat for 2-4 minutes before turning off and adding the dough) and let rise until doubled, about 1.5 hours.
Lemon Coating and Assembly
Grease a large bundt pan well and set aside.
In a small bowl put the melted butter. In another small bowl, combine the 1 cup sugar and lemon zest.
Roll bun dough (after rising) into 1” balls and dip first in butter and then cover in lemon sugar mixture. Place in greased bundt pan.
When all the dough has been used, pour any remaining butter over the top and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and set in the fridge overnight to bake in the morning or let it rise on the counter for 1 hour and bake that day
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap or towel from the bundt pan and bake, uncovered, for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown on top.
Carefully run a knife around the edges of the monkey bread while still warm. Place a large plate on top of the pan, and flip to invert.
Stir together powdered sugar and just enough lemon juice so that it comes together -- the more lemon juice you use, the thinner the glaze will be.