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A good lady in California once wrote us, “Monkey bread is the most scrumptious concoction on the planet!”. The story is that Nancy Reagan made it popular when she was in the white house during the Reagan years. Anything this scrumptious should be popular.
Monkey bread is more of a method than a recipe. You can make monkey bread with a bread mix or your favorite bread recipe. The difference in the recipes is in the filling that you roll the dough pieces through before baking.
Last week we made monkey bread using our Raised Glazed Donut mixes. They were terrific! Today we’ll tell you how to make monkey bread plus tell you about mixes and recipes that you can use.
We’ve been making monkey bread for years. Obviously, we love it. It’s a family treat, we take it to parties, and it’s perfect for holidays. It’s easy, we can be creative, and it doesn’t take a great investment of time.
It’s a great kids’ project. Kids love handling and dipping the bread pieces and it really doesn’t matter how it’s put together. Both you and the kids will have fun.
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Steps for Successful Monkey Bread
Though monkey bread is easy to make and the actual preparation time is modest, you do have to wait for the bread to rise. Allow yourself plenty of time.
Step 1: Mix the dough and add the goodies. Monkey bread lends itself to freelancing; you don’t have to follow a monkey bread recipe and you can start with your favorite bread recipe.
To fill a bundt pan, you will need a recipe that calls for about four cups of flour. Mix as you would another bread. We usually add several tablespoons of sugar for a little sweeter bread. For an egg-rich bread, add an egg. You can also add cocoa, dry fruit, or nuts.
Step 2: Cut the chunks. The easiest way to cut the dough is to roll or pat it out on the counter and cut across the dough with a sharp knife. The chunks should be no larger than walnuts.
Step 3: Coat the chunks. There are two ways to coat the chunks: dip the chunks in butter and roll them in a sugar mixture or make a buttery slurry of melted butter and sugar and cinnamon and dip the chunks in the slurry. Nuts, fruit, or jam can be added between layers if desired. If you want to top your monkey bread with nuts, place nuts in the bottom of the pan since the monkey bread will be inverted onto a platter after baking.
Step 4: Load the pan. You don’t have to use a bundt pan; any pan will do though tube pans and spring-form pans may leak. You can use a jumbo muffin pan to make individual monkey breads.
Step 5: Bake the bread. Bake the bread at 350 degrees or as directed by the recipe. Once baked, let the monkey bread cool in the pan for about five minutes before inverting it onto a platter. This gives the glaze a chance to set up a bit so that it doesn’t run everywhere when inverted. Serve the monkey bread warm.
Monkey bread is typically made with sugar for sweet treats and served as a pull-apart-loaf to be eaten with your fingers. You can also make savory monkey bread and serve it with marinara sauce or olive oil.
Give these monkey bread mixes a try.
You’ll find everything you need including the yeast and detailed instructions.
Recommended Monkey Bread Recipes
Again, you can freelance but these recipes are great starting points. They’ll give you amounts and baking times. If you want to freelance, just make substitutes. Be sure and give your monkey bread plenty of time to rise before baking.
(Pictured above) This monkey bread is made with jam as part of the mixture to coat the bread pieces. It calls for orange marmalade but you can use other jams.
This monkey bread recipe calls for maraschino cherries and almonds.
If you wish to make cinnamon sugar monkey bread from scratch, use the cherry almond recipe deleting the cherries and almonds but adding two tablespoons of cinnamon to the sugars for the coating. (Do not add the cinnamon to the dough.)
Monkey Bread from a Donut Mix
We used our Daily Dozen Donut mixes for the monkey breads we made last week. We made the dough exactly as instructed. Then, we cut it into pieces, rolled it in butter and cinnamon and sugar, and layered the pieces in a bundt pan. When we let the dough rise right to the max, the bundt pans that we used were completely filled.
We baked the monkey breads in both bronze-colored pans and a black pan. Dark pans bake more quickly. In the black pan, the monkey bread was baked in 35 minutes. In the lighter-colored pans, it took about 40 minutes.
1 Daily Dozen Donut Mix
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons good quality cinnamon
3/4 cup butter
For the filling, mix the cinnamon and sugar together. In another bowl, melt the butter in the microwave and set it aside.
Lightly flour a work area on a clean counter. Press the dough into a disk. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into walnut-sized chunks. Dip the chunks in the melted butter and then in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place the coated chunks in a bundt pan. If you have any leftover butter or sugar mixture, pour it over the dough. Cover the pan and let the bread rise until doubled.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until it tests done with an internal temperature of 190 degrees using an instant-read thermometer. (Cover with aluminum foil the last ten minutes to avoid over-browning.) After five minutes, invert the bread on a large plate or serving platter.
You’ll love these special treats!
About the Author
Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of “How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking” available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon. Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.