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Savory Monkey Bread

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
This recipe posted in response to a request by Calkdust.

Monkey bread was a featured recipe in various women's magazines in the 1950s. Back in the day, savory, buttery monkey bread was as popular as the cinnamon-sugar coffee-cake type bread. But now, the sweeter bread seems to have driven the savory to the point where it's nearly forgotten. I seem to remember a recipe for the savory version in a cookbook with recipes from the Harlem restaurant owned by Billie Holliday's mother, "the Duchess." Unfortunately, I can't confirm the memory -- at least not yet. I've loved savory monkey bread since I was a little boy, and feel compelled to do my bit to save it.

This stuff is wonderful. Try it.

(Makes one bundt pan)

1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) butter
1 cup half & half or light cream
4 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tsp instant yeast (such as SAF or Fermipan), or 2 pkgs dry yeast (such as Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise)
1 Egg, beaten lightly
4 cups AP flour, sifted after measuring
Bench flour

Grease a bundt pan well with a tbs of the butter. Don't worry if it seems like a lot of butter. You ain't seen nothin' yet. Set aside.

Scald the half & half, by bringing it to a boil (or near boil) and removing it from the heat.

Stir in the sugar and salt, and allow the mixture to cool.

When the mixture has partly cooled, no hotter than 120F, and no cooler than 115F, stir in the sugar and salt. If you’re using the packaged yeast, open the pacakges and sprinkle it on the warm cream. Allow the yeast 5 minutes or so to start bubbling – called, “proofing” the yeast. (Note: If you are proofing, the temperature range is very important. If you’re using commercial type instant yeast, the yeast will do best at a slightly cooler temperature. Allow the mix to cool to baby bottle temperature, 95F - 100F, before adding.)

While the cream is cooling, melt 1 stick plus 2 tbs butter in the microwave. Measure 1/2 cup of butter, and set it aside for the moment; set aside the remaining butter (2 tbs) as well. Also, measure, then sift 4 cups of AP flour. Beat the egg as well.

When the cream has cooled to 100F or a little below, pour it into a mixing bowl. Add the beaten egg and the measured 1/2 cup of melted butter; if using instant yeast, stir it into the liquid now. Add the sifted flour in stages, no more than one cup at a time, stirring to incorporate at each addition. You will have a very soft dough when all of the flour is added.

Brush a little butter into a large bowl to grease it all over. Turn the dough into the bowl. Brush a little melted butter onto the surface of the dough to keep it pliable, during the rise. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and allow the bread to rise until doubled in volume.

When the dough has risen, turn it out onto a well floured board and, and stretch or roll into a disc or rectangle about 1/2 thick. If you roll, (a) roll gently so as not to knock out too much air; and (b) don’t forget to flour your pin so it doesn’t stick.

Use a knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into 2" x 2" squares or diamonds. Melt the remaining butter in a bowl large enough to dip the dough pieces. Set the bowl next to the greased bundt pan.

If some of your pieces are smaller than others, start with the smallest pieces. Dip them one by one in butter, and arrange evenly on the bottom of the pan. Then, dip the larger pieces, one by one, in butter, and arrange them in even layers, until all the dough is used. If there is any butter left over, pour it as evenly as possible over the dough. Cover the pan tightly with cling wrap.

Allow the dough to rise, until it reaches the wrap – about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, set a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 400F.

Set the pan on the rack, and bake 25 to 30 minutes until the top of the bread is one shade darker than golden brown. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for about ten minutes, and turn out onto a plate. Serve warm.

When my mom threw important dinners and cocktail parties she had a caterer, Katherine, who used to make monkey bread like this. The point being, this bread goes unexpectedly well as a passed or buffet appetizer with cocktails. Also, surprisingly good with barbecue.

Thanks to Katherine and to the Duchess.


PS. This is an original recipe. If you want to share it or post it elsewhere, you have my permission -- provided you attribute it to me, Boar D. Laze. I would consider it a kindness if, in addition, you would mention my eventually forthcoming book, COOK FOOD GOOD: American Cooking and Technique for Beginners and Intermediates.
post #2 of 19
:crazy: you are the man!
post #3 of 19
This sounds amazing, I can't wait to try it! I grew up with the sweet monkey bread and have never heard of this buttery version- thanks for posting the recipe.
post #4 of 19
FWIW, been my experiece that you can take any yeast dough, form it in small balls, arrange them in a ring mold or bundt pan, and wind up with a monkey-bread type break-apart ring of rolls.

One of my favorities, especially during holiday times like T-giving, is to use Eric Tuille's pumpkin bread recipe, made in the monkey-bread style. It really impresses.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #5 of 19
Made this today and loved it! I also used the same dough and after rolling it in melted butter, rolled in sugar and orange zest. AMAZING!

(FYI- the recipe doesn't specify what to do with the 1/2 cup of melted butter. I made the assumption to add it to the dough with the eggs. The bread came out beautiful!)

Turns out my husbands mom made a monkey bread like this while they were growing up, I never knew.

Thank you again- this will be added to my favorite recipes.

Kyheriloomer- I did a search for Eric Tuille and didn't find anything. Can you direct me to where I can find his pumpkin bread recipe? The pumpkin bread I make has a very runny batter and wouln't work as a pull apart bread.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Your surmise about the butter was on the nosey. The recipe has been corrected. Nice catch and thanks. Your improvisation speaks volumes to me. I love this bread best with orange marmalade.

So glad you liked it.

post #7 of 19

That's because I typed that before the coffee kicked in this morning, and misspelled his name. :cry: Sorry for the confusion.

It's Eric Treuille, and the recipe is in the book Ultimate Bread (DK Publishing, 2004) which he wrote with Ursula Ferrigno.

It was the first yeasted pumpkin bread recipe I'd ever seen. I have a bunch of others, but they're all quick breads.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #8 of 19
I just found the book, thank you! I love the quick pumpkin bread recipe I have but making a pumpkin bread in a pull apart form sounds intriguing. Thanks for the recommendation.

I have loved all the bread recipes I’ve come across in this forum- all of you are so inspiring! My time in the kitchen is getting a little lopsided with baking, so I need to refocus my attention to cooking and sharpen my skills with main course dishes.

post #9 of 19
Emily, I should have told you, but when making the pumpkin bread I substitute milk for the cooking liquid. Makes a slightly moister final product.

In addition to pull-aparts, I've used that recipe for free-standing loaves, for sandwich loaves, and to make mini-buns for sliders.

You do have to adjust baking time, of course. But other than that it's a very flexible recipe.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #10 of 19
Thanks for the tip, I'll try it as soon as I get the book!

post #11 of 19
u roll in the sugar and zest before baking?

post #12 of 19
Yes, I followed BDL's directions, then after cutting the dough into squares, and rolling them in butter, I rolled them in a mixture of 1.5 cups of sugar and the zest of two oranges. I then placed them in the buttered bundt pan and baked according to the directions. For the last 5 minutes of baking , I did put tinfoil on the top of the pan to keep the tops from getting too brown.

They were golden and crunchy on the outside and the inner rolls were soft and moist.
post #13 of 19
thank you. i will do this on the weekend.
post #14 of 19
I'll have to try this.
post #15 of 19
Thanks for the recipe BDL :) (again)

I made the monkey bread tonight. My wife (Cheri) and I have three young kids, so I thought that they'd love the the "bits" rolled in cinnamon and sugar. I added a little bit of vanilla before I rolled them.

The kids (and the grown ups) absolutely loved them! There wasn't one piece left :bounce:

Big hit...thanks!
post #16 of 19
With the cold weather moving in...I was thinking of this recipe and thought...

post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for bringing this recipe up Dan. What with one computer crash and another reformat it had disappeared from my own drive and been completely forgotten.

post #18 of 19

This recipe has become a tradition of ours.  A few days before Easter, we get all the kids together coloring Easter eggs and eat this monkey bread afterwards.


  I'm making it again this year...


   Great dessert!

post #19 of 19

I answered my inquiry.  Sorry post deleted.

Edited by kokopuffs - 4/18/14 at 10:47am

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
(1 photos)

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
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