Who doesn't like Monkey Bread? Eric got really excited at just name. He wanted to know if actual monkeys helped make it. Nope, just our regular kitchen helper, the dog. Don't worry, once it comes out of the oven, you won't care who made it you'll just care about how quickly you can get your hands on it. Monkey Bread is a delicious bread made to be pulled apart by hand at the table, so its a really social dish. Every time we've made this for people, there is a least 15 minutes of conversation just about the bread, it really is that fun. Charisse has been making this bread for years and it's always been a hit. She's found a recipe for a sweet dessert monkey bread with a cream cheese frosting which we must try one of these days, but this time we stuck to the old standby, fluffy white bread, melted butter, and a blend of Italian herbs. It went amazingly with the Creamy Cauliflower Soup we paired it with. Surprisingly this bread is easy to make, you can sprinkle any combination of herbs and spices that you like or just have lying around. It works best (and looks the best) when you bake it in a bundt pan. If you don't happen to own a bundt pan it will work just fine in a regular bread pan. Also try and talk about using your bundt pan without giggling, or quoting that movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Charisse took the easy route and started the dough in the bread machine, just throw all the ingredients in and walk away. After the dough had a first rise, pull pieces off and make balls of dough which and let rise again after dredging them through the seasoning. As an alternative to the Italian style, this bread would be awesome for a summer BBQ with a mixture of Cayenne pepper and chives. Use your imagination and enjoy!
Pictures and Recipe after the break
What You Will Need
1 1/2 tsp yeast
4 cups flour (bread flour if you have it but all purpose flour will work just fine)
2 tsp salt
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs milk
4 Tbs of shortening
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups water
To Assemble The Bread
What You Will Need
1 Tbs dried rosemary
1 Tbs dried basil
1 Tbs dried parsley
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs garlic salt
In bread machine: Place all wet ingredients in first, then all dry ingredients leaving the yeast for the very top. Set your machine for the dough setting and let it do it's thing.
By hand: Mix all wet ingredients then using your kitchenaid hook attachment, add in the flour and mix until a ball forms.
Spray or butter a bunt pan. In a small bowl, melt butter. In another small bowl combine all spices.
Taking the dough, pull apart and form into 18 small balls. Drop a layer of dough into the bundt pan, brush generously with melted butter and then sprinkle with a good amount of the seasoning. Repeat the process until you have filled the pan.
Cover with dish towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes
Preheat oven to 375*
Bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown, let cool and then chow down!