20 November 2009

Monkey Bread, Redux

What is monkey bread anyway?

There are myriad variations. Some are rich and gooey, others are more austere. Some cheat by using refrigerated biscuit dough. Some are baked in a flat cake pan, some are done in a tube pan. Most recipes have you make dough balls, which then get dipped in water or butter, and dipped in cinnamon sugar, and layered in a pan. But some skip the dip in favor of a pouring on of melted butter, others use nuts, and one version I found includes a package of dry butterscotch pudding mix.

In 1976, the New York Times said "the basis of monkey bread is a butter-rich yeast dough that is rolled out, then stamped with a diamond-shaped cookie cutter. The thin diamonds are layered into a ring mold and baked. When reheated in the oven, the leaves flake apart and can be pulled off and eaten, dripping with their own melted butter". While that’s kind of intriguing, rolling out yeast dough is a pain in the neck.

I think almost any bread dough would do. My recipe makes a slightly rich dough – it’s got one egg in it – and the final result isn’t hugely sweet and sticky.

If you want more exhaustive discourse on the history and evolution of monkey bread, visit the rather fascinating Food Time Line. If you just want to make some, here’s my recipe.

10 comments:

meno said...

How have i lived these many, many, many years and never heard of this monkey bread??? Must make some NOW!

jo(e) said...

I think the key factor with monkey bread is that you eat it standing around the pan with your friends, everyone just ripping pieces out and eating them, devouring it all while it's still warm.

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

I am with meno.

Sounds awesome.

Wanna travel to Australia to make me some?

Kyla said...

Sounds yummy!

Bibliomama said...

You had me at 'butter'. :P)

Susan said...

I recently had some that was made with the pudding (very against tradition) and it was pretty darn good!

I was just reading about the bday party for your girlie. I applaud you in going against the trend. I always thought the home parties were best! (I guess I should confess that Mimi wants her next party at the roller rink...I feel like such a failure!)

GirlGriot said...

This sounds delicious! I might have to surprise my family with something different next week ...

Debbie said...

I love the make monkey bread. What fun!

bernthis said...

looks an awful lot like a challah but then again I always see things through Jewish tinted glasses

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I want monkey bread! I promise to give this a try. I've never made it, and always wanted to. Your recipe looks spot-on to me...very easy to follow and much less complicated than others I've read.