I've recently had a brainstorm that's caused me to rethink monkey bread completely: Challah. After some hours in the test kitchen, I'm forsaking all other monkey breads for this one.
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What could possibly make ooey gooey pull apart monkey bread better? Using eggy sweet challah as the base.
To make this monkey bread, balls of buttery brioche are rolled in cinnamon sugar, proofed, and baked in caramel sauce. As if brioche on its own wasn't indulgent enough, The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook uses liberal amounts of heavy cream, dark brown sugar, and fresh vanilla bean as the perfect foil for the light, sugar-crusted dough.
I've got to thank Kenji for this idea. He suggested a garlic-knot monkey bread as a Home Slice topic, saying it might be good to do before the big game on Sunday. The byword here is EASY. This is almost a twist-and-dump thing. You could make your own dough for this (here's a suitable recipe), but I just used store-bought pizza dough from the freezer section. You'll need 2 pounds. (Most store-bought pizza doughs I've seen come in 1-pound portions, often 2 to a package.)
Learning to make brioche dough has allowed me to delve into all kinds of new frontiers, but I think this decadent recipe for monkey bread is my crowning achievement with the dough. I've added a caramel to the mix, and turned up the spice with ginger and nutmeg. It's definitely not diet food, and it's highly addictive. It's a perfect sweet for serving at brunch with lots of people around. Making it alone is too dangerous.
Monkey bread. Because kids go ape over it. You know what else they go ape for? Pizza. Let them help you make pizza monkey bread and they'll go positively King Kong in the kitchen. Making this stuff is way easier than making pizza, too, since you don't have to worry about stretching the dough or precise cook times. All you'll need are these recipes for dough and pizza sauce as well as and some Parmesan, mozzarella, and fresh basil.
It's a funny name, and it's a fun loaf of bread. I don't know what it is about pull-apart loaves, but they invite nibbling. People who would normally eat one slice of bread often find themselves unable to resist pulling off just one more little bit. And then one more. And then this little piece is dangling ... this bread simply doesn't last long. When most people think of monkey bread, they think of the cinnamon-sugar version, but there's no reason why you can't make an herby, savory version that's perfect for lunch, brunch, or dinner.
The origin of the term "monkey bread" is a sticky subject. Some attribute it to the round, edible fruit of the African baobab tree. Others argue that the way it's eaten—everyone yanking at it at once, stuffing pieces in their mouths as fast as they can—is reminiscent of monkey behavior. Whatever the true source of the name may be, one thing is for certain: monkey bread is a scrumptiously gooey indulgence that appeals to the sugar-loving kid in all of us. Recently, Archer Farms, Target's brand of "premium foods," introduced a mix for Caramel Monkey Bread that I couldn't wait to tear apart.
[Photo: LA Times] At Serious Eats, we're big fans of monkey bread—the doughy loaf of pull-apart bread, made through stacking dozens of lumps of dough. The Los Angeles Times gives us their take, with recommendations both sweet and savory, plus recipes for standard, butter, cinnamon, and olive oil-thyme monkey bread....
Photo from Picky Cook via Photograzing I'd be a lot more excited about Monday morning if I had started it off with a big hunk of monkey bread—a sweet, cinnamony breakfast bread made of fused-together balls of dough, begging to be torn apart with sticky fingers. The Picky Cook has a scrumptious-looking recipe for making one from scratch, along with a gorgeous step-by-step photo tutorial. But if this looks like too much of a project, the King Arthur Flour Classic Monkey Bread mix ain't half bad, either....
My mom's version of Monkey Bread; my version from the King Arthur Flour mix Every Christmas morning for as long as I can remember, my mom would make her version of classic Monkey Bread using Pillsbury dough, with at least a stick of butter and a cup of sugar (if not double of both). I have such fond memories of the bread that I set out to recreate it with the King Arthur Flour Classic Monkey Bread Mix ($12.50, williams-sonoma.com) and its accompanying baking mold ($29.95, williams-sonoma.com). This mix is not about saving time or saving calories; start to finish the process was approximately 3 1/2 hours, including waiting time (and lots of cleaning). For a good laugh, I...
I loved the Williamsburg food exploration my brother and I went on. Thanks for all the suggestions, which provide me with many more excuses to eat my way through Williamsburg. There was much to eat and talk about that I'm...