I love Monkey Bread and luckily, I was asked to develop a new take on this classic treat. See, while Monkey Bread is all the rage now, it’s actually been popular for years. Everyone from Nancy Reagan to Cindy Crawford has their own version. Monkey Bread, though often sweet, can also be savory with flavors like garlic and parmesan. It’s just so versatile: you can make a chocolate version, a pretzel version, and even a pizza version. All I have to say is that a bread that you can pick off and munch is genius.
For this Monkey Bread, I started with whole wheat biscuit dough. Although from-scratch Monkey Bread is often made with yeasted bread, convenience-based ones are typically made with biscuits; the benefit of biscuit dough is that it’s faster to make and requires no rising time.
But, the most important thing is how it tastes, right? The dark brown sugar coating caramelizes and turns into a mouthwatering crust. It’s like eating the sweet ribbon of cinnamon from a cinnamon bun, without the excess dough. In a word: amazing. I served this to a group of moms and kids and a silence fell over us as we tried it for the first time. It was that unbelievable.
If you make this, you should know that it’s best when eaten just out of the oven. Leftovers are okay within a day of making, but after that, it tends to get a little too bready, even when heated. But, really, this shouldn’t be a problem — you probably won’t have leftovers anyway.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the inside of a bundt cake pan with cooking spray and set aside
- Using a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, brown sugar, and salt. I like to add these ingredients to a bowl and use a whisk to sift together — works like a charm
- Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture using two knives in a criss-cross motion. (Alternately, you can use a pastry blender if you have one). Stir in the milk and molasses until just combined
- Carefully turn the dough onto a well-floured cutting board and knead 10-15 times. It will be sticky so be sure to re-flour under the dough when you’re done and then wash your hands. Next, roll out the dough to a ¾ inch thickness
- Using a pizza cutter (you can use a knife, but it will be harder), cut the dough into 1-inch by 1-inch squares.
- Roll each square into a ball and set aside
- In a small bowl, combine the dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside
- Place the butter into another bowl
- Take each dough ball and dip it first into the butter and then into the sugar mixture until well-coated. Arrange the balls in the bundt cake pan, keeping them as evenly layered as possible
- Slide the bundt cake pan into the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the dough has risen and browned all over
- Remove the pan from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes
- Carefully flip the pan onto a serving platter and serve immediately
This is best served hot from the oven. However, leftovers can be reheated and enjoyed within one day of making. However, chances are, you won’t have any leftovers.