Instead of passing the breadbasket for Christmas dinner, serve this fun pull-apart loaf!
I fell in love with this idea after seeing it in the November 2013 issue of Food Network magazine. I had never heard of Monkey-bread before but it was love at first sight. I loved the idea of this pretty, multi-coloured and flavored, pull-apart bread… and of course the name is interesting too. I had never had anything like this before and I thought my guests would get a kick out of it.
After doing a little research, I learned that Monkey bread is traditionally prepared sticky-sweet rather than savory. Its origins are American and is said to have first appeared in popular American women’s magazines & community cookbooks in the 1950’s. The origins of the name are unknown and is also known as puzzle-bread. In any case, its fun and delicious.
Brush a bundt-cake pan with olive oil.
Put four or five toppings in small bowls. I used shredded cheddar, smoked paprika, chopped dill, grated parmesan with caraway seed and chopped almonds.
You can make dough in a bread-maker or just buy your favorite refrigerated dough. I guess you could also use pizza dough. The recipe states that in total you should have about 30 to 35oz of dough. (if buying refrigerated dough you would need 3 X 11oz tubes.)
Note: I do not recommend using flour when forming your dough-balls. They need to be sticky for the toppings to adhere.
Form into balls, slightly smaller than golf ball-size, then roll each ball in a topping.
Note: the paprika covered ones were my favorite but you have to wipe your hands well after handling those and moving on to the next topping; the paprika just goes everywhere!!
Arrange the balls in the pan (you will have about two layers), drizzling with olive oil between layers. Drizzle over-top with more olive oil and bake at 350 degrees F until golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan before serving.
You can assemble the bread in the morning: Just cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Uncover and bake before you are about to serve your main course.
I opted to serve it with appetizers & cheese platter at my last dinner party. It added a little wow-factor.
Additional: I love bread and butter so the next time I make this , I will brush butter instead of olive oil between layers, as its done with the sweet version of this bread. I think the butter will add richness and flavor. Actually, why not use 2 parts butter and 1 part garlic butter? Garlic and butter, cheese & herbs cannot be bad! (omg, I feel like making this right now lol)
Happy Holidays all!!