Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Monkey bread

I love brown sugar. Love, love love it. Plus, if you are in the Northeast or Midwest, you might have noticed the snow. It is S N O W I N G! Hard. Ever since I made this recipe for rolls (cardamom apricot) I've been thinking about using the dough for cinnamon rolls, or monkey bread, which as far as I can tell is pretty much cinnamon rolls without the roll part. Because I only had a little bit of rice flour and tapioca starch, I halved the recipe, but it still made a huge amount. This is perfect for a snow day, when you sleep late and want to eat something warm and sticky. Or really, it's perfect for any other day. 

Monkey Bread

2/3 c milk, warmed to about 115 degrees
2 T sugar plus 1 t
1 packet yeast (2 1/4 t if you don't use individual packets)
2 eggs
2 T oil
1 t cider vinegar
1 1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t xanthan gum
2 T potato starch
1/2 c rice flour
1/2 c sorghum flour
1/2 c tapioca starch
2 T teff flour
2 T almond meal
1 heaping t cinnamon
1 stick of butter, melted
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
2 t cinnamon
1 c pecans
Combine the milk with 1 t sugar and yeast. Set aside to proof. Beat the eggs for a minute, add the oil, vinegar, the rest of the sugar, and vanilla and beat a minute or two until completely combined. Add everything else, dump in yeasty milk, and beat on medium-high for about 5 minutes. Combine the brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl. Grease lightly your pan - I used a 4 c ovenproof glass measuring bowl, but you can use whatever you'd like, you just might have to adjust the baking time. 
Working one at a time, form dough using two spoons (this will take a while, but it's worth it! I promise!) into small balls, about an inch in diameter, then drop into the melted butter. Scoop out of the butter using your spoons, and drop into the bowl of cinnamon-sugar. Roll each bowl around in the cinnamon sugar, then place in pan. Repeat until all dough is used up. Sprinkle each layer with some pecans. If you have leftover butter and sugar, drizzle/sprinkle over the top once you've used all the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise, about 45 minutes, then preheat oven to 350. Bake 20-30 minutes, based on what size pan you have. Tops will be browned, if you're not sure if yours are done, carefully cut a hole in a piece and see if the center looks done. As soon as you take the finished bread out of the oven, turn it out onto deep plate and scrape any delicious goo left in the pan on top. If you skip this and eat it out of the pan, you might lose some of the caramel!


  1. Anonymous7:51 PM

    This dough sounds very versatile; I'm thinking garlic knots or soft pretzels. YUM!

  2. Here's a helpful hint for spooning out this dough: use a 'disher' or an ice cream scoop sprayed lightly with cooking spray.

    It portions it out perfectly and makes the sticky dough a cinch to deposit.



  3. This looks amazing! Reminds me of chelsea buns stuck together. Yummy!

  4. Anonymous12:52 PM

    thanks for your gluten free inspiration!
    -erin @ glutenfreewithapurpose.wordpress

  5. Anonymous2:09 PM

    Jill you seem to have a knack for re-creating gluten free versions of baked goods my mom used to make. Sounds delicious.

    PS: Good tip Brody!

  6. Delicious! I make & we love monkey bread BUT I will admit to cheating and using pillsbury for the dough. :-(

    Your photos are making me want to rip into one of those cans and make some monkey bread.

  7. That does sound like a lot of work...but the end result looks SOOOO worth it! Definitely on my "to try" list!

  8. Absolutely delicious, and not actually as much work as I was anticipating (certainly no worse than rolling out sticky bun rolls). Thank you for the inspiration!

  9. Can't believe no one has said it yet -- but it looks like cinnamon & brown sugar monkey brains!!! (not in a bad way)

  10. Does anyone have good suggestions for making this egg-free?

  11. Anonymous11:00 PM

    Wondering if anyone has tried this with the wheat/gluten free flour that already has xanthan gum in it instead of using all those flours and the xanthan gum...also anyone tried it with an egg replacer and soy milk?

  12. Anonymous10:12 PM

    This was wonderful the first time I made it last year! Thanks sooooo much. I pulled it out to make this year for thanksgiving and I do not have any teff flower... is there a substitute you can reccomend?

  13. Teff does magical things, but if you must leave it out, just replace it with either almond flour or sorghum, I think.

  14. Anonymous11:53 AM

    to make it egg free you can purchase egg replacer at any health food store,it works great and i have used it many things.

  15. I stumbled upon your site. I really wanted gorilla bread for Easter. So my husband figured it out. He made individual servings in a mini muffin pan. It was so good!!!!