A quick search on the Internet tells me that no one knows really why we call it “monkey bread.” My theory is that everyone in the house is making “oooh, oooh, oooh” noises as they’re shoveling this gooey goodness into their mouths hand over fist.
With Father’s Day coming up, I thought I’d share my mother-in-law’s version of this well-loved breakfast treat (Nancy Reagan served it at the White House, after all), since this is one of my husband’s favorite dishes.
This isn’t a difficult recipe, but it does take some prepping. Pull your dough out of the freezer in the morning and place it on a well-greased cookie sheet to thaw. When you’re ready to assemble your bread, gather all your equipment and ingredients together at one work station to minimize the mess.
When you’re done cutting up all the dough, dump the extra sugar and butter into the pan for EXTRA gooeyness (technical term), and then cover it all up with a clean dish towel until morning. When you wake up the next morning it’ll look like below.
The best part about this dish is you’ve done all the work ahead of time, so your morning is nearly hassle-free.
Once it’s out of the oven, flip that baby over and give it a thump. The bread falls right onto the plate and immediately starts oozing goodness.
My family argues over whether the caramelized crusty outside edge is better, or the soft, sticky inside. Either way, it’s gone before your oven has had time to cool.
- 1 lb. loaf Bridgford Ready-Dough, thawed*
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 small box butterscotch pudding (cook & serve, NOT instant)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional - we opt out)
- Lightly grease a bundt pan. If using nuts, sprinkle a few in the bottom of the bundt pan.
- Melt butter, add vanilla, set aside. In a small bowl, combine dry pudding, brown sugar, cinnamon, and remaining nuts, and set aside.
- Cut loaf into small pieces (about 24-36, depending on the size) using a well-greased, sharp knife.
- Dip each piece of dough into butter, then dry pudding mixture. Make sure the dough is coated generously with the dry pudding mixture. Layer pieces of dough evenly in bundt pan. Sprinkle any leftover dry pudding mixture over top of dough balls, and then pour any remaining butter over that.
- Cover bundt pan with a dry dishtowel and place in a cool oven overnight. (If you don't want to wait overnight, let the dough rise until double in size, about 9 to 10 hours.)
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Let sit two minutes before inverting the pan over onto a serving plate.
- The sweet ingredients can be replaced with savory ones for a pull-apart dinner bread. Consider Parmesan cheese with oregano, garlic powder and diced pepperoni, served with marinara dipping sauce.
- *The 1 lb. loaf takes about four hours to thaw if left at room temperature. Make sure it is placed on a well-greased surface.