Recipe of the Week: A savory pull-apart bread that will cheese up Christmas breakfast
Christmas breakfast was always the big meal in my family's house growing up, and at some point, we added monkey bread to the list of brunch dishes that would appear on the menu.
My mom used store-bought dough, red bell peppers, shredded cheese, crisped bacon and lots of butter in her savory breakfast bread, but this from-scratch recipe from "Good Housekeeping Kids Bake! 100+ Sweet and Savory Recipes" (Hearst, $19.95) stars garlic and Gruyère cheese. The method is easily adapted to the ingredients you'd like to use in your pull-apart Bundt bread, and you could take it in a sweet direction by using cinnamon, cardamom and sugar instead of garlic, green onions, parsley and cheese. Hold onto this recipe for the dough part alone. It's good for pizza crust, cinnamon rolls and focaccia.
Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread
Monkey bread refers to a loaf made from pieces of yeast dough dipped in butter and baked in a pan. Sometimes called bubble bread or pull-apart bread, it's fun to serve because all your guests can use their fingers to help themselves.
— Good Housekeeping
For the dough:
6 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
For the monkey bread:
5 tablespoons butter
1 garlic clove, crushed with press
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 green onions, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 cup coarsely shredded Gruyère cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 cup marinara sauce, heated, for dipping
To make the dough: In food processor with knife blade attached, pulse flour, sugar and yeast. With machine running, drizzle in 2 1/4 cups warm water until combined. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt. Process until dough forms a ball; transfer to lightly oiled large bowl.
With lightly oiled hands, knead dough for 1 minute. Form into ball; drizzle with remaining olive oil, rubbing to coat surface. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 day or for up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before using.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 10- to 12-cup Bundt pan and then dust with flour. On lightly floured surface, shape the dough into two balls and then two 8-inch squares.
In small microwave-safe bowl, combine 4 tablespoons butter and garlic. Cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave on high for 1 minute or until butter melts; brush generously onto dough. Sprinkle 1 square with onion flakes and sesame seeds. Sprinkle the other with 2 chopped green onions.
Using scissors, cut each square into 1-inch pieces. Layer 1/3 of each flavored dough, buttered side down, onto bottom of prepared Bundt pan. Top with 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese; repeat with 1/3 of each dough and remaining 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese to make second layer. Top with remaining dough pieces. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter; brush on top of dough and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons chopped green onions and parsley. Cover pan with clean kitchen towel and let rise in warm place for 20 minutes.
Bake bread for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool bread in pan for 5 minutes. Turn the bread over onto plate; remove pan. Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping. Serves 10.
— From "Good Housekeeping Kids Bake!: 100+ Sweet and Savory Recipes" by Good Housekeeping and Susan Westmoreland (Hearst, $19.95)