Monkeying Around with Apple Monkey Bread

Mar 18, 2013 by

Monkeying Around with Apple Monkey Bread

Every once in a while, I feel the urge to bake. So last week, I got the urge from God only knows where to make some monkey bread, figuring my skinny son who never eats anything and always complains there’s nothing for breakfast might find it a welcome change.

I kind of remember the monkey bread of my youth – balls of refrigerated biscuit dough rolled in cinnamon sugar and arranged in a Bundt pan. And I definitely remember gorging on that. But dang it, last year, I had a Mother’s Day brunch at Etta’s in Seattle, and darned if they didn’t have an individual sized MonkeyBread with a brioche dough and roasted apple inside with a caramel dipping sauce that was to. die. for. And darned if the new Tom Douglas cookbook, The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook, didn’t have the recipe (albeit without the apples).

But, yanno, after I read through the recipe, I wasn’t sure I wanted to go to all the trouble entailed (there’s LOTS of waiting). I was willing to do a little work, though, so I went and found yet another monkey bread recipe in Jess Thomson’s Pike Place Market Recipes, so I decided to make that one instead. It didn’t have the apples, and I really wanted apples in it (because that would make it HEALTHY!), so I adapted the recipe somewhat.

I don’t want to violate copyright, so I won’t reprint the recipe here. Most monkey bread recipes have the same ingredients in common, so you can probably cobble something together without needing the actual recipe. But here’s the process I went through:

1. Make a batch of whole wheat bread dough and let it rise. I followed the tip they gave in the book of boiling a kettle of water and pouring it in a roasting pan and setting it on the bottom rack of a cold oven, then putting the dough into the oven. It decreased the rising time by about an hour.

2. While the dough is rising, make your filling. The recipe called for brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon and butter, i.e. the same ingredients you use in the easy version of monkey bread. This is where I added apples, however. I took two apples, and peeled, cored, and chopped them into small pieces, then mixed them in with the filling.

Apple Monkey Bread Dough3. When the dough has risen, roll it out into a large rectangle (about 11″x16″). Sprinkle on the filling. Then cut the dough in half lengthwise so that it makes two long rectangles. Roll each rectangle up longways to make two long skinny tubes, then cut them into individual rolls.

Uncooked Apple Monkey Pull Apart Bread4. Place the rolls into two buttered 8×4 loaf pans in no particular order or arrangement. This is pull-apart bread, remember? You should end up with about two layers of rolls per pan. Then let the loaves rise again (about another hour using the boiling-water-in-the-roasting-pan method).

5. When the loaves have risen, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 35 minutes or until the tops are brown.

6. When the loaves come out of the oven, spoon orange juice glaze over top (simmered orange juice and sugar) and let the bread cool for about 15 minutes (if you can hold out that long. The smell may get you before that…)

This was some FINE apple monkey-bread. Those bread-eaters in the family proclaimed it just the thing. It WAS more labor-intensive than I’d envisioned, so would I do it again or go back to the refrigerated biscuits easy version? There’s only one way I can make a reasoned decision about it… I’ll let you know after we try out the easy version.