Yes, Monkey Bread. It’s a real thing 🙂 Blackberry Jam encased with sweet dough and a Blackberry icing.
When I first heard of Monkey Bread, I thought “what on earth is Monkey Bread?” In fact, it didn’t even really sound that appetising. Upon further investigation, I changed my tune. This is Monkey Bread 🙂
This Monkey Bread recipe is a combination of gooey caramelly cake an d bread thing (ok, so descriptors aren’t my strong point). You take sweet yeast dough (in this case I used my doughnut dough recipe which worked absolutely perfectly) roll it into balls, throw them in a bundt pan with some sugar and cinnamon and when it comes out you get this glorious looking thing (again with the descriptors).
I figure I can’t call it cake as it’s not really a cake but I’ve also never come across bread this cake-like so I’m always a little confused when I’m explaining this one to people (cue sideways puzzled frowny face).
Anyway, it is bread. Monkey Bread. So named, I’m led to believe, because when it’s finished and placed in the middle of the eagerly awaiting table, everyone picks off the dough-balls one by one. This is officially THE BEST share bread EVER! 🙂
Of course, I couldn’t just stick to the standard caramel cake deal, which I’m sure is delicious. I amped mine up by adding some almonds for crunch, blackberry jam in the centre of each of those delicious, sweet balls of dough and a blackberry icing on top.
In the US you can buy ‘biscuit dough’ or ready-made cinnamon roll dough and roll it into balls to make this. I’ve not seen any ready-made sweet dough here in Australia, though. I’ve seen recipes for the dough Monkey Bread recipes and they aren’t that dissimilar to my own doughnut dough so I’m confident you’ll end up with the same tasty result.
Once this cooled down to room temperature, I wanted to call them Blackberry Bliss Balls. Holy YUM!! So, so, so good. I mean really good. Make sure you have napkins on hand.
The dough was soft and light and sweet and the jam in the centre gave it just the right hit of berry flavour. It is gooey and get-your-hands-all-sticky sensational.
You can slice it too if you prefer to be a little more dignified but, well, I’m not! I unashamedly got my fingers all sticky and loved every moment.
It isn’t a difficult recipe but you will need to start this recipe a day ahead as, just like my Doughnut recipe, the dough is best when allowed to sit overnight.
Monkey Bread from Scratch
FOR THE DOUGH
- ¾ cup milk
- 450 g 1lb or 3 ½ cups spooned plain (all purp) flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 113 g 1 stick / 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
FOR CARAMEL SAUCE & FILLING
- 113 g 1 stick / 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup caster superfine sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup blackberry jam
FOR THE DOUGH
- Warm the milk for 20-25 seconds in the microwave. You don’t want it to be hot, just slightly warmer than room temp. Set aside
- Add the salt, warm milk and eggs then beat with a dough hook on low speed for a couple of minutes until the dough comes together.
- With the mixer on low-medium add the butter a spoonful at a time until it is all fully incorporated, then beat for a further minute until you have an elastic, sticky dough.
- Grease a large bowl with a tiny bit of oil or oil spray. Place the dough into the bowl, flip it over to coat in oil, then cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
FOR THE CARAMEL
- Melt the 113g of butter, then use a pastry brush to brush a little of it all around the inside of a bundt tin.
- Add the 3/4 cup of brown sugar to the remaining melted butter, then heat over the lowest heat, stirring constantly just until it's all fully mixed. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced.
- Mix the caster sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Take the plastic wrap off the dough - DON'T knock it back. Pull off pieces of dough about 1 tablespoon in size.
- Roll the first into a ball, roll it in the cinnamon sugar, then drop it into the tin.
- Now pull off another piece of dough and flatten it out just a little. Add about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of jam in the centre, fold the edges in, roll it into a ball. Roll it in the cinnamon sugar and drop it into a tin.
- Repeat doing one plain and one jam filled dough ball until you've used all the dough.
- Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon sugar over the top.
- Drizzle the caramel mixture evenly over the top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden. You can test one of the bottom dough balls to make sure it's fully cooked through.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto your serving plate. Allow to cool to room temperature.
- I use an Australian standard 20ml Tablespoon
- If you don't have a stand mixer, you can use a large bowl, a wooden spoon and a little elbox grease to bring this dough together. Take the same steps as with the stand mixer, then mix with the spoon until it comes together and is elastic. If you need, you can use your hands but as this is a sticky dough, you may need to oil them slightly. Resist the urge to add extra flour or you'll end up with tough monkey bread.
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