Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why do they call it monkey bread anyways?

Seriously, where did the name monkey bread come from? Because to me, these are sticky buns.

I'm no baker, so when I say this is one of the easiest things to bake, you know I mean it.

The bread is a buttermilk biscuit, which means you could buy them. It doesn't get much easier than that. But if you have a food processor, you could start from scratch and it will come together in 5 minutes. I used this recipe, which I found on Food Network a while back. All I do is put the dry ingredients in the processor with the shortening (butter works well too) and pulse 3 or 4 times until you get the butter incorporated. I add the buttermilk while the machine is running. It's done when the dough comes together. I never bother to roll out the dough. I just pinch off a small ball and shape it with wet fingers into a rough disc about 1/2 inch thick. For the monkey bread, make the discs about 1/4 inch thick. If you're going to use a standard sized bundt pan (7 to 9 inches), you'll need to double or even triple the biscuit recipe. I did not double the recipe and was able to squeeze out 5 mini bundt pans. After you shape the discs, set the dough in the fridge to keep it cold while you make the sauce for the monkey bread.

The recipe for the monkey (or gorilla) bread is here. It's also from FN. I did both. Sonny liked the monkey because he's not crazy about nuts (I used pecans). I liked the cream cheese in the gorilla version. Both are good. The only thing I would do differently is put a layer of the sauce at the bottom of the pan. Since I didn't do that this time, I made more sauce to drizzle on top, but it's not the same because it doesn't soak into the bread. Another thing: don't pile the dough all the way to the top of your pan because the sauce will drip and muck up the bottom of your stove. The recipe says to bake for 30 minutes, but I suspect you may have to do it longer if using a standard bundt pan. For my mini bundts, I baked for 30 minutes and that was just right.


Manggy said...

Yay, Bakin'! ;) I saw a similar recipe that uses brioche dough and jam a while back but I'm trying to remember if it was called monkey bread. Probably had some highfalutin French name :) I'll have either the monkey or gorilla! I can't wait to see the rest of your breadventures :)

Mary Bergfeld said...

These look delicious! I've heard two theories as to the name 1) refers to monkeying around because there are several steps required to put the bread together 2) refers to the mien of folks pulling and picking at the bread in the same way that monkeys pick when they are grooming. I suspect that this is one of those questions that no one can really answer; they just make up stuff to fill the void.

Dee said...

Manggy, with all these snow days, Sonny and I have been baking fools! You'd be so proud.

Mary, your theories must be true because that's exactly what Sonny and I did when baking this :-)

Heather said...

The Clinton Corner Cafe has chocolate monkey bread that is really to die for, and if you ask nicely they'll even pour a little warm Creme Anglaise over the top. :P

...or, you can make it yourself, as I see you've done beautifully.

dp said...

Heather, shut up! creme anglaise over monkey bread sounds awesome!

BTW, drawing inspiration from your totchos, I had extra crispy hashbrown with cheddar, sour cream, jalapenos and bacon for dinner last night. Gots to do that more often.

gaga said...

Aaaw, I love this mini version! It's so cute. Plus, monkey bread is so much fun to eat.

Anonymous said...

Yep those are sticky buns! I was shocked to hear someone refer to them as monkey bread, and now everywhere I go, everyone is talking about monkey bread. Oh well, they still taste good :)