I may have mentioned a few times here that my mom didn’t bake bread. That said, she LOVES the stuff, and every time she visits, I try to bake her favorite New York Times bread, and one or more other things.
This visit, she was well enough to eat (which doesn’t always happen), so I had a blast cooking for her: a full Thanksgiving dinner and everything! One of my own favorites this time was this monkey bread:
It’s pretty to look at, but it’s also really fun to eat. It’s like a pan full of garlic-bread rolls, and you pull one off and, if you’re me, you hope for lots of those little bits of browned garlic on yours. The bottom ones are browned, too, so it’s good all the way through, and it keeps for about 3 days on the counter, or a week in the fridge.
- 300 g milk, any fat level
- 500 g flour
- 40 g sugar
- 9 g salt
- 6 g yeast
- 15 g butter
- ½ stick butter (2 oz., 4 tablespoons)
- 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp. granulated garlic
- other herbs as desired (I used a pinch each of rosemary, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, and celery salt)
- I made the bread dough for this in my stand mixer, because I was also making a batch of dinner rolls, which I’ll share with you later this week. No need to proof the dough or anything — just toss it in the stand mixer for ten minutes, or use your bread machine’s “dough” setting, or knead by hand for 20 minutes or until it feels like a good, solid, soft dough.
- The first rise takes about an hour. I did it in a lightly oiled pottery bowl, but your bread machine or a the bowl of the mixer is just fine.
- When it’s risen to twice its size, gently punch down the dough until it’s deflated. Melt the butter with the herbs in it, either on the stove or in the microwave.
- Next, pull off tangerine-sized chunks of dough — no need to be exact here — and shape them into little balls. Now, using only one hand, dip each ball into the butter and place into a high-sided baking dish (any shape). I only use one hand so that the other one stays cleanish for grabbing the next ball of dough. Keep doing this until you’re out of dough. Cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and let rise again for 45 minutes or so. Toward the end of this rise, turn the oven on 350°F (375 if you’re using a metal pan).
- Bake for around 30 minutes, until the bread is nice and browned