Monkey (Ginger)Bread

By • December 9, 2010 • 83 Comments

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Author Notes: I love monkey bread, and the warm and happy family-time feeling of gathering around something and tearing it apart. But I want my holiday breakfast to have a hint of sugarplum-y whimsy- enter gingerbread. This is my attempt to marry two delicious dishes into one fantastic breakfast. I hope you like it! Oh, and I wanted to test this by doing steps 1-8 the night before, refrigerating the pan of dough, and then doing the second rise in the morning, but I ran out of time. So if you want to make this for breakfast, you could give that a try, or wake up at 5 AM- your call :) - arielleclementinearielleclementine

Food52 Review: Not too sweet and not too spicy, this holiday breakfast reaps all the best rewards of monkey bread and gingerbread. It's fluffy and fragrant, and the crust is laquered with a brown sugar caramel. We recommend eating it warm, with salted butter and coffee. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 8

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • pinch sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour (if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  1. In a small bowl, combine yeast and a pinch of sugar with the warm water. Set aside to sit for 10 minutes, until foamy.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons butter, milk, and molasses and heat until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool briefly.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg with a whisk or spoon.
  4. Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer to low speed. Slowly add the molasses mixture and then the yeast mixture. After the dough comes together mix for 7 minutes, or until smooth. The dough will be sticky (it should stick to the bottom of the bowl), but if it seems too wet add up to 1/4 cup additional flour, one tablespoon at a time.
  5. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead by hand for an additional minute to form a smooth ball. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  6. Butter the bundt pan with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Put the melted stick of butter in one small bowl, and the brown sugar in another.
  7. When the dough has risen, transfer to a lightly floured surface and gently pat into an 8-inch square. Cut dough into 64 pieces and roll the pieces into balls. One at a time, dip the balls in butter, then roll in brown sugar, and place in the bundt pan, making all attempts to distribute the balls evenly.
  8. Cover the bundt pan with plastic wrap, place in a warm spot, and allow to rise for 1 more hour. (Or you could be a gambler and refrigerate the dough overnight, and then let it come to room temperature in the morning just before baking for breakfast). The balls should be puffy and about an inch below the top of the pan.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the monkey bread for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes (but no longer!). Invert onto a cake stand and cool for another 5-10 minutes. Devour!
Jump to Comments (83)

Tags: Christmas, gingerbread, sugar plums

Comments (83) Questions (4)

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over 1 year ago Dr. Golly

This came out perfectly! superb!

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over 1 year ago Dr. Golly

This looks amazing!

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almost 2 years ago Adelucchi

Haven't thought about monkey bread in ages. Decided to make this one for my birthday brunch. Visiting and my host didn't have a bunt pan. So I followed the recipe except I substituted dark brown sugar for molasses and half white whole wheat flour. Placed the sugared balls in a round Pyrex dish. Came out great!! Want to try it in a bunt pan. Thanks so much for a new twist on te old monkey bread.

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almost 2 years ago etrets

This didn't really rise for me a second time, though it looked beautiful after the first rise. Do I need to punch it down more in between the two?

Stringio

almost 2 years ago cherylynne1

Must use a bundt pan. I didn't and realized as my guests started pulling it apart-- the middle was still dough. Ugh. I may get a bundt pan from Santa now.

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almost 3 years ago gingerlover4ever

I made this cake and substituted Domaine de Canton for the fresh ginger and it was amazing!! I highly recommend it.

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

ooh! what a fun idea! thanks for the tip :)

Gator_cake

almost 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Delicious doesn't do this justice! I ate far too many balls of this miraculous creation. Thanks, AC!

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

yay! thanks hla!!

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almost 3 years ago daisybrain

Made this today for Christmas at home. What a success. Making it again for our New Year's Day festivities. Be careful with the cloves though. I probably could have used a little less.

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

oh thank you! sorry if i was a bit heavy-handed with the cloves- i love love ground clove, but i know many people think it's overpowering. i'll be making this in a few weeks, and i think i'll borrow a page from smitten kitchen and top it with a cream cheese glaze, just to put it completely over the top: http://smittenkitchen.com... thanks again for trying my recipe :)

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almost 3 years ago daisybrain

Mmmmm. Cream cheese glaze...

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almost 3 years ago lorinarlock

I made this last year. Twice. The first time I was half asleep and didn't see the directions for letting the bread rise again before baking. We ate some anyways it looked so good. The second time it was perfect and so, so delicious. I can't wait to make it again.

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

i'm so happy you enjoyed it! thanks for the comment!

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about 3 years ago alexmr

so delicious! Can't wait to make it for Christmas morning... maybe a few more test runs before then too ;-)

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

haha! thank you so much! ps- your baby and puppy are adorable- so much cute!

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about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Saved and printed for the December holidays. My boys are going to love it. ;o)

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

you're so sweet- i really hope your boys enjoy it!

Anita_date

almost 4 years ago Anitalectric

Anita is a vegan pastry chef & founder of Electric Blue Baking Co. in Brooklyn.

I wish my sister would have kids already so I could make this with them. When we were kids, we had a better homes and gardens kid's coobook and there was a recipe for something like this that involved grands biscuits and hershey's kisses. It was so much fun to make!

This recipe looks like it would be easy to veganize, too, but substituting coconut milk and coconut cream.

Henrykiss

almost 3 years ago arielleclementine

i love any and all forms of monkey bread! thanks for the vegan tips!!

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almost 4 years ago ourlastsupper

I made this for Christmas morning, too! I followed your do-ahead instructions and it worked perfectly. It was the hit of the breakfast buffet. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

hooray! so happy to hear that :) thank you!

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almost 4 years ago Katy

I did in fact make this for Christmas morning breakfast - it was absolutely delicious. Our house gets pretty cold overnight, so I just left the pan out on the counter for the second rise and baked it when we got up. I was impressed by how well the spicy flavors came through, it's a great recipe!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh hooray! i'm so glad you liked it! thanks for the kind feedback :)

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almost 4 years ago kary

Do you think it would work to form it into the balls and put into the pan and then refrigerate that overnight? Then let come to room-temp and bake?

(I know it's really cool that you can refrigerate the dough overnight and this may just be pushing the envelope too far. But I'm curious. Would fit into schedule better.)

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

hi kary! i have tried this, and it worked just fine! here's how it went down: i did steps 1-7 as written the night before, covered the bundt pan with with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge overnight. 9 hours later, the dough had barely risen at all. i took it out of the fridge and let it sit for an hour (it rose just a bit more) and then baked, following the directions in step 9. it came out great! i think the flavor might be a little bit more intensified, but i think that's a good thing, and it sure made this morning easy! thanks!

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almost 4 years ago Waverly

This contest may be the most difficult yet! Both of these finalists' recipes look divine. Ultimately, it was the caramel and ginger that won me over. I cannot wait to make this. Lovely! Congratulations on being a finalist.

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almost 4 years ago Waverly

This also looks like it would make a nice gift....hmmmm.

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

that is so sweet of you! i really hope you like it :) as far as gift-giving goes, this bread is really best when eaten 15 minutes or so after being pulled out of the oven, when the caramel is still warm and sticky...

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almost 4 years ago Threemealsaday

Excellent idea and twist on monkeybread. This is a must try for us this holiday season. Congrats on your creation.

Stuart

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thank you, Stuart!

Monkeys

almost 4 years ago monkeymom

So many weeks it is so tough to choose! But how could I not vote for monkeybread? Congrats arielleclementine!

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almost 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

lol monkeymom, looks like destiny!

Monkeys

almost 4 years ago monkeymom

Oh yes, I am definitely destined to make this bread too!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

haha! you're the best! thanks, monkeymom :)

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almost 4 years ago cheese1227

Fabulous! I am going to work in that crystalized ginger,,,,,,

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

if you try it, please let me know how it works out!

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almost 4 years ago Midge

Congrats arielleclementine! This looks truly awesome.

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

hooray! thanks, Midge!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

what a fantastic surprise! thank you all so much!!

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almost 4 years ago gingerroot

I love monkeybread, and your gingerbread version sounds scrumptious!! Congrats on being a finalist!!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thank you, gingerroot!

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almost 4 years ago Lizthechef

Brilliant - you have my vote!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

you're so kind!! thank you :)

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Happy dance!!!!!! And just in time for Festivus! Congrats on the EP and the finals, arielleclementine! ?

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

hooray mrs. larkin!! thank you so so much :)

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almost 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

Oh my. I really want this now. It looks lovely in the bundt pan, too. Seriously, after reading recipe & comments, I know I'll eat most of it myself, and only hope I can hold off until Festivus, or the grievance you'll be hearing is how tight my jeans have gotten.

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thank you so much! i know- the one in the picture is so perfect- mine looked much more, shall we say, rustic? a very happy festivus to you!

Sausage2

almost 4 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats! this looks beyond delicious. If I make this, I already know I will devour the whole thing by myself!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

yay! thank you, fiveandspice!!

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almost 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congrats! I had a feeling this was going to be a finalist.

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

you're too kind :) thank you!

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almost 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

YAY ARIELLE! This recipe is destined for greatness!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

haha! thanks, friend!

Lobster_001

almost 4 years ago nannydeb

Hooray and congratulations on being a finalist!!!!!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thank you thank you nannydeb!

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almost 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations, arielleclementine, and welcome back!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh hooray! thank you!

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almost 4 years ago Suz2622

Has anyone tried the suggestion on step 8... Ref rig over night??

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almost 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I haven't but based on experience, and looking at the amount of yeast, and the fact that ingredients are warmed before a fairly significant kneading period, my prediction is that the dough would rise quite a bit in the fridge. You can tie it down into a strong plastic bag, but all that yeast activity might give it kind of a beery taste. I don't know for sure with this recipe, but that's just what I think might happen. If I wanted to make the dough the night before, I'd reduce the amount of yeast and start with cold milk and butter. ;o)

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

hi Suz2622! i'll make this again tonight and test the overnight rise and report back. thanks for your expertise, AntoniaJames! you're probably right (i know what an accomplished baker you are!), so thanks for the suggestions in case the dough ends up rising too much over night!

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almost 4 years ago Suz2622

Thanks!!! Let me know what happens!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

the results of the experiment are in! here are my findings: i did steps 1-7 as written last night, covered the bundt pan with with plastic wrap, and put it in the fridge overnight. 9 hours later, the dough had barely risen at all. i took it out of the fridge and let it sit for an hour (it rose just a bit more) and then baked, following the directions in step 9. it came out great! i think the flavor might be a little bit more intensified, but i think that's a good thing, and it sure made this morning easy!

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almost 4 years ago Suz2622

Great!! I'll be making this for Christmas morning!!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

that's so fun! i really hope you like it! merry christmas!

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almost 4 years ago cheese1227

I think we share culinary karma or something. I typically love your recipes. And what made me write is that last week I was working on a ginger monkey bread recipe for the best breakfast food because I was thinking that it would be a grown-up twist on a kid favorite and just could not get it right enough to submit. I was trying to work crystalized ginger into the mix, but putting it in the dough was not quite right and putting it in between the pieces of dough was not quite right either. Any thoughts on how to add it to yours? I just love that firey bite it gives your tonsils.

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh wow! that's amazing! i think this one would definitely benefit from the kick of crystalized ginger. i would have thought that you could have kneaded it into the dough, but if you already tried that and it was weird this might work: smitten kitchen added a cream cheese glaze to her monkey bread- perhaps you could do the same but have it studded with ginger? i would be all over that.

Lobster_001

almost 4 years ago nannydeb

I just saw this and can't wait to make it for company this weekend! I wish I had some right now...

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

oh wow! thanks nannydeb! i really hope you like it :)

Bike2

almost 4 years ago Sagegreen

Thanks, arielleclementine. I have never made monkey bread, but love your use of ginger in this one.

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thanks so much, sagegreen!

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almost 4 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This looks SO GOOD! You are saint for getting up at 5 and making it, and then forming 64 dough balls ... it looks completely worth the effort!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

haha! no way girl! i made this last night and we ate it for dinner with homemade potato chips! that's just how i roll...

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hooray for monkey bread!! I was hoping someone would submit one of these! Aren't they fun?

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thanks, mrslarkin! yes, they're so fun! my headnote came out sounding snarky, but i really do love having everyone gather around and pull it apart.

Mrs._larkin_370

almost 4 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Hey, this would be fantastic for Festivus and the Airing of Grievances! My siblings would pro'ly resort to throwing the balls at each other.

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

haha!! so true! we celebrate festivus every december 23! we have taken to omitting the airing of grievances though- too raw!

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almost 4 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Really great--so happy to have you back here!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

aww- thanks drbabs :)

Gator_cake

almost 4 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

This looks sooooo delicious. I love a monkey bread recipe made with homemade dough instead of canned biscuits.

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

thanks so much! it is a really fun dough to work with- smells like christmas!

Monkeys

almost 4 years ago monkeymom

your monkey will be really lucky to have this!

Henrykiss

almost 4 years ago arielleclementine

haha! thank you! that means a lot coming from the original monkeymom!