Monkey bread is sticky, sweet, gooey, pull-apart bread best eaten by hand while still warm. It can resemble cinnamon rolls in taste. Monkey bread is known by many different names. It is also called a bubble bread or bubbleloaf, golden crown, and Hungarian coffee cake and had been known to be served during Christmas mornings. The first recipe for monkey bread appeared in ladies magazines and cookbooks around the 1950s and became popular in the 1980s when served in the White House by then First Lady Nancy Reagan.
The origin of the monkey bread recipe is unknown though food historians surmise that it could be a Middle Eastern recipe since they were the first to make sweet rolls with butter and cinnamon, a spice that came from Sri Lanka, formerly called Ceylon. Some historians think that the term monkey bread came from the monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana). In Africa, the baobab tree bears fruit that is called monkey bread. Some believe that the name came about because the golden brown pieces look like monkeys seated and bunched close together.
It seems that baking and serving monkey bread during the holidays have become a tradition for many generations and families. Super model Cindy Crawford even has her own family’s version of a monkey bread recipe that she prepared on TV during the Christmas season of 1999 in the show “Good Morning America.”
If you enjoy baking and eating sweet comfort foods, here is a recipe for monkey bread that you can try.
- 4 cans biscuit dough
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 bundt pan
- ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
For the monkey bread dip and topping:
- 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly greased your bundt pan and set aside.
- Cut each of the canned biscuit dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
- Combine the sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts and mix well.
- Roll each biscuit ball into the sugar, cinnamon and nut mixture, coating each one evenly.
- Melt the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
- Dip each ball into the butter mixture and arrange the pieces close together in the greased bundt pan.
- Pour the remaining butter mixture over the top of the balls before placing the pan in the oven.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before you remove it from the pan.
- Invert the pan over a serving plate to unmold the monkey bread and serve.
You can make other variations with the basic recipe by adding different nuts, raisins, chopped currants and sprinkle the bottom of the pan with some these first before arranging the balled dough. You can also substitute milk to butter if you are worried about the calories. The best part is in pulling apart a piece, or two, and enjoying the monkey bread in all its sticky goodness.