Monday, October 31, 2016

The Baking Bibile: Monkey Dunkey Bread

Mark said he never wants to forget this dessert, and that it may be his most favorite Baking Bible project ever. Despite being decadent you can find yourself wanting to eat handfuls of this bread at once.

Monkey bread is basically a bunch of balls of sweet bread dunked or tossed in a sweet buttery sauce, piled into a tube or bundt pan, baked until golden brown and then drizzled with icing or sauce or something. And then there's This Monkey Dunkey recipe: brioche is the bread, bittersweet chocolate is stuffed into each ball, the dunking sauce is a brown sugar-butter caramel, and the finished product is drizzled with more amber caramel. Crazy! Decadent! Amazing!

I made this for the test bake and the biggest problem I had back then was that all the dunking sauce leaked out the bottom of the angel food pan while baking. Sadness! So this time, I decided to use a bundt pan. I did not want to risk the leaking a second time, even though I now have a different angel food pan.

It can't leak if the pan is one piece!
 I took a few shortcuts with the making of the Monkey bread. It kept me sane.

The brioche (made the day before) chilled for 2+ hours so after degassing the dough I skipped the 1 hour chill and went straight to the business letter turns and overnight refrigeration.

When it came to make the balls, I skipped all the rolling out because I hate rolling anything out. I split the dough in two as per the recipe, and then simply used my bench scraper to cut portions of the dough that weighed 17 grams. Each little blob got lightly rolled together then I pressed it out into a circle with my fingers.

Using the silpat kept the need for flouring the work top to a minimum
 I couldn't find the Valrhona perls so I decided to use the 67% cacao chocolate chunks from Whole Foods. I only used 2 chunks per ball when 1 tsp of chocolate (as called for) was about 4 chunks. I was worried it would be too much chocolate--but it isn't and next time I'll go ahead and do 4.

Then I made the little balls as directed. The dunking sauce seemed broken--I think maybe I let it get too hot in the microwave. The sauce wouldn't stick to the balls at all so I just sort of spooned a bit into the tin with each little ball. Oh, and I only had dark muscovado so I used that instead of the prescribed light muscovado.

all assembled: before the final rise and bake
I overcooked the caramel in the drizzle glaze just a bit; it was a tad bitter so I added about 1/4 tsp sea salt and voila! Salty caramel drizzle glaze and not bitter anymore.  

Everything else went well, and when Eliot and I ate our caramelly, sweet monkey bread, he said, "we are eating cake." Brioche is like that: bread/cake, cake/bread. I realised that the Monkey Dunkey bread made all the Halloween candy obsolete. Why would I eat that junk when I could eat more of this?

I'm sure I will be making this for years to come.
before the caramel drizzle. the dark muscovado in the dunking sauce doesn't look that great.
caramel makes it all better

happy Eliot


  1. I'm already plotting the next time I can make this!

  2. It looks and sounds incredible! I'm glad you improvised with the chocolate because I'd have to drive forty minutes to buy some. I'm also very glad you figured out how to cut down on the rolling because I did that and wondered if I shouldn't have. It's still in the frig. And the advice on the pans is spot on. Going with the bundt pan. Alpha Bakers always save the day.

  3. Love your the monkey dunkey bread picture, it looks absolutely wonderful and more wonderful than your monkey Dunkey bead is your little boy ,he looks so cute.
    Come check out my post when you have a moment.