This bread is an example of how synergy can work in the kitchen. My brother Will and I invented this garlicky goodness for a New Year’s party hosted by our third brother, Nate. We knew we wanted cheesy garlic something, and over the course of a brainstorming session that got more and more excited and animated, the concept evolved into this cheesy garlic monkey bread! We were pumped (and so was everyone who ate it, incidentally).
If you’re unfamiliar with monkey bread, it’s a dessert invented apparently by someone who’s awful at naming desserts. It’s essentially what would happen if you were trying to bake sticky buns but the only pan left in the entire world was some goofy circle pan for angel food cakes. It’s amazing though, because you get to pull off these little knobs of gooey sweet bready goodness off of a crown of sugary splendor and eat them. It’s pretty addicting actually.
The idea of garlic monkey bread takes the concept even further, I think. It really appeals to the finger food part of the psyche, while creating perfect portions for dipping. The rolls are soft, chewy, cheesy, and of course overwhelmed with garlic. You get all the enjoyment of garlic bread AND monkey bread, with less stickiness and more cheesiness. This may already exist as a concept somewhere, but we were about ready to patent it by the time we were done. It got completely eaten in about 8 minutes.
Cheesy Garlic Monkey Bread Recipe
1.5 recipes pizza dough
4-6 oz. mozzarella cheese
4-6 garlic cloves, finely minced or crushed
2-3 tb butter
1-2 tsp italian spices
Roll the dough into a large rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. With a pizza roller, slice the flattened dough into 2 inch squares.
Cut the cheese into 3/4 inch cubes, leaving some to grate on top of the bread. Divide the cubes among the dough squares.
Soften the butter in the microwave or something. Mix in the garlic and the spices; eyeball the mixture and adjust according to your tastes.
Tuck the dough around each square and pinch the edges together to seal. Place the dough balls into a greased bundt pan or angel food cake pan with removable bottom (preferred).
Leave some space between the balls so they can expand. Once you have a completed “layer” of dough balls, brush generously with the garlic butter.
Continue stacking your dough balls until you run out. Don’t worry if they don’t come to the top of the pan. Give the top layer a final brush of garlic butter.
Let rise, covered loosely, for a really long time. At least an hour, probably 2. You want the dough to expand almost to the top of the pan, which will also cause it to be wonderful and fluffy in texture.
Bake at 375°F until golden brown on top or 190°F internal temperature, probably about 20-30 minutes. In the last five minutes of baking, add some shredded mozzarella to the top of the bread to melt. If you do this earlier, the cheese will be burnt and crispy by the end… not as good.
Remove from the oven. Once it has cooled enough to realistically handle, remove from the pan. The removable bottom pans come in handy at this step, obviously, but do the best you can.
Put your wonderful cheesy garlic monkey bread on a plate or tray and serve! Let people pull their own rolls, that’s more fun. Accompany with marinara sauce to dip.
Tell me this isn’t one of the best ideas ever. Let me know how it goes!