Monkey bread looks simple enough – like a rustic Bundt cake. It hides a secret: It is made of balls of cinnamon roll dough that you can rip off with your hands – allowing your family and friends to literally break bread together.
This monkey bread has a second surprise in its pillowy cinnamon/sugar bread pieces.
Each bread ball is filled with oozy baked brie, jam, and nuts. My monkey bread puts a whole new spin on cheese balls! The bread could double as an appetizer or as a dessert or you could just leave it on the table during the whole meal for your guests to pick at and pick at, until someone finally breaks down and takes the last piece.
My baked brie monkey bread is made using the dough from the Fleischmann’s® Yeast recipe for frosted cinnamon rolls (one of many great yeast recipes on the Fleischmann’s Yeast site). Growing up, my mom and my grandmother never baked with yeast and when I first started using it, I, too, was a little bit intimidated. But, there is no need to be frightened of yeast. I’ll walk you through the steps and you’ll be fine. Plus, there is simply no other way to get the same taste and puffy rise out of a bread. And… working with bread dough is so satisfying.
Kneading dough is one of my favorite stress-relieving activities. In this recipe, you knead the dough for about six minutes (a good little workout)! The Fleischmann’s Yeast website has a great education section where they explain that Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast dough only needs to rest for 10 minutes. If the recipe called for Fleischmann’s® Active Dry Yeast, it would need a rise period of about an hour or two to double in size. RapidRise Yeast is a major time saver!
After the rest, it’s time to make all of the dough balls. I just ripped off some balls of dough, flattened them, and filled them with brie, jam, and nuts. I used very small pieces of cheese because I was afraid of the balls opening up and cheese and jam spilling out. How did I forget that the yeast would cause these balls to become giant? The cheese was nowhere near the edge of the balls by the time it was done. I encourage you to use twice as much cheese as you see in this photo – stack it high and let it come to the edge of the dough.
This dough is very elastic and you can stretch it over the fillings to form little balls. Pull the dough a little past the opening and squeeze it together to seal it.
I dunked each ball in a bath of melted butter and then in cinnamon sugar before putting it in the Bundt pan.
Here’s my favorite part! In the photo above, you can see all of the balls in the Bundt pan ready to rise. I covered this pan with a dish towel and set it in a warm place (I like to turn on my oven for one minute and then turn it off so it’s warm but not hot).
Then comes the baking. Once baked, you can hardly tell the balls were even there until you rip into the bread!
Whether you make the Fleischmann’s Yeast recipe for frosted cinnamon rolls as cinnamon rolls, turn it into monkey bread, or take it the extra step to make the monkey bread with baked brie inside, don’t forget to invite me over. I could eat this bread every day!
There’s a sense of pride in sharing something you’ve baked from scratch. With
Fleischmann’s Yeast, you won’t be afraid to find your creativity in the kitchen or even get your apron a little dirty. Baking with yeast this holiday season can be as easy as pre-heating the oven. To find out more, visit foodnetwork.com/holidaybaking.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ACH. The opinions and text are all mine.