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Bread-Machine Monkey Bread: A Savory Version for Dinner

Bread Machine Monkey Bread, inspired by Helen Corbitt, is a made-from-scratch pull-apart yeast bread without the usual cinnamon and sugar coating.

No bread machine? No worries! Instructions for mixing by hand or with a stand mixer are included in the notes at the end of the recipe. 

Baked Monkey Bread on a plate next to butter and butter knife

How can you resist so much buttery goodness?

As you can see, this is not the usual biscuits-out-of-a-can-rolled-in-a-ball-then-coated-with-cinnamon-and-sugar kind of monkey bread. Oh no! 

You don’t have to roll any little balls.  This version is not cinnamon-sugary sweet, although you could easily modify the recipe if desired.

This recipe is probably the favorite bread recipe (along with Cheesy-Crusted Yeast Rolls) in my family–especially with the grandkids.

Recipe Inspiration

Before children, I worked at The Greenhouse, a luxury health spa back then with connections to Neiman Marcus. Ms. Helen Corbitt, a celebrated chef at the time, had planned all of our menus using her recipes.  That’s where I learned about this beautiful and buttery, brioche-like bread.

Monkey bread right out of the oven

The original recipe was published in Helen Corbitt Cooks for Company back in 1957. Of course, Ms. Corbitt did not have access to a bread machine, but I’m pretty sure she would be thrilled to see how much easier it is mixed and kneaded with a bread machine.

Why should I check the dough after the bread machine starts?

A bread machine doesn’t have a brain. Sometimes you need to help it out. But don’t worry. It’s not hard to open the lid and have a look.

Suppose you forget to add all the flour. Or maybe you were in a hurry and didn’t measure the flour correctly. Perhaps you are experiencing high humidity or you are substituting a different flour than called for in the recipe.

Your bread machine will keep on mixing without regard to any of these issues. Keep reading…

#1

Open the bread machine lid

After the machine has been on about 10-15 minutes, open the lid and check the progress.  Several things might be going on you will want to remedy immediately.

breadmachine story board_edited-1
Don’t be afraid to open the lid after the bread has been mixing a few minutes and add flour or liquid as needed to make the perfect dough.

#2

When the dough is too wet

You may have forgotten part of the flour. Maybe you counted the cups wrong.  I’ve done that.

Perhaps you substituted a different flour, i.e. whole wheat, bleached, or bread flour for the unbleached flour.  It makes a difference!  Add flour one tablespoon at a time until it looks like the bottom picture.

#3

When the dough is too dry

Does it beat against the side of the pan rather loudly? You may have added too much flour or not enough liquid. 

Maybe you used a smaller egg than specified or perhaps you miss-measured the flour.  Add 1 tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks like the bottom picture.

#4

What will the dough look like when it’s perfect?

The perfect dough will gather up into a ball that sticks slightly to the sides, then pulls away. That being said, there may be slight variations among recipes, for example, my Bread Machine Ciabatta. But the recipe will usually tell you what to expect.

#5

Another reason to open the lid

One more good reason to check your bread is to ensure you have pushed the pan down tightly so the kneading blade is engaged.  Otherwise, absolutely nothing will be happening in your pan even though you hear the bread machine running. Likewise, the same thing happens if you forgot to put the blade in the pan.

Click here to sign up for a FREE 6-day Quick-Start email course: “Make Fabulous Bread with Your Bread Machine.”

How to roll out dough for Bread Machine Monkey Bread:

how to cut monkey bread
Slice dough into approximately 1-inch diamonds or squares. I do not roll in balls. It’s part of the tradition. In fact, I use a pizza cutter.

Please ignore the condition of this pan.  It’s seen a lot of monkey bread in its time.

storyboard monkey bread
Melt 1/4 cup butter. Dip each piece in butter and layer rather haphazardly into nonstick bundt pan. Cover and let rise until double.

Serving Bread Machine Monkey Bread: 

If you serve this on a buffet to people who don’t know about it, they often won’t touch it, thinking it is a dessert or some kind of cake.  But once somebody pulls off the first piece, it’s “Katie, bar the door!” because it will be disappearing in a flash.

More posts about making bread in a bread machine:

Pin the picture below to save for later.



Did you try this recipe and enjoy it? Consider helping other readers (and me) by returning to this post. Leave a rating on the recipe card itself underneath the picture. Although always appreciated, comments aren’t required.

If you have a question or tip to share, please leave it in the regular comments after the recipe so I can answer back. Or, email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.

Thank you for visiting!
Paula

Bread-Machine Monkey Bread

Bread-Machine Monkey Bread

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

A pull-apart, brioche-like yeast bread, mixed and kneaded in a bread machine, then baked in the oven in a bundt pan.

Ingredients

  • 1 c. warm milk
  • 1 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup butter (half of an 8 oz. stick), softened + additional 1/4 cup butter for dipping dough before adding to pan
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups (360 grams) unbleached flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast

Instructions

  1. Dump all ingredients into bread machine in order listed. Select dough cycle and start.
  2. Check dough about 15 minutes into the mixing process. It should stick to the side and pull away cleanly. If it is too sticky, add extra flour one tablespoon at a time. If it is too dry, add water or milk one tablespoon at a time until it sticks to side, then pulls away.
  3. At the end of the dough cycle, remove bread to floured surface. Roll or press till about 3/4 inch thick. No need to get the ruler. Preciseness is unimportant at this point.
  4. Slice dough into approximately 1-inch diamonds or squares. I do not roll in balls. It's part of the tradition. In fact, I use a pizza cutter.
  5. Melt 1/4 cup butter. Dip each piece in butter and layer rather haphazardly but evenly into a nonstick bundt pan. Cover and let rise until double.
  6. Bake at 375˚F for 30 minutes or until golden brown and/or temperature registers 190˚F. Cover with foil after 10 minutes to keep top from over browning. If not as brown as you would like, remove the foil for last few minutes. This burns easily on top, so watch carefully.
  7. Turn out onto a serving plate. Serve uncut and let people pull off what they want.

Notes

Alternate Mixing Instructions:

Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand: 

  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using a dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: You can substitute active dry yeast for instant or bread machine yeast. There is no longer any need to dissolve it. Be aware that it may be a little slower acting than instant yeast, but it'll get there.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 278mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

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Eric J Allen

Thursday 30th of April 2020

This reminds me of my Aunt Mittie's monkey bread. She never made a sweet version and she passed away before I became interested in baking. Thank you for bringing back a cherished childhood memory.

Paula

Friday 1st of May 2020

Food and memories go together, don't they? Just like certain aromas and memories go together.

Lynn Walls

Friday 22nd of November 2019

I've had my bread machine for a few year's now, but as of yet,,, I've never used it. So today I went out 2 the market & purchased the bread machine flour & yeast. So later on today I'm going 2 try & fix, & make something that my family will enjoy. I was surprised that I found this link with recipes for my machine. Looking forward to seeing & trying out & finding more recipes. Thank you. Lynn

Joni Cole

Saturday 15th of April 2017

Hello Paula is there a certain way to mix the dough when doing it by hand?

Paula

Saturday 15th of April 2017

Hi Joni, Look online or in a basic cookbook like Betty Crocker or Better Homes and Gardens for a basic loaf of white bread. Mix and knead it according to the directions. After the second rise, come back to my recipe to shape it.

kara

Wednesday 25th of November 2015

One more question, how long does it take to rise?

Paula

Thursday 26th of November 2015

Depends on several factors, especially the ambient temperature. First rise may take an hour or more. Second rise may take 30-40 minutes or more. You want dough to double in size first time and almost double after you put dough in the pan before baking.

kara

Tuesday 24th of November 2015

I don't have a bread machine help!!! Please

Paula

Wednesday 25th of November 2015

You can mix and knead dough with a stand mixer, or you can do it by hand if you have the time and energy in your arms.