My family loves monkey bread. We make a savory pull-apart bread with canned biscuits, cheese and chopped peppers, but “Deep South” author Brad McDonald has grown to love a sweet one that is topped with pecans.
With the butterscotch pudding, it’s totally old-school, but I have a feeling your family would love this on Thanksgiving morning or one day during this long holiday weekend.
Butch’s Monkey Bread
I married into this recipe, which comes from my father-in-law, Butch Petersen. He’s famous for these sticky, gooey, yeasty rolls, and special mornings in the Petersen house always call for this breakfast treat. Put the recipe together the night before, so the morning can be spent opening Christmas (or birthday) presents, reading the newspaper and drinking too much coffee.
— Brad McDonald
For the dough:
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. instant or active dry yeast
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 small egg
1 cup warm water
For the topping:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus 1 1/2 Tbsp. for greasing the tin
1 cup light brown sugar
1 large box Jell-O butterscotch pudding mix
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups whole pecans
Put all the dough ingredients in a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low speed to make a soft dough, adding more flour if the dough is too wet. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, then cover and leave in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size. Punch down the dough, cover again and leave to rest for about 15 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thick, then shape into 35 to 40 small balls. Place on greased baking sheets, cover loosely with cling film and place in the freezer.
While the dough balls freeze, make the topping: Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high heat, add the brown sugar and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the Jell-O mixture with the cinnamon. Remove the frozen dough balls from the freezer. Toss the dough balls with the Jell-O and cinnamon mixture.
Grease a large fluted bundt tin with the extra butter. Scatter the pecans evenly over the bottom of the tin, then arrange the frozen rolls on top. Finally, pour the melted butter and sugar mixture over the rolls. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Leave in the tin for a few minutes before turning out. Serve warm. Makes one large loaf.
— From “Deep South: New Southern Cooking” by Brad McDonald (Quadrille, $35)