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It’s that dessert time of year, y’all! This Challah Monkey Bread recipe is adapted from one that my mom and grandma make every year for Christmas Brunch, so don’t forget the most important ingredient: feels. Also, adapted indeed, because my fam uses frozen yeast rolls to make theirs and every other time, our holiday monkey bread ends up under-baked and mushy. While my mom is a lot of wonderful things, she is not a great cook.
So for this Holiday Monkey Bread recipe, I replaced those frozen rolls with CHALLAH, a sweet, structured bread that can totally hold up to the sauce. As you all know, I’m Bob’s Red Mill’s number one fan, so I made this Challah Monkey Bread with their amazing Organic All-Purpose Flour and Organic Coconut Sugar . Remember, coconut sugar is lower on the GI scale than regular sugar , scoring this Challah Holiday Monkey Bread at least a COUPLE points on the “healthier” scoreboard. And for a few more points, the sauce is dairy-free, made with oat milk creamer.
Get ready for some sticky fingers when you tear into this delicious Monkey Bread.
Challah Monkey Bread
Imagine sweet, delicious rolls of challah bread baked into a bundt pan and topped with a dairy free butterscotch sauce, and you've got Challah Monkey Bread!
- 4 1/2 tsp (2 packets) active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil, plus more for oiling bowl (sub vegetable oil or other flavorless oil)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup Bob's Red Mill coconut sugar, divided
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 5 cups Bob's Red Mill Organic All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup oat milk creamer (sub heavy cream or other non dairy creamer)
- 1 pinch flaky sea salt
In a large mixing bowl, add your active dry yeast and warm water. Whisk gently together, and let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast should froth and activate.
Add maple syrup, grapeseed oil, eggs, coconut sugar and sea salt to the bowl. Whisk together until well combined.
Add in flour, one cup at a time, mixing the batter until well combined after each cup. (I usually use a whisk for the first 3 cups, then switch to a wooden spoon or my hands for the last cups!)
Once the dough is shaggy and holds together, generously flour a surface and your hands. Transfer the dough to your surface and knead for about 10 minutes, adding just enough flour to keep it from sticking to your hands or the surface.
Form the dough into a ball. Grease a large bowl with grapeseed oil, and transfer the dough into the bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for two hours. (It should double in size.)
After two hours, grease a bunt pan. Sprinkle chopped pecans around the bottom.
Remove dough from bowl and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Pull off 2-3 tbsp of dough, roll into a ball, and place in the bottom of the bunt pan. Do this for all of the dough, evenly layering the balls on top of each other all around the bundt pan.
Cover the bundt pan with a clean cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350.
Near the end of the rise, heat a small pot over low heat. Add butter and cook until melted. Remove from heat, whisk in coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt. (It will look broken). Add in oat milk creamer and whisk vigorously until the sauce comes together and is smooth.
Remove cloth from bundt pan. Slowly pour about 1/2-2/3 of the sauce over the challah rolls into the bundt pan. You may have wait and allow the sauce to settle to the bottom.
Cover bundt pan with tin foil, and place on a large baking sheet with edges to catch any drip.
Bake for 40-45 mins, remove foil, and bake for 10 more minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
Place a plate over the bundt pan, and carefully invert the monkey bread onto the plate, removing the bundt pan.
Drizzle with remaining sauce.
What is challah?
Challah is a special bread in the Jewish tradition. You’ll usually see it in a gorgeous braided pattern, which is why it’s perfect for a Challah-day pull-apart Monkey Bread. This egg-based bread is used in Jewish ceremonies and holidays like Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah (but not Passover—unleavened bread only for that one!).
For such an important bread, I like to use Bob’s Red Mill’s Organic All-Purpose Flour so I can really nail the consistency. Challah bread is light and fluffy, but still has enough sturdiness to keep its structure when you incorporate the sauce. No mush here, people.
Monkey Bread 411
You might hear “monkey bread” and think this dessert either has a banana component or should be sent to the zoo, but alas, that’s not where the name comes from. Monkey Bread gets its name from it’s pull-apart structure—you gotta use your hands and eat this sticky dessert like a monkey would. You can thank the Hungarians for this delicious dish.
While you can always expect Monkey Bread to be soft, sticky, and finger-friendly, you’ll also traditionally find it covered in butter, cinnamon, sugar, and some sort of pecan situation. HOWEVER, in my opinion, the pull-apart part of it is the most fun and from there, you can let your creativity take flight. For a savory and adorable option, check out Foodie Crush’s Bacon and Jam Mini Monkey Bread . Foodie Crush ALSO has a recipe for all you Instant Pot lovers . For an awesome seasonal option, This Mess is Ours makes an Apple Chai Monkey Bread and you all know I love me some chai that you should definitely check out.
So go ahead—get your hands dirty for Monkey Bread this Challah-day season. Enjoy!