How To Make Monkey Bread
For the monkey bread:
- 10 tablespoons
(1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted but still warm
- 3/4 cup
- 1/2 cup
packed light or dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons
- 1/4 teaspoon
- 2 pounds
frozen white bread dough, thawed but still cold
All-purpose flour, as needed
For the cream cheese dipping sauce (optional):
- 8 ounces
cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup
whole or 2% milk, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon
- 1/8 teaspoon
- 2 cups
12-cup Bundt cake pan
wide, shallow bowls or pie plates
Measuring cups and spoons
Knife or metal bench scraper
Electric mixer (if making the dip)
Prep the pan: Place the melted butter in a wide, shallow bowl. Brush the sides and tube of a 12-cup Bundt cake pan with a thin layer of the butter; set the Bundt pan and butter aside.
Prep the sugar mixture: Whisk the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a pie plate; set aside.
Form dough ropes: Divide the bread dough into 6 equal pieces. Either rolling it between your hands or on a work surface, roll each piece into a 10-inch-long rope.
Cut the dough: Using a knife or metal bench scraper, cut each rope into 10 pieces. You should now have 60 small pieces of dough; cover them loosely with plastic wrap.
Make dough balls and coat: Working with 6 dough pieces at a time, roll each into a ball. (If the dough is sticky, dust your hands with all-purpose flour as needed.) Roll them in the butter to coat, then roll them in the sugar mixture to coat. Rewarm the butter as needed if it cools down and starts to congeal; warm butter makes a thinner coating.
Fill the pan with dough balls: Place the sugared dough balls into the prepared pan, layering them over any spaces as you go. (Don't worry about being too precise.) Repeat with the remaining dough. When you're done, you should have about 3 layers of dough and the pan should be about half full.
Use up the remaining butter and sugar mixture: Drizzle the remaining butter over the monkey bread and sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture. This will turn into a caramel over the monkey bread.
Let the bread rise: Cover the pan loosely with the plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until puffed and risen to about 1 inch from the top of the pan, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Bake the bread: About 20 minutes before the bread is fully risen, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Uncover the monkey bread and bake until golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. If making the cream cheese dip, make it while the monkey bread is baking.
Make the dip: Place the cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (Alternatively, use a large bowl and a hand mixer.) Mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes more; transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.
Cool the bread just slightly: When the monkey bread is ready, place the pan on a wire cooling rack and cool for 5 minutes. Do not cool any longer or the caramel will harden and stick to the pan.
Flip the bread out: Invert a cake stand or serving platter over the Bundt pan. Holding onto the platter and the pan at the same time (use oven mitts or a towel — it's hot!), flip it over. Remove the Bundt pan (you may need to use a fork or knife to pry the pan up to lift it off). Let cool at least 15 minutes more before serving warm with the cream cheese dip.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored, covered tightly in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to 3 days. Store the dip in the refrigerator. Let the dip come to room temperature and re-whisk before serving.