Mama’s Savory Gluten Free Monkey Bread
Monkey Bread, is also known as Pinch Me Off Bread, Sticky Bread, African Coffee Cake, Pluck-It Cake, and Bubbleloaf is a traditional sticky, gooey and sweet coffee cake served in the United States, usually for breakfast, however can be enjoyed anytime of day. I remember distinctively growing up my mother would make it for her Tupperware parties, Sunday School, and many of our play dates. It is really easy to make.
Traditionally, it’s made by using “canned refrigerator biscuit dough”, however, it was first introduced in the 1950’s womens magazines, using frozen yeast dough. Both ways work great. You can make it in any sort of pan, but the traditional style pan is a fluted cake pan. What you do is pinch off pieces of biscuit dough, dip it in butter and roll it in cinnamon and sugar and sprinkled with chopped pecans. Just place each piece of pinched off dough that has been dipped and rolled into the pan of choice in a offset pattern, evenly around the pan. If using refrigerated dough you need to packages if using the fluted pan. I am not sure how many peices of frozen yeast dough you would need. I guess the best thing to do would be to keep using it until you get the desired amount placed in the pan. Then you bake it and what you end up with is gooey, sweet, doughy bread that tastes heavenly. Well, I guess the heavenly part is up to each person as their taste buds desire. I remember it being one of my favorite breakfast desserts. Funny thing too, my mom made it for us kids in the late 1970’s and early 80’s and she did not call it Monkey Bread, she just called it plain ol’ Coffee Cake.
I already have a Yeast version of this delicious style of coffee cake in my first cookbook, “Gluten Free Mama’s Best Baking Recipes”, which is currently only available online via Amazon.com right now. Don’t worry, it will make its debut with the “new improved version” in Mama’s re-make of her first cookbook that has bonus recipes, baking lessons and more. Look for it the fall of 2014.
Why Savory Monkey Bread you ask? Well, first of all, my husband and I watch a lot of Food Network and we saw a version of Savory Monkey Bread that used a variety of herbs and they served it for Thanksgiving. My husband suggested that I make a gluten free version, but not only use herbs, but our favorite garlic and cheeses too. Really, with a Savory Monkey Bread you can make pretty much any topping you desire. You could do a Thanksgiving theme and do a variety of herbs, like Food Network did, but maybe put a “Mama” twist on it and roll some of the pieces in ground or course cut nuts and the sprinkle dried cranberries between the pieces. You could do a Mexican Theme and instead of using Parmesan Cheese, like you will see in my recipe below, use a combination of Monterey Jack and Pepper Jack Cheeses, roll some pieces lightly in a mixture of chili powder and cumin, and sprinkle roasted green chili’s or pickled jalapenos between the pieces. You could do a nut and fruit savory style. Coursely chop 3 different nuts, almonds, walnuts and pecans. Then as you are putting the dough pieces in the pan sprinkle with dried fruit, like craisins, blueberries, raisins, chopped apricots or dates. You can get a creative as your heart desires.
To make Gluten Free Savory or Sweet Monkey bread using “Yeast” dough, I recommend using Mama’s Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls Recipe found in Mama’s Cookbook “In the Kitchen with Gluten Free Mama”; you can also find this particular recipe on Mama’s blog at glutenfreemama1.com. Use the Search Bar Feature, or click Breads on the side bar. You can make this recipe egg free by using Mama’s Flax Method. You can also make it dairy free by using olive oil in place of the butter or if you want a buttery flavor, use your favorite dairy free margarine. Take out the sugar for savory, and keep the sugar in for the sweet versions.
Below is my recipe using “Buttermilk Biscuit Dough”.
You can also use this dough for buttermilk biscuits for Sunday morning breakfast or breakfast sandwiches. So enjoy! If you want to make this dairy free, use your favorite dairy free margarine, Mama recommends Nuceo or Spectrum Buttery Sticks. For the savory version of monkey bread, you could use olive oil, and roll the dough in olive oil before rolling in toppings, instead of butter too. If you are going to do the olive oil method be sure to use a light, extra virgin variety.
Mama’s Monkey Bread Dough ~ Biscuit Style ~ Yeast Free
(Sweet or Savory)
3 cups Mama’s Almond or Coconut Blend Flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder (See Corn Free Tips)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) melted butter (Dairy Free See Below)
1 cup buttermilk (Dairy free see GFM Tip below)
2 eggs, gently beaten
Traditional Cinnamon and Sugar -Sweet
3 Small Bowls, in each put the following ingredients.
Bowl 1: 1/2 cup Sugar, 1 tsp. Cinnamon
Bowl 2: 1/2 cup chopped Pecans or Walnuts
Bowl 3: 4-6 Tbsp. Melted Butter (or Dairy Free Margarine)
Mama’s Italian Style -Savory
5 Small Bowls, in each put the following ingredients.
Bowl 1: 1/4-1/2 Italian Cheese Blend (or mixture of Parmesan, Ramono, Mozzarella)
Bowl 2: 1-2 Tbsp of each Fresh Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Parsley (finely chopped, mixed together) (If using dried herbs you will need 1 Tbsp. of each)
Bowl 3: 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, 1-2 Tbsp. garlic powder. (mixed together well.)
Bowl 4: 2-3 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary (finely chopped with 1/8-1/4 inch pieces) (If using dried you will need 1-2 Tbsp)
Bowl 5: 6 Tbsp. Melted Butter (or Dairy Free Margarine, or olive oil) with 2-3 Fresh Garlic Cloves, Minced mixed in. (Or use 1 tsp. garlic powder)
Or get creative and create your own toppings!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare toppings, and set aside in bowls. Generously spray desired baking pan with cooking spray, or use Spectrum shortening and grease the pan very well, even if using a non-stick pan.
In a large bowl, combine GF flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, xanthan gum and sugar, and mix well to incorporate all the ingredients well.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour in melted butter, (or olive oil), buttermilk, (or dairy free milk alternative), and lightly beaten eggs.
Using a rubber scraper or wooden spoon, stir in folding the dough until all the wet ingredients are incorporated. The dough will be thick, sticky and moist.
Using a 1 inch scoop, measure dough into scoop and release. Roll the dough lightly, between the palms of hand into smooth circle. If the dough is too sticky, just lightly flour hands and then roll. You can roll one ball of dough at a time, or roll them all our and place on a cutting board or plate and then roll them in the ingredients all at once. Mama likes to roll all the balls of dough out at once, because it is quicker, and less messy. If you don’t have a 1 inch scoop, pinch off rounded 1 inch size pieces of dough and roll into a ball.
Roll each ball of dough into butter mixture, then into one of the ingredients and place the dough into generously oiled or sprayed pan in an uneven pattern, but evenly around the pan at the same height. See Mama’s examples of pans you can use.
Place pan with finished dipped dough, into 350 degree oven.
Fluted Pan, Cake Pan, Bread Pan, Pie Plate: Bake for 25-30 minutes or until dough begins to become golden brown and bounces back when touched.
Muffin Tin or 3-4inch round pans: bake for 14-16 minutes or until dough begins to golden brown and bounces back when touched.
Allow Monkey Bread to cool for at least 30 minutes before flipping onto serving plate.
GFM Tip 1: When flipping bread out of pan, place a plate directly on top of the cake pan, and flip. The unattractive side will be down. Take the desired serving plate on top of the dull side of the bread and flip again and you will have a perfectly put together Monkey Bread on your serving plate that has not come apart.
GFM Tip 2: Dairy Free Buttermilk or don’t have buttermilk on hand? Use milk of choice, dairy, rice, nut, or soy. Add 2 tsp. cider vinegar. Stir well and allow to set on counter for 15-20 minutes. Then use just as you would buttermilk.
GFM Tip 3: Can I use just milk or milk of choice instead of buttermillk or milk with cider vinegar added? Yes, just increase the baking powder to 2 tsp. and eliminate the baking soda all together. However, the buttermilk or mock buttermilk, will give the biscuits a fluffier and lighter texture.
GFM Tip 4: What if I don’t have a fluted pan? Don’t worry, you can use any baking pan your heart desires. Just adjust baking time depending on the size. For example if you are using a small muffin tin you will want to reduce baking from 30 minutes to about 14-18 minutes. Just check them and watch closely until you see that they are getting done.
Here is a picture of all sorts of pans that can make creative looking monkey bread. Just randomly place the dough balls in different spots so their isn’t any set pattern.
- Biscuit Style ~ Yeast Free (Sweet or Savory)
- 3 cups