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Garlic-Herb Monkey Bread AKA Pull-Apart Bread

Garlic-Herb Monkey Bread AKA Pull-Apart Bread

Most “monkey breads” are sweet—the dough contains sugar and cinnamon and the butter is sweetened with brown sugar. Here is a version where the butter is spiked with garlic and herbs and the dough is given a savory edge with grated Parmesan cheese. The principle is still the same: seasoned butter keeps the little dough balls separate enough to pull apart after baking, even though the whole loaf unmolds easily from the bundt pan. It’s perfect for serving at your next informal pasta dinner. Kids love it. Adults will too.

Makes about 10 servings
For the dough:
2 cups cool water (about 70 F)
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
½ teaspoon sugar
26 ounces all-purpose flour
3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt

For the butter:
½ cup fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 stick (4 ounces) butter or 4 ounces Homemade butter (page 12), at room temperature

Non-stick cooking spray

  1. Make the dough: Fit the stirring blade into the work bowl. Add the water, yeast and sugar and warm at 50 C on speed 1 for 1 minute. Lets stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, cheese and salt and mix on speed 6 for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on speed 3 for 30 seconds, until smooth and elastic. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, scraping the sides of the bowl to get all the dough. Knead a few times to make sure the dough is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball and put It into a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to coat all sides with oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 
  2. When the dough is nearly doubled, heat the oven to 350 F with the rack in the middle position. Spray a 10-inch bundt pan with cooking spray. 
  3. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat it with floured hands into a 12-inch square. Cut the dough into six 2-inch strips from top to bottom, then from side to side, giving you 36 2-inch squared of dough. (Don’t worry if some of the squares are slightly different in shape.) Pinch the four corners of one of the dough squares between a few of your fingers and roll the bottom of the dough gently, while still pinching, to make a smooth ball. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let the dough balls rest 10 minutes. 
  4. While resting, make the butter: Fit the chopping blade into the work bowl. Chop the parsley, basil, thyme and garlic on speed on speed 6 for 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the butter and mix on speed 4 for 20 seconds. Heat at 80 C on speed one for 1 minute, until the butter is melted. Scrape the garlic-herb butter into a large bowl. 
  5. Add about 8 of the dough balls and toss gently to coat them with butter. Add the remaining dough balls in batches, tossing between each one, until all are generously coated. Layer the balls into the prepared pan, pressing them down very lightly. The pan should be about 2/3 full. Drizzle any remaining herb butter over the dough balls. Bake until the top is deep golden brown and the pan feels light when picked up, about 1 hour. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack, lifting the pan gently from the loaf. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Start with cool water because the action of the Bellini’s motor will warm the dough up to the perfect temperature for rising.

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