Monkey bread is one of those recipes that I think a lot of us grew up with. Adults and kids alike seem to love it, and it was definitely one of the things I missed when I became gluten free, especially with hot soup on a cold winters night. There are a bunch of recipes that use biscuit dough fresh from the popping can, but alas, those creations are all full of wheat-y goodness. I always have gluten free pizza dough mixes in the pantry, and thought that it just might work for monkey bread, and it definitely did the trick! We had an awesome, and gluten free, compliment to our soup on a cold night!
1 box pizza dough mix. I used the Aldi’s brand of pizza dough mix, but the *gluten free Bob’s Red Mill would also work.
1 packet of rapid rise yeast
1 egg, beaten, and at room temperature
2 tablespoons of canola oil
3/4 cup water at 120 degrees
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray the pan of choice with cooking spray. Traditionally, monkey bread is baked in an angel food cake tube or a bundt pan, but with smaller amounts of dough, a casserole dish with another dish in the center of the pan to create a void in the middle like a bundt pan also works!
In a large mixer bowl, add the dough mix and yeast, and briefly stir until the yeast is incorporated into the flour. Then add the egg and canola oil, and then the warm water. If the water is not between 120 and 130, the yeast wont be as effective. Using a bread hook in a mixer, mix until just combined into a ball. No bread hook? No big deal. I have also stirred with a wooden spoon or spatula until well combined, and then finished mixing with my hands until a ball forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and then a towel, and let rest in a warm spot until the dough has increased in size by half, which should take anywhere from 30 minutes to a full hour.
Using another pizza dough mix? No problem! Follow the package instructions on ingredients, but omit the yeast if the mix already contains it (Bob’s does), swap out the olive oil for canola, and be sure to use warm water. From here on out, the instructions should be the same!
Once the dough has risen, now you are ready to assemble the monkey bread. Melt the butter in the microwave in a small bowl or on the stove top in a small saucepan. In another small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon and stir until well incorporated, breaking up any sugar or cinnamon lumps.
Pinch large marble to golf ball sized pieces of dough off the big dough ball, and roll in your hands until they are round spheres. Then dunk in the butter, rolling around to ensure its evenly coated, and then do the same in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Once fully coated, place in the pan. Repeat with all the dough, and form circles that rest on top of each other inside the angel food tube or bundt pan, or around the dish in the center of the casserole pan. The dough should make a dough ‘wreath’. If there is any left over butter or cinnamon sugar, sprinkle over the top of the dough balls, and place in the oven.
Want your monkey bread to be extra delicious? Make a caramel coating! Mix 1/2 cup of brown sugar with 2 tablespoons of melted brown sugar, and sprinkle over the dough balls before you place in the oven. This will bake and turn into a sticky caramel sauce in the monkey bread. Ooey gooey, goodness!
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the dough is fully cooked. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting the pan and turning onto the serving plate.