Food and Wine,  Totoro Family Recipes,  Uncategorized

Totoro Family Recipes: Monkey Bread

Monkey Bread, along with Sausage Balls, are family favorites on Thanksgiving morning. I take the bread out of the oven around 8:30am so it is still nice and warm by the time the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade begins.

However, for those who prefer to sleep in rather than watch the Parade, both recipes are quite tasty served at room temperature.

The combination of gooey Cinnamon Bread and savory Sausage Balls makes for a filling breakfast treat. And we eat enough of both to keep us satiated until the traditional dinner is served around 4:00pm.

I don’t remember where I first found this recipe. It was shortly after we moved to Kansas, circa 1990, and I vaguely remember finding it in an old recipe book my grandmother gave me.

I do not come from a family of bread makers (how I wish I did…) so I was drawn to this one because it uses frozen bread dough.

Since I no longer have the original recipe, I will try to recreate as close as possible here, and then detail my modifications below.


  • one loaf frozen bread dough
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch pudding
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  1. Allow bread dough to thaw long enough to cut
  2. Thoroughly grease a bundt pan
  3. Cut partially thawed bread into bit-sized pieces and place evenly in bundt pan
  4. Mix together the butterscotch pudding and cinnamon
  5. Sprinkle mixture over the bread pieces
  6. In a small saucepan, bring to a boil the butter and sugars
  7. Pour sugar mixture evenly over the bread pieces
  8. Cover the bundt pan with a cloth and allow to rise overnight (or at least 8 hours)
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  10. Bake bread for 25 minutes
  11. Invert onto plate and serve warm

We have discovered over the years that using frozen rolls rather than loaves make a difference.

I happen to use Rhodes Rolls – although I don’t know if the brand is only available in this part of the country. I have learned, however, that using rolls rather than a loaf of bread facilitates the process. Rolls thaw faster, meaning I only have to remove them from the freezer about an hour before prep time… and rolls are easy to cut. I cut each roll in half, and then in thirds, for a total of six pieces.

When making monkey bread for a crowd, I can typically use 16-18 rolls for one bundt pan. The rolls rise to the top of the pan overnight and then bake slightly higher in the oven.

When preparing the recipe for just a few people, however, using a dozen rolls is ample.

No matter the crowd, however, there are rarely leftovers. The recipe is simply that good. Which is why we only make it once a year.

This post is part of BethFishReads Weekend Cooking LinkUp. For more delicious recipes, please visit her weekly blog feature.


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