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Olive oil-thyme monkey bread

Olive oil-thyme monkey bread
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Of all the heirloom family recipes tucked away in my converted shoe box (iPhone apps have nothing on 3-by-5 cards), one for monkey bread ranks second only to my great-grandmother's biscuits as the most tattered. It's not because the Eisenhower-era ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes plus rising time | Serves 10 to 12

Basic monkey bread dough

  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active-dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk (no hotter than 125 degrees)
  • Scant 3 1/3 cups (14 ounces) flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter

Step 1In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, drizzle the yeast over the warm milk, stirring to combine. Set aside for a few minutes to hydrate the yeast.

Step 2Meanwhile, in a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt.

Step 3Using the paddle attachment with a stand mixer, or a hand-held mixer, beat the softened butter into the yeast mixture. With the mixer running, add the flour mixture until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed (as the dough thickens you may need to do this by hand). Continue to mix on medium speed until the dough appears sticky but becomes smooth to the touch when you roll a small piece into a ball, about 2 minutes.

Step 4Form the dough into a disc and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (time will vary depending on the temperature in the room).


  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, lightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe basic monkey bread dough

Step 1In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, thyme, parsley, garlic, salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Set aside.

Step 2Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle one-fourth-inch thick. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-by-2-inch rectangles. (The dough can also be cut into triangles, but rectangles are speedy and easy. It's OK if some of the end pieces are not perfectly rectangular; intersperse them among the prettier rectangles and the bread will bake up great.)

Step 3Dip each piece of dough into the herbed olive oil mixture to lightly coat, shaking off any excess oil. Arrange the rectangles in the bottom of a nonstick Bundt pan, crisscrossing and overlapping the pieces. Continue until you have used all of the dough and olive oil.

Step 4Cover the Bundt pan loosely with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough rises almost three-fourths up the sides of the pan, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 5Uncover the pan and bake until the bread is puffed and lightly golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through for even coloring.

Step 6Remove to a rack and cool the bread, still in the pan, for 15 minutes. Invert the bread gently onto a serving plate or platter. Serve warm.


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