Saturday, December 27, 2008
Bacon Cheese Monkey Bread
Cinnamon Monkey Bread has been one of my favorite desserts ever since being introduced to it by my wife's aunt some time ago. I love interactive food and who can resist pulling off sticky morsels of goodness and stuffing themselves until gorged? I think I am getting a little predictable here, but anyone want to guess what I added in my interpretation of Monkey Bread? Here comes the shocker- bacon and cheese.
I began by whipping up a simple yeast dough of flour, milk, and salt. Let this have a nice rise somewhere warm.
I happened to have a hearty slab of beautiful bacon in the icebox.
I laid the pleasantly thick strips on a foiled bacon sheet and let them get crispy in the oven.
Next, I moved on to cheese selection. My first instinct was to go for Raclette. I felt that the gooey nature of this cheese would be a good analogue for the the butter/sugar mixture used in traditional sweet monkey bread. However, I could not find any at the local grocers. I did not feel like trucking out to a specialty store so my mind, of course, turned to Velveeta. I also wanted a stringy component to the cheese mixture so I went with some fontina too.
To assemble the savory monkey bread I began by putting down a layer of cheese, chopped bacon, and butter into a greased bundt pan.
The next step is to form little balls of dough, about an inch in diameter, and thrown them into the bundt. I rolled these in some seasoned bread crumb to add a little texture and also to maintain the separation between the dough balls.
After each layer of dough balls put on another layer of cheese, butter, and bacon until the pan is filled almost to the top. Allow a little room for subsequent rising action.
Allow this to rise for about 15-20 minutes and then throw it into a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. After allowing the monkey bread to cool for a few minutes, I turned it out onto a plate. It actually came right out of the pan with out sticking which was nice. I thought it looked pretty damn good.
This is going to be something you are going to want to eat right away. If not the cheese mixture will congeal as it cools and you will have to slice the bread instead of having the fun of pulling off bacony/cheesy hunks. I think next time I make this I will take steps to ensure that the cheese stayed a little more liquid. I would perhaps use a cooled fondue recipe instead of hunks of cheese. But hey, we learn every day as we experiment in the kitchen. I will chalk this up as a success, I will see what other people think later tonight.
This was not very good, too dense and the velveeta tasted strange. Definitely need to go with a more fondue-esque cheese mixture.