Liam Charles’ monkey bread recipe

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makes:

Prep:

35 min

Cooking:

35 min

Monkey bread is traditionally sweet but Liam Charles' monkey bread recipe is a cheesy twist on the classic. It's sure to become a new favourite in your household and is perfect for parties.

This Monkey bread recipe from Liam Charles is a savoury twist on the traditionally sweet treat. It’s perfect for sharing and is designed to be pulled apart making it brilliant for when you’re hosting a party or dinner. Explaining the thought process behind his cheesy monkey bread, Bake Off star Liam explained: ‘My guilty pleasure, well, one of many, is garlic bread – especially when it has loads of cheese and the garlic swings in and lingers there . . . Yum. Balls of cheesy garlicky goodness – perfect for a dinner party or just for a casual catch up with pals. You know what you should try this with? BBQ sauce – it’s banging, trust me.’ So if you’ve never tried monkey bread before this is a great place to start and if you already love the sweet cake it’s worth trying this cheesy alternative.

Ingredients

  • For the herb butter:
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • a handful of thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • a handful of parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • a small bunch of chives, snipped
  • fine sea salt, to taste
  • For the dough:
  • 175ml whole milk
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 7g fast-action dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 300g Cheddar, grated

Method

  • For the herb butter:

    Place all the herb butter ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a hand-held mixer to combine. Tip on to some baking parchment or clingfilm, roll and wrap up, then place in the fridge until needed.

  • For the dough:

    Warm the milk in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and butter. Keep stirring until the butter has melted. Allow to cool to lukewarm. Sift your flour and salt into a large bowl, stir in the yeast and herbs then make a well in the centre. Pour in your beaten eggs and lukewarm milk and give it a quick mix to form a soft pillowy dough. Knead by hand for 15 minutes, until elastic, super soft and sticky.

  • Pop the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with some oiled clingfilm and leave for 1½–2 hours, until doubled in size. Lightly brush a 25cm springform cake tin with melted butter.

  • Knock × roll × fill

    Knock back the dough and sprinkle half the grated cheese over the top. Knead for 1–2 minutes, until the cheese is well distributed. Divide the dough into 19 equal-sized balls. (Weigh each ball – you’re aiming for 50g balls. If the balls are different sizes, the bread won’t cook evenly.) Pinch each ball underneath like a balloon and roll to make a smooth ball. Arrange them in concentric circles around the tin. Sprinkle half the remaining cheese in the gaps between the balls, cover again and leave to prove for a further 2 hours, until well risen. Preheat oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.

  • To bake your bread:

    Bake your bread for 30–35 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the herb butter in a small pan over a low heat. Remove the bread from the oven and brush your buns with the herb butter and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Pop back in the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes, until golden.

    Recipes extracted from Cheeky Treats by Liam Charles, published by Hodder & Stoughton, priced £20.00

Top tip for making Liam Charles’ monkey bread

Liam says: 'Make sure you serve it warm – the cheeeeese neeeeds to ooooooze.'

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