Savory Monkey Bread With Dill Butter

Savory Monkey Bread With Dill Butter

Warning: this savory monkey bread is strangely addictive. I’ve had several friends confide that they thought about the bread for days after eating it. Perhaps I inadvertently put a spell on them? More on that in a minute.

Another friend, when I suggested he and his fiancé drop by for a visit, said “Will you make those squishy bread things?” Deliciously squishy, yes they are. Also buttery, slightly salty, and if you like dill, well, this is the bread for you. Two generous tablespoons of dill are incorporated into the dough, and the individual bread pieces are rolled in a dill-infused butter prior to baking.

Dill

I suppose you could substitute another herb, but dill really deserves to be the star here. Plus, as I’ve recently learned, it has magical powers. The ancient Romans and Greeks used it as a medicinal herb, believing it could stop hiccups, cure insomnia, ease indigestion, alleviate colic, and even reduce stress. Many herbalists trace the word “dill” back to the Norse word “dilla,” which means “to lull.” During the Middle Ages, dill was widely used in potions, for casting spells and as an antidote to witchcraft. Need protection against hexes? Wear a small bag of dried dill over your heart.

Hey, this is useful information with Halloween approaching!

The spell recipe comes from Chef Chris Pandel, who serves the popular monkey bread at his Bucktown restaurant, The Bristol, in Chicago. I am grateful for an old college cohort who lives in Bucktown and was thoughtful enough to send me the recipe after enjoying The Bristol’s monkey bread many, many times.

Savory Monkey Bread With Dill Butter

SAVORY MONKEY BREAD WITH DILL BUTTER

This bread takes two hours to make, and active prep time is just 15-20 minutes.

Ingredients:

For The Yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (about 110-115 degrees)
1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar

For the Dough
2 ¼ cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 egg
3tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh dill, torn into small pieces

For The Dill Butter
8 tablespoons melted butter (6 tablespoons for the dill butter, 2 tablespoons for brushing during baking)
2 tablespoons fresh dill, torn into small pieces
Sea salt

Directions:

Make the Yeast: Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small mixing bowl. Set aside for ten minutes at room temperature to allow the yeast to proof. You should see bubbles forming at the surface.

Make the Dough: Whisk the flour and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Attach the dough hook and slowly add the yeast mixture to the flour, followed by the milk, egg, 1 tablespoon of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of dill. Mix on medium speed for 7 minutes -- dough should release from the side of the bowl and come together. Knead dough lightly with your hands. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a towel and place in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes. (Tip: turn oven to "warm" or lowest setting for 10 minutes. Turn off. Place dough in oven with a towel on top of bowl. Let rise.)

Make the Dill Butter: While the bread is rising, stir two tablespoons of dill into six tablespoons of melted butter. Set aside.

Assemble the Monkey Bread: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. After the dough has risen, punch it down and roll into 1-inch balls.

Roll each ball in the dill butter and place the balls in individual ramekins. I generally use 1-cup ramekins and place about 7-8 in each one. They will rise before baking and again in the oven, so don’t overfill your ramekins.

Allow the monkey bread to rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Brush the bread again with the dill butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for approximately 12 minutes, brushing twice throughout the baking with the remaining two tablespoons of melted butter. (Bread should feel very soft and springy when done.)

Serve immediately. For parties, I place a small fork in each ramekin for guests to pluck out a few pieces each.

Print Recipe

Adapted from Chef Chris Pandel of The Bristol via Savory TV

12 Responses to “Savory Monkey Bread With Dill Butter”

  1. Liz — June 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    I followed all instructions, but my dough refused to rise. The yeast was very foamy and everything; I don’t believe I could have changed anything. Probably just a bad bread day. But I attempted to bake it anyways, and it was very tasty. The bread was just a tad bit dense, but it was still devoured within the hour. I’ll keep playing with it; I absolutely loved the dill butter.

    • Ashley replied: — June 20th, 2013 @ 1:22 pm

      Liz, hmmm. Was your rising environment warm enough? Sometimes I rise my bread in the oven (turning it to “warm” or lowest setting, turning it off, then putting my bread in to rise). But I have off days when it comes to bread, too. I plan to make this again in a week or two — I’ll let you know if I have any other thoughts as I’m working through the process.

  2. Jillian — June 28, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Just stumbled on the blog and am loving it so far! Keep posting delicious looking food please :)

    • Ashley replied: — June 28th, 2013 @ 12:44 am

      Jillian, I’m glad you found me! Hope you find some recipes that pique your interest…

  3. Chi Chi — September 9, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I’m am so new to bread baking…I mean, REALLLLLLY new. So I will ask this question, then run and hide in the corner out of sheer embarrassment. Ahem….

    Can I make this into one big monkey bread (think, monkey bread baked in a bundt pan) without it ruining the bread? You see, I found your blog via Hardly Housewives and Jaisa posted a delicious recipe for Cheesy Tomato Oil and I think this would be perfect to serve with the monkey bread! But I don’t have ramekins or other small dishes to cook it in.

    Thanks!

    • Ashley replied: — September 10th, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

      You absolutely can bake the monkey bread all together in a bundt pan. Some people have reported that the bread isn’t as moist (dough-y) when baked that way, but others have had no issues. Just make sure all the dough balls are well covered in butter (as everything in life should be). Good luck!

  4. Mary — December 14, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Mine didn’t rise properly either. After doing some more searching, I found this article:

    http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/inside-our-kitchen/slideshow/savory-monkey-bread/?slide=3

    His bread looks much wetter after the mixing stage than mine did. Perhaps you need to up the butter content in the dough recipe?

    • Ashley replied: — December 15th, 2013 @ 2:19 am

      Mary, thank you for your comment. I have updated the recipe to incorporate two additional tablespoons of milk and two additional tablespoons of butter in the dough. I’ve also updated the instructions to include exact kneading time (7 minutes). I made the monkey bread yesterday, and it turned out perfectly.

  5. Hannah — December 24, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks for such a specific recipe! I am going to have to try this.

  6. mabel — April 14, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Just echoing a few of the other commenters — I made this bread last night and it was really dense, despite using your updated kneading time + additional milk. I even let it rise in my oven after warming it up a tad, so I was surprised my results were pretty poor. I think it would benefit from additional rising time, or possibly less flour? Looked beautiful though!

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