What can be better than going to a party, ripping into a loaf of bread and finding pizza inside? Not much if you ask me or the people I made this for on New Years Eve! Monkey bread is designed to be eaten with your hands, just grab a piece and enjoy. This recipe, learned at a recent "Cooking with Trader Joe's" class is a very simple recipe that takes about an hour and a half from start to finish. All the ingredients were purchased at Trader Joe's. Not only because the recipe was written for them, but because any individual produce items and any items with the Trader Joe's name (or variations on it) are NON-GMO by company policy! Not only are the products of a higher quality than what you'd find at a regular grocer, but they are far healthier for you!
Ingredients (all available at Trader Joe's)
- 2 Balls or Bags of fresh pizza dough
- 1 Package of Volpi Pepperoni
- 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 16 Ounce bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 Tub of Trader Joe's fresh pizza sauce or 1 jar pizza sauce
- Microwave pepperoni in a bowl until it gives off some oil, about 60 to 90 seconds worth. Transfer the pepperoni to a paper towel lined plate and save the oil. Pat the pepperoni dry.
- Add the olive oil to the pepperoni oil. In another small bowl mix the Parmesan and oregano.
- Brush a Bundt pan with a little of the oil mixture.
- Roll out the pizza dough into a roughly 18x9 rectangle. Spraying the rolling surface (in my case the cutting board) and the rolling pin with a spray olive oil helps prevent the dough from sticking to the surface of the board and the rolling pin. Once the dough is rolled into the rectangle, let it sit for a few minutes. Place the pepperoni pieces on the dough as if it were a round pizza. You will use approximately 1/2 of the pepperoni per pizza dough. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese and oregano mixture and 1.5 cups of the mozzarella cheese onto each of the dough rectangles.
- Roll the pizza dough up lengthwise, using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife to help separate the dough from the surface without breaking.
- Cut each roll in half, then each half in half again. Cut each quarter into thirds.
- Perform steps 4-6 above with the second bag/ball of pizza dough.
- Place all the slices into the Bundt pan and brush the tops with the remaining oil mixture. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rise for 30 minutes. If you need to leave, pizza dough can be placed in the fridge covered for sometime without compromising the end product. Mine stayed in the fridge for an hour or two before it was closer to the event time so I could arrive with a product fresh out of the oven.
- Place your oven rack to the lower middle of your oven, so that the Bundt pan sits in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Bake the ingredients for about 40 minutes or until the dough is brown, then transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Once it comes out of the oven the oils will be bubbling. This will stop and the oil will be reabsorbed during the cooling process
- Place a serving dish on the top of the pan and carefully flip the pan and the plate over. The Monkey Bread should pop out of the pan and be ready to serve.
- Sprinkle with some extra Parmesan cheese (if you bought the tub of cheese for this recipe, you will have plenty left over for this) and serve with the pizza sauce (either cold or warmed up).
Bon apetit and enjoy!
Recipe from the "Cooking with Trader Joe's" class, taught and adapted by T.J. Tramonto and Lisa Scott. Additional items and photos by Ryan Huggins.