On the third day of Christmas The Pink Whisk sent to me……Christmas Monkey Bread

Christmas Monkey Bread

It’s Monkey Bread time….but this time with a Christmas twist – I couldn’t resist.  This is my entry into the Merchant Gourmet Christmas Chestnut Challenge!  (If you don’t want the Christmas twist the original version is here.)


For the dough

500g Strong White Flour

2 tsp Mixed Spice

1 1/2 tsp Salt

55g Butter

2 Eggs beaten

2 tbsp Honey

15g Dried Yeast (3 tsp)

175ml Milk
For the sugar coat

150g Caster Sugar

2 tsp Mixed Spice
For the Sauce

200g Butter

100g Dark Brown Sugar
Plus 1 x regular sized jar of ready made mincemeat

1 x 100g pack of Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts you can find stockists through their website – Merchant Gourmet but most major supermarkets sell them at this time of year.

Begin by making the dough.  Warm the milk so it is tepid.In a small dish mix 2 tbsp of the milk with the yeast and mix together.

Into a large bowl sift the flour, salt and mixed spice and combine.Add the butter in small pieces and rub into the flour.

Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, honey yeast and just enough milk to make a dough, it should be soft and not too sticky.  I only had to add 125ml of the remaining milk but this will depend on how wet or dry your mix is.

Tip your dough out onto your work surface and knead.  You shouldn’t need any extra flour and it will stick a little to begin with but keep going and it will come together nicely.
After ten minutes kneading your dough will look something like this.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside to rise in a warmish draught free spot.  This should take about 1 1/2hours but will depend on where you have put it.

Once doubled in size tip it out onto your work top, give it a quick knead to knock it back and shape into a long fat sausage.  Cut into approx 1cm thick slices.

Chop each slice into three or four random shaped pieces, no need for precision here.

In a large bowl mix together your sugar topping combining the caster sugar and mixed spice, now put all your monkey bits into the bowl and give it a good mix up to coat them all well.  Some may stick together but just separate them as you mix.

Take half the monkey bits and spread them around the base of the pan.  If you don’t have a monkey bread tin use a large round cake tin and place an empty metal tin (from baked beans or similar) in the middle to hold the shape.

Chop the chestnuts quite roughly and sprinkle then in a good layer on top of the pieces.

Spoon dollops of mincemeat on creating another layer until you have used the whole jar.

Finally top with the last of the monkey pieces.

Place in a warm spot covered with a tea towel to rise again for approx one hour until the monkey bits are all puffed up.

Preheat the oven to 200c/180c Fan/375F/Gas Mark 5.

Make up the sauce combining the sugar and the butter in a pan and heating gently till melted.

Pour the sauce over the monkey bread in the tin.

Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, covering halfway through baking with a layer of foil to stop the top browning too much.  Allow to cool for five minutes in the tin before inverting onto a large serving plate.
Christmas Monkey Bread
Monkey Bread with a Christmas Twist

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

Finalist on BBC2 The Great British Bake Off

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14 Responses to On the third day of Christmas The Pink Whisk sent to me……Christmas Monkey Bread

  1. Anonymous says:

    Looks divine, must must must try! Can you eat it hot or cold?

  2. Karrie says:

    This sounds totally YUMMY!

  3. Naomi says:

    ooh, I love the Christmas twist flavours – sound delicious!! Must give this a try.

  4. thehouseofjones says:

    Ohhh Ruth! I haven't been to visit your page in a while, and now I find we are on day 3 of Christmas recipes! I am super excited! I have caught up quickly on the days I have missed – so excited to see the Lebkucken recipe, I am going to have to try these with my new star shaped cutter!

    Can't wait to see tomorrow's recipe, and the day after, and the day after…. etc! :o)

  5. Ruth says:

    Best served hot with is delicious, but we eat it cold too! xx

  6. Sarah C says:

    the dough is rising, and there was me thinking I was super organised getting chestnuts already for the Christmas day sprouts…… he he he
    thank you for another great recipe xxxx

  7. Made With Pink says:

    I LOVE Monkey Bread! It's so good, and I agree, it's best warm. If you're not eating it straight out of the oven, then just warm it up in the microwave!

  8. Anonymous says:

    This looks so magnificent I might have to try making it – and blow the trying-to-lose weight. Together with the Christmas cookies a couple of days back.
    I came across your site by accident but it's now bookmarked. Thank you!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hi was wondering about the yeast. Is it the easy blend sachets? Or is it just 'dried yeast'? I've only used the easy blend before.

  10. icklepeach says:

    This is on my list to make on Christmas eve. I daren't make it before then or I'll eat the whole thing myself!

    LOVING the pink whisk days of Christmas 🙂

  11. Patricia Hitchcock says:

    My favourite so far is the Monkey-Bread with a Christmas Twist! I tried it (using a baked-beans can in my one and only round baking-tin!) and it is a success! Only thing is my baking-tin was too small and the caramel bubbled over – now I've got to clean the oven. But all well worth it! Next – to try and back the stollen! 🙂

  12. Alex says:


    What is the fabulous cutting gadget you have there and where did you get it?!

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hello – it’s a dough cutter and actually Paul Hollywood got us all one on the Bake Off – good cook shops/bakery suppliers should stock them. I’ve had a look on Amazon but they’re v expensive on there £27 for a pack of 3 – why you would need 3 I don’t know! x

  13. Beverley Patterson says:

    Wow, what a fab recipe, I will definitely be trying the monkey bread, while my husband attempts the salted caramels, yummy!!
    Merry christmas x

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