Pumpkin Gruyere Monkey Bread
I almost did it. I almost made it through the entire month of October without posting something with pumpkin in it. But, I did avoid making something “pumpkin spice.” Generally, when I want to cook with pumpkin, I like to think of slightly savory things because people always forget how delicious savory pumpkin can be (see: Pumpkin curry and Pumpkin Stuffed Shells). Plus, let’s face it. Then Internet has sweet pumpkin recipes pretty much locked down. No need to explore those.
But, this Pumpkin Gruyere Monkey Bread is absolutely something you should explore. It’s a great beginner baking project because the dough is really flexible and easy to make and work with. It’s a fun one, layering the little cheese-stuffed balls in a bundt pan. And, even if you overbaked it by 10 minutes, it’d still be good.
Surprisingly, my kids even loved this stuff (although I’ll admit that my three year old was basically just picking off the icing from the top). I’ll call it a win.
This would be the definition of a show stopper at any brunch though. It’s made to share, although you won’t want to once you try it.
1) Butter pan with 1 tablespoon softened butter and set aside for later.
2) In a bowl for a stand mixer, mix together milk, melted butter, syrup and yeast. Let sit until yeast is active and bubbly. Then stir in pumpkin and salt. Add flour by the cup and start to mix with dough hook. After dough comes together, increase speed to medium and mix until dough is shiny and smooth, 6 to 7 minutes. If at any point dough is very sticky, add more flour by the tablespoon.
If you don’t have a mixer, just mix the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a rough ball. Then turn out onto a floured surface and knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball, about 5-6 minutes.
3)Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead briefly to form smooth, round ball. Coat large bowl with a sprinkle of flour. Place dough in bowl cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until dough doubles in size, about an hour.
4) For the filling, grate cheese.
5) To finish bread, remove the dough from the bowl, and roll into a large 10×14 rectangle. Sprinkle cheese mixture on half of the dough and fold it over. Then roll out again to a square. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into tiny 1 inch pieces.
6) Melt butter for dipping and stir sugar, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a small bowl.
7) Dip each dough piece into the melted butter, then dip into the sugar mixture. No need to cover the whole dough ball. Then layer balls in the Bundt pan. Try to stagger the balls so they form a single thing. Occasionally sprinkle balls with extra sugar chili mixture.
8) Cover the Bundt pan tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour until the balls are about 2 inches from the top of the pan (at least an hour).
9) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the pan and bake until the top is deep brown, about 35-40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a late and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
OPTIONAL: Drizzle monkey bread with a simple powdered sugar + water glaze.
Pumpkin Gruyere Monkey Bread
The dough for this monkey bread starts like any enriched dough. Warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Although in this case I like to use maple syrup which goes well with the pumpkin flavors.
Once your yeast is bubbling, add in the pumpkin. This keeps the dough really moist and delicious. The flavor isn’t super strong, but the color and texture is awesome.
After you add in the flour, mix the dough with a dough hook for a few minutes (or you can knead by hand) and you’ll end up with a very soft and elastic dough. It’s okay if it’s a little sticky.
Shape this into a ball, using a lot of flour, and let it rise in a bowl until it doubles in size. You can make the dough the night before you want to make this and let it chill in the fridge overnight for a slow rise. Just pull it out an hour or so before you intend to shape it so it warms up a bit.
Roll the dough out into a big rectangle (again, lots of flour) and sprinkle with grated cheese. YUM.
Then fold it over, roll it out again, and chop it up into a million little pieces.
Take each piece and dip it in melted butter and then in the sugar and chili mixture. The chili topping is pretty strong so no need to cover the whole ball. Just one side dipped in is good.
Then stack these in your bundt pan!
Cover that and let it rise a second time for about an hour. Then bake this beauty for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees F. The final result is pretty amazing.
It doesn’t need it, but if you wanted to you could add a little powdered sugar + water glaze to it.
Pumpkin Gruyere Monkey Bread, people. Get it.