Our favorite monkey bread for fall: sweet + savory + salty Cheddar Apple Chop Bread

Monkey bread, pull-apart loaf… chop bread?

Yes, there’s a new way to make everyone’s favorite party bread. Rather than laboriously divvy a mound of dough into individual bits, round each piece into a ball, and stack in a pan, I give you chop bread: a gloriously messy, supremely easy free-form method of making stuffed bread for a crowd.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

With fresh, crisp apples appearing at the farm stand, my thoughts turn to baking with fall’s favorite fruit. And since fruit and cheese go together like pie and ice cream, I’m pairing apples with my favorite sharp cheese, Cabot cheddar.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

Of course, when you say Cabot cheddar, you’ve said a delicious mouthful. With their newest lines — Founders’ Collection and Farmers’ Legacy — Cabot takes cheddar to a whole new plane. All of their many cheddars offer subtle differences in flavor and texture, from crumbly and super-sharp to soft and smooth.

But it’s not just Cabot’s cheese that sets this business apart. Cabot, a neighbor of ours up here in Vermont, is also the first cheesemaker and dairy cooperative to become a certified B Corp — a designation King Arthur Flour shares. As mission-driven businesses, we’re both devoted to social and environmental excellence, not just the bottom line.

Speaking of the bottom line, today’s is all about flavor. Taste this cider-glazed Apple Cheddar Chop Bread, see how simple it is to toss together … and never monkey around with your party bread again.

Chop chop! Let’s make it.

First, mix and knead

Combine the following, stirring to make a rough dough:

3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

See how gnarly this dough is? You’re going to knead it until it’s smooth. Use your hands, a stand mixer, or whatever method you prefer. A bread machine set on the dough cycle works fine.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

And here’s your kneaded dough — smooth and soft as a baby’s cheek!

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly greased bowl or other container, cover it, and let it rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s just about doubled in size.

I’m using a shower cap to cover the bowl. I “poof” it up over the bowl to give the dough a warm, moist rising chamber.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

And here it is, 60 minutes later. POOF!

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

Prepare your fillings

Core one medium-large, crisp apple; no need to peel it, unless you really don’t like eating apple peel. You can use two apples here for an overstuffed bread; but prepare just one first, using another only if you think it’s necessary.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

Chop the apple into 3/4″ to 1″ cubes.

Chop 6 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese (Cabot preferred) into 3/8″ to 1/2″ cubes; you’ll have about 1 1/2 cups.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

Gently deflate the dough, and place it on a lightly greased work surface; a silicone rolling mat works well here. Pat it into a circle about 15″ in diameter.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

Scatter the diced apples and cheese over half the circle.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

Fold the bare half over the filled half …

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

… and transfer the filled dough to a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Shape the half-moon of dough into a rough oval.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

Chop it up

Using a knife, pizza cutter, or bench knife, cut the dough at 1 1/2″ or so intervals both lengthwise and crosswise to make small portions. Leave everything in place; no need to separate the dough pieces.

Cover the pan, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes; it won’t rise much, but will become a bit puffy.

While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

Uncover the loaf, and bake it for about 30 minutes, until it’s a light golden brown.

Remove it from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool slightly. Or cool it right on the pan, as I’ve done here.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

Enjoy your monkey bread!

Gather everyone around, and start the party.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

For an extra autumn kick, top your monkey bread with cider glaze

Wait until the loaf is lukewarm, then drizzle with this glaze:

2 tablespoons boiled cider
1 tablespoon milk
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Mix everything together until smooth. Add additional milk, if desired, for a thinner glaze.

Don’t have boiled cider? Try substituting apple juice concentrate; you’ll probably need to use less milk if you make this substitution. But really? Go for the boiled cider. The flavor is superb.

Monkey Bread via @kingarthurflour

Monkey bread the easy way!

Please read, rate, and review our recipe for Apple Cheddar Chop Bread.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Marti

    PJ, looks like a great recipe. Apples and Cabot cheddar cheese: doesn’t get much better than that. Can’t wait to get to the orchards in Nelson County, VA. Hope all is well. BTW, we sold our herd last year. Yes, all good things must come to an end.

    Reply
  2. Nancye Tuttle

    Sounds like a delicious take-along for a fall brunch. Just wondering if the bread can be transferred to a decorative platter, rather than serving it from the baking pan, for a nicer presentation. Any thoughts?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Nancye,
      You’d be the hit of the party if you brought this to share at a fall brunch. You are welcome to try moving it to a decorative platter, but it can be tricky to move with all the ooey-gooey cheese and smaller pieces. We’d recommend trimming the parchment paper so that just a little bit is showing around the edges once the chop bread is totally cool, and then sliding this onto a decorative platter. If you’re going for the glaze, wait to drizzle until after you’ve transferred it successfully. Enjoy! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Mary,
      There’s no true expiration date after which this ingredient will go rancid, but we recommend using it within a year for best flavor. It needs to be stored in the refrigerator to keep it fresh. You might enjoy the taste more if you start with a fresh bottle. If you’re having trouble using up your boiled cider, check out all these delicious recipes that call for it. Kye@KAF

  3. LindaK

    I’m on this! How soft are the apples once baked? My husband would only love this if the apples were soft (not mushy) once baked like my apple pie recipe. Is there one type of softer apple we can get here in the Northeast US that would work best? Would this recipe work with pears or peaches? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Linda,
      The apples are softer once baked but still maintain a slight crunch. If you’re looking for a softer texture, try using Macintosh apples. You can also sautée the apples in a bit of butter before adding them to the dough before if you really would like a some, melt-in-your-mouth (but not mushy) texture. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  4. Holly

    Turned out great! Made 2, one to eat, one to give! Moist, soft bread, soft but not mushy apples ( I used Honey Crisp) and gooey, sharp Tillamook cheddar cheese! Very good tasting and pleasing to the eyes!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Madrid, there might not be a cider syrup that’s less sweet, but what about topping with a balsamic reduction or glaze or something tahini-based? Just a couple flavor combos for you to think on…Mollie@KAF

    2. Madrid

      thank you. I might just drizzle some cider syrup or offer some on the side…straight, without any sugar added.
      Cider syrup is amazing and I’m so glad to have a savory chance to try it. I get some locally from a cider place in the greater Boston area, and love any chance to use it.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We don’t see any reason it wouldn’t in your favorite gluten-free version, Linda! Give it a go and let us know what you think? Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You might be able to find it in your local grocer, especially one with a focus on specialty foods, and we also carry it through our catalog and online: http://bit.ly/15DksLc While there is a suggested alternative, if you can get your hands on some, we think you’ll find the flavor worth it! Mollie@KAF

    2. Betsy

      You can also make your own boiled cider. Just buy a gallon of cider from your local farmers market and heat it gently until it’s reduced to about 2 cups. Takes a whole afternoon, but worth it!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You’re so right, Debi! Thanks for pointing that out. We’re sorry for the confusion and will get the link fixed asap. For now, the other two links in the post are working, or you can click here to get to the recipe page:http://bit.ly/2bVveIF Mollie@KAF

  5. Darla Peduzzi

    This looks so delicious! I’d love to make it for my family (and me, of course lol). It’s funny how when September rolls in, we get hungry for some homemade apple recipes. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for bringing this to our attention — the link is fixed now and should bring you right to the product page for Boiled Cider. What is it you ask? It’s a super flavorful, appley-syrup that you can use in a number of ways in your baking. It actually is apple cider that’s been concentrated. Check out the Test Kitchen tips on the product page for ideas about how to use it. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  6. Maryann

    This looks delicious. I’m all for simplifying any process. Thinking died cranberries and salted pecans would be a tasty addition.

    Reply
  7. Lily

    Is anyone else thinking that they’d like to have the apples tossed in cinnamon and nutmeg? That would scream New England fall to me.

    Reply
  8. ""Meg

    Made this yesterday and it disappeared before the dishes were done. I served it as a side dish w/ grilled pork tenderloin. I made only half the glaze recipe and drizzled only a small amount on the loaf. The rest I served on the side for folks to add as they liked. The glaze really elevates the flavor of the dish. This is the magical time of year when it’s still beautiful grilling weather and yet not to hot to have the oven on. Gotta love Fall!

    Reply
  9. Tonia Michele

    Ahhh this looks and sounds amazing! I do not have any boiled cider but I am going to buy some immediately. Until it gets here, I am going to use some REAL maple syrup in a simple butter/powdered sugar glaze an see what happens because I can’t wait until the cider arrives to make this. Just looks way too good to wait.

    Reply
  10. Judy Beaty

    I would make this when my husbands brother’s family come to visit. I make something we call Plunket bread for them to nibble on. Other wise they are picking at the bacon and other stuff before I get breakfast done. My brother in law use to say this is the first place he ever had appetizers for breakfast.

    Reply
  11. Trish T

    I’m thinking of starting this in the evening and letting it rise in the refrigerator over night. Then finish it up in the morning to share with my coworkers. Do you think it would rise enough overnight?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Trish,
      You sure can incorporate an overnight rise into the process of making this recipe. You have two options. You can either mix and knead the dough, cover it, and let it rise in the fridge overnight (about 12-16 hours). The next morning, you’ll need to deflate and roll out the dough, fill it, chop it, and then let it rise for about 2-3 hours until it warms up and becomes puffy before baking.

      The other option is to make the dough the night ahead of time, let it rise at room temperature, shape, fill, and chop the dough, then cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, take out the dough while the over preheats and then bake as directed. Both methods work; choose what works best for your schedule. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  12. Sue Y Elsenbeck

    I make bread for my family many times during the week , we never buy bread because THAT’s cRaZy .. I so happy to add this into this weeks bread baking and breaking … LOOK so YUMMY

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Perhaps you can do a half and half experiment and see which side disappears first! Let us know the verdict. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  13. Donna

    I did the whole thing! I used 1 cup powdered sugar and thinned it was fresh apple cider from the local orchard and a dash of Siagon cinnamon. I put it into a squeeze bottle and went back forth over it while it still warm. That really made the taste come alive! I put photos on your Facebook page with the link to this webpage. 😉

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for baking and sharing your success with us, Donna! All the monkey bread lovers will be desperate to give this a try. Yum! Kye@KAF

  14. Antonia F. Houston

    My Christ Care group loved it. I didn’t make the glaze, just used some of the boiled cider I made yesterday. I wish I had read the comments about making it ahead and just baking it the next morning last night – I got up at 5:30 this morning to have it ready for 9 am.

    Reply
  15. Heather

    Perfect recipe to make for our annual Apple Cup party (University of Washington vs. Washington State University)…I plan on using WSU’s Cougar Gold cheese for extra luck!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We suspect it might be a bit difficult to fully separate and roll this chunky dough up into balls, Cindy, but feel free to give it a try if you’re up for an experiment. Chopping the apples and cheese even more finely might help. Alternatively, you might also try rolling the dough out into an oval, rather than a circle, then once filled, stretching it into a longer rectangle that could be wrapped inside a Bundt pan, then roughly chopped. Let us know if you do give a version like this a try – we’ll be curious to hear how it works. Best of luck! Mollie@KAF

  16. Mike Haines

    I loved this recipe, but the blatant plug for the Cabot cheese I could have done without. I used our local Tillamook extra sharp cheddar with great results. I also rolled the dough into a rectangle since I was on a silicone mat that shape.

    Reply

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *