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. 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
    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

  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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

    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

  5. 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
  6. 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

  7. 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
  8. 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

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