Posted on

Monkey Bread with Strawberry Caramel Sauce


This delectable pull-apart monkey bread starts with an orange brioche dough and is topped with a rich strawberry caramel sauce. It’s the perfect transition into spring, baked into individual ramekins with sprinkled with chopped toasted almonds for a special presentation.


Monkey Bread with Strawberry Caramel Sauce

Orange brioche dough (recipe follows)

1 pint (8 oz./250 g.) strawberries, hulled and cut in half lengthwise

1 cup (8 oz./250 g.) plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) heavy cream

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) fresh orange juice

2 Tbs. light corn syrup

1 tsp. orange blossom water

1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Kosher salt

Melted butter for brushing

Flour for rolling out the dough

1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) sliced almonds, toasted

Prepare the brioche dough as directed below.

In a bowl, combine the strawberries and the 2 tablespoons sugar. Cover and let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, until the berries give off at least 2 tablespoons of juice, at least 2 hours or up to overnight. In a small saucepan, cook the strawberries and their juices over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are soft and the juices are syrupy, about 3 minutes. Drain in a coarse-mesh sieve, reserving the strawberries and their juices separately.

In a small saucepan, combine the cream and orange juice and heat over medium heat until warmed; set aside. In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine the 1 cup sugar and the corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts.

Continue cooking, without stirring, as the mixture caramelizes. Wash down any sugar crystals that form inside the pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water and occasionally swirl the pot by its handle, until the mixture turns dark amber, about 5 minutes.

A few tablespoons at a time, carefully stir in the warm cream mixture (it will bubble up), returning to a boil after each addition, then boil for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange blossom water, lemon juice, orange zest and reserved strawberry juices. Season with a pinch of salt. Let the sauce cool completely.

Generously brush eight 1-cup (8-fl. oz./250-ml.) ramekins or cocottes with the melted butter. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface. Divide into 8 equal portions. Cut each portion into 6 equal pieces and roll into balls to make 48 balls total.

In a bowl, combine the drained reserved strawberries with 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) of the cooled caramel sauce. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins.

Pour 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) of the remaining caramel sauce into the same bowl. For each serving, add 6 balls to the sauce, turn with a rubber spatula to coat well, and transfer to a ramekin, fitting the balls as evenly as possible. Repeat with the remaining balls and ramekins, adding more caramel sauce, if needed. Reserve the remaining caramel sauce.

Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Lightly oil a sheet of plastic wrap and place it over the ramekins, oiled side down. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove the plastic wrap from the ramekins and bake the monkey bread until golden brown, about 30 minutes.   In a small saucepan, warm the reserved caramel sauce over medium heat. Brush the tops of each monkey bread with some of the reserved caramel sauce, sprinkle with the toasted almonds, and serve. Serves 8.


Orange Brioche Dough

1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml.) plus 1 tablespoon whole milk

1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk

3 1/2 cups (17 1/2 oz./545 g.) unbleached flour, or as needed

1/3 cup (3 oz./90 g.) sugar

2 tsp. orange blossom honey

1 tsp. kosher salt

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g.) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature

1 large egg beaten with a pinch of fine sea salt, for brushing

Make the brioche dough the day before baking. In a small saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat to 110°F (43°C). Pour into a bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g.) of the flour and stir well. Sprinkle an additional 1/2 cup flour over the mixture; do not stir. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until the starter rises and cracks through the flour topping, about 1 hour.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast mixture, the remaining 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk, 2 cups (10 oz./315 g.) of the flour, the sugar, honey, salt and orange zest. With the mixer on low speed, add just enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that does not stick to the bowl. Remove the paddle attachment and attache the dough hook.

Knead the dough on medium-low speed, adding about 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g.) flour, as needed, until the dough is smooth, 5-7 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, being sure the first addition is absorbed before adding more, to make a soft, sticky dough, about 3 minutes. If the dough sticks to the bowl, add more flour, a little at a time. Shape into a ball.

Lightly butter a large bowl and a piece of plastic wrap. Add the dough to the bowl and turn to coat with the butter. Cover the bowl tightly with the plastic wrap, buttered side down. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until it doubles in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough, cover again, and refrigerate for at least 8 or up to 24 hours.

Posted on

Weekend Project: Crusty Country Loaf


Cold winter weekends are the perfect excuse to cozy up inside with a baking project. This one will make your kitchen smell like heaven: a country-style loaf of bread baked in a stoneware cloche, with a golden brown crust and a tender crumb. The time-tested recipe comes from our founder, Chuck Williams, who fell in love with the rustic country loaves he first tried in France and Italy. The secret is in the cloche: it duplicates the even, intense heat produced by a brick-lined oven.


Crusty Country Loaf

1 package active dry yeast

1 tsp. sugar

1 3/4 cups warm water (110°F), plus more as needed

5 cups (1 lb. 9 oz.) country French, rustic wheat or all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

1 Tbs. salt

Cornmeal for sprinkling


In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup of the warm water and let stand until bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.


In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 5 cups flour and the salt and beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the yeast mixture and the remaining 1 1/2 cups water and beat until thoroughly combined, 6 to 8 minutes, adding more water or flour if needed. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until soft, silky and elastic.


Spray the inside of the mixer bowl with nonstick cooking spray and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes. Punch down the dough and transfer to a work surface. Knead the dough a few times. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then shape into a ball.


Sprinkle the base of a round bread cloche with cornmeal and place the ball of dough in the center. Cover with the lid and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.


Preheat an oven to 450°F.


Using a sharp knife, cut several slashes on top of the loaf. Cover the cloche, transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F and continue baking until the bread is crusty, golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 40 minutes more, removing the lid during the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and serve while still warm. Makes 1 loaf.

Posted on

Recipe Roundup: Thanksgiving Stuffing


When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, everyone has their personal favorites, but it’s safe to say stuffing is at the top of most lists. This savory casserole of hearty bread baked with seasonal vegetables and rich stock is homey and comforting, whether it’s cooked inside the bird or out. Here are some of our best renditions of the side dish we look forward to year after year.


Gluten-Free Stuffing with Bacon and KaleGluten-Free Stuffing with Bacon and Kale
Those who avoid eating gluten don’t need to be deprived of the quintessential Thanksgiving side when they use our gluten-free stuffing mix. The addition of hearty kale and fragrant bacon means that everyone will be fighting over the last serving.
Jalapeño Cornbread Stuffing with Chorizo and PepitasJalapeño Cornbread Stuffing with Chorizo and Pepitas
This slightly spicy Southwestern-inspired stuffing will add some unexpected heat to the Thanksgiving table. Be sure to buy fresh (uncooked) Mexican chorizo rather than the cured Spanish variety.
Focaccia Stuffing with Leeks and Wild MushroomsFocaccia Stuffing with Leeks and Wild Mushrooms
Here, wild mushrooms and leeks add an extra depth of flavor to a focaccia-based stuffing for a satisfying Thanksgiving side.
Focaccia Stuffing with Chestnuts, Bacon and ApplesFocaccia Stuffing with Chestnuts, Bacon and Apples
Our Italian-inspired focaccia stuffing mix forms the foundation of this sensational stuffing. For added crunch and savory flavor, we add in roasted chestnuts, bacon and chunks of sweet apple.
Chestnut and Chanterelle Dressing with Chive BiscuitsChestnut and Chanterelle Dressing with Chive Biscuits
This dish from Chefs Bryan and Michael Voltaggiouses homemade chive biscuits as the foundation of the stuffing. Additions of chestnuts and mild chanterelle mushrooms add a taste of autumn.
Herbed Quinoa and Red Rice Stuffing with Kale and Pine NutsHerbed Quinoa and Red Rice Stuffing with Kale and Pine Nuts
Gluten-free whole grains can make a wonderful, hearty stuffing, as this recipe proves. Here, we add healthful Tuscan kale and fresh oregano, plus pine nuts for a bit of crunch.
Crunchy Bread Dressing with Bacon and LeeksCrunchy Bread Dressing with Bacon and Leeks
This simple stuffing combines crisp, savory bacon with rustic country bread and a medley of vegetables. Don’t let the basic ingredient list fool you — it’s packed with flavor.
Gluten-Free Spoon Bread with GuancialeGluten-Free Spoon Bread with Guanciale
This hearty side is made with Blackberry Farm’s Gluten-Free Cornbread Mix, so it makes a creative alternative to traditional cornbread. Michael Sullivan, the butcher at farm, adds guanciale, an unsmoked Italian bacon made from the pig’s jowl, to the batter before baking, although thick-cut bacon is a great stand-in.
Hazelnut and Shiitake Mushroom StuffingHazelnut and Shiitake Mushroom Stuffing
Shiitake mushrooms and hazelnuts make this aromatic dish stand out, but it’s the deeply flavorful onions, cooked with sherry vinegar and honey, that are the secret to its success.
Corn Bread-Apricot Dressing with RosemaryCorn Bread-Apricot Dressing with Rosemary
Dried apricots add an unexpected but welcome sweetness to this stuffing, accented with a range of fresh herbs.
Gluten-Free Focaccia Stuffing with Mushrooms and FennelGluten-Free Focaccia Stuffing with Mushrooms and Fennel
You can still enjoy the rich flavor of focaccia if you’re avoiding wheat. The secret is our gluten-free focaccia stuffing (bonus: this recipe is vegetarian, too!)
Smoky Bacon-Biscuit DressingSmoky Bacon-Biscuit Dressing
In this savory dressing, homemade cream biscuits stand in for the traditional bread, while crispy bacon adds delicious smoky flavor.
Corn Bread Dressing with ChestnutsCorn Bread Dressing with Chestnuts
Here, toasted corn bread soaks up the flavors of turkey stock and vegetable juices, while dried cranberries and chestnuts add sweetness and texture.
Apple, Shallot and Herb DressingApple, Shallot and Herb Dressing
Fresh apples, refreshing fennel and sturdy celery root lend their unique characteristics to this vegetarian stuffing.
Corn Bread and Ham Stuffing with Caramelized Apples and FennelCorn Bread and Ham Stuffing with Caramelized Apples and Fennel
The saltiness of the ham plays off the sweetness of the apples, fennel and corn bread in this hearty stuffing. To streamline prep, the recipe relies on ourstuffing mix, made from corn bread, wheat bread, and aromatic sage and thyme.