Fox Recipe Box: Ham & Cheese Monkey Bread

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CLEVELAND, Oh — Monkey Bread isn’t always sweet and sticky, this savory monkey bread stuffed with ham and cheese is perfect for Easter Brunch. Chef Catherine St. John owns the Western Reserve School of Cooking and she showed Fox 8’s Kristi Capel how to put this delicious dish together.

The Western Reserve School of Cooking in Hudson has a full schedule of cooking classes for adults, teens and children and you can check it out by clicking here.

Ham and Cheese Monkey Bread

2 cans large buttermilk biscuits (15.3 oz) or 4 cans crescent roll dough
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese or Smoked Gouda is a nice choice
2 cups diced cooked ham
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1-teaspoon coarse grain mustard
1-teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a tube pan or a Bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside. Cut biscuits into quarters. Toss biscuits with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Arrange 1/3 of the biscuit mixture on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle half of the ham and ½ cup of the cheese over the biscuits. Repeat process ending with remaining ½ cup Swiss cheese.
Bake monkey bread for 35-40 minutes or until golden. Allow bread to rest for a few minutes before turning out onto a serving plate.
Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.

  • If you are in for a more homemade dough you can use a brioche dough for this recipe. Recipe is below. You will probably only need ½ a recipe of dough.  Use the other ½ to make rolls or make a brioche loaf for French Toast.

Classic Brioche

2 loaves (9” x 5” x 4”)

Baking temperature: 330 convection

Bake time: 30 to 35 minutes

4 ½ cups All-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
4 tsp instant yeast
1 ½ tsp salt
½ lemon, zest
¾ cup whole milk
14 Tbs unsalted butter
1 lg whole egg
2 lg egg yolks
Egg wash (1 lg egg with 1 Tbs cream)

Day before baking:

Before beginning. Make certain that your liquid ingredients (milk, eggs, egg yolks) and butter are cold.

In the bowl of a 5 quart stand mixer, mix the flour, granulated sugar, instant yeast, salt, milk, egg, egg yolks, and lemon zest at low speed until clean up stage (clears the sides of the bowl).

While the ingredients are mixing, make the butter pliable by hammering it with a rolling pin.

Increase the mixing speed to medium and slowly start to add the butter to the dough in stages. Remember to wait between additions until the sticky, slapping noise in the mixer has subsided.

Mix until all the butter has been incorporated into the dough and the dough is well developed with a nice gluten structure.  Check the dough with a gluten window test.  You should be able to stretch a nice thin membrane without tearing.

Remove the dough from the mixer and work into a ball.  Gently press it down to flatten and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.  Place the dough in the freezer for a minimum of 6 hours.  The dough can remain in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

The night before baking, take the dough out of the freezer and transfer into the refrigerator for 12 hours.

Baking day:

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm up a room temperature for about 20 minutes.

Using a scale and bench scraper, divide the dough into 50 gram increments.

Work the units into small balls.

Spray 2 loaf pans with nonstick cooking and place 10 units of dough into each loaf pan.  2 rows of 5 dough balls.

Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough proof until the dough doubles in size (about 1 to 2 hours, depending upon the room temperature and the temperatures of the dough, when taken out of the refrigerator).

Mix up the egg wash and preheat the oven a convection oven to 330 degrees F.

When the dough has doubled in size, brush the tops of the loaves with the egg wash.  For a decorative touch, add some pearl sugar or cinnamon sugar to the top.  Bake in the preheated convection oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops have a nice rich brown color.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before removing from the pans.  Finish cooling on a wire cooling rack.






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