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Hungarian Monkey Bread


Original recipe*

4 3/4-5 cups flour, sifted

1/2 cup whole milk, scalded (to scald milk heat in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, just until a thin film appears)

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water (110-115 F)

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 eggs, well beaten

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup ground walnuts

1 1/2teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 cup sweet butter, melted

1/2 cup raisins (about 2.5 ounces

Serve with either:

Vanilla Sado

Wine Sado

Chocolate Sado


* For the dough, I prefer to use 
1/2 quantity of the yeast dough in 
 Edna's Kuglof  
Also, I add some dilute apricot jam between the layers


Soften yeast in warm water and let stand 5-10 minutes so that it proofs.

In a large bowl, combine shortening, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt, then immediately pour scalded milk over mixture.

While mixture is warm, mix in 1/2 cup flour and beat until dough is smooth.

Stir the yeast, then add it to the dough, mixing well.

Add half of the remaining flour and beat until dough is very smooth.

Beat in the eggs and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and let rest 5-10 minutes.

Knead by folding opposite side over towards you, then using the heels of your hands to push the dough away, then give it a quarter turn and repeat the process until smooth and elastic (5-10 minutes) (always turn the dough in the same direction and use as little additional flour as possible).

Form dough into a large ball and place in a greased bowl.

Turn the ball over so that the surface on the top is greased and cover the bowl with waxed paper and a towel.

Let rise in warm place (80°F) until doubled in bulk (1 1/2-2 hour).

Punch dough down with fist, pull the edges into the center, and turn the ball over inside the bowl.

Cover bowl and let the dough rise until nearly doubled again in bulk.

Meanwhile, lightly grease the bottom of a 10-inch tube pan.

In a shallow dish combine 1 cup sugar, nuts, and cinnamon and set aside.

Place melted butter in another shallow dish and set aside.

Tear off bits of dough and form into balls 1-1 1/4-inch in diameter (about the size of walnuts).

Roll balls first in melted butter, then lightly in the cinnamon mixture.

Arrange a layer of balls in the bottom of the pan so that they don't touch each other.

Sprinkle about 1/3 of the raisins over the balls and gently press into the dough.

Continue this process until all of the dough is formed into balls and arranged in the pan and all of the raisins have been used up.

Sprinkle any remaining butter and cinnamon mixture over the top layer.

Cover pan with waxed paper and towel and let dough rise until light (30-45 minutes).

Bake at 375°F until golden brown (35-40 minutes).

Run spatula around sides of pan and invert onto a plate.

To serve, break cake apart with 2 forks.


Arany Galuska, a traditional Hungarian coffeecake whose name means “golden dumpling,”. This coffeecake is the predecessor of what we identify today as monkey or pull-apart bread. 

Monkey bread uses a cinnamon-sugar filling while Arany Galuska calls for a walnut-sugar mixture and plump raisins. Traditionally, Hungarians serve several of the dumplings with a drizzle of vanilla sauce, which is quite time-consuming to prepare. Softened or melted vanilla ice cream pairs perfectly with this hot coffee cake.

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