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Savory Monkey Bread

  • Author: Erin Clarkson
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


This Cheesy Savory Monkey Bread is made with a super soft Tangzhong dough which is rolled in pesto then arranged in a pan. The Pesto Monkey Bread is covered with cheese and left to rise for the perfect savory monkey bread recipe that is perfect for any occasion! 




  • 20g bread flour
  • 95g whole milk 

Monkey Bread Dough

  • 180g whole milk, cold
  • 20g sugar
  • 1 ½ (5g) tsp instant yeast
  • 270g bread flour
  • 20g milk powder
  • 1 tsp (3g) kosher salt
  • 45g olive oil (I used Filippo Berio Original)

To finish



  1. Combine the milk and bread flour in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture thickens into a paste. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer.


  1. Add the cold milk and mix to combine, checking with your finger that it is not hotter than lukewarm (the cold milk should cool the hot tangzhong enough). Add the sugar, yeast, milk powder, salt, flour, and oil. Transfer the bowl to the mixer and fit with the dough hook.
  2. Mix the dough on medium speed until it is smooth and elastic and clearing the sides of the bowl, about 12-15 minutes. Don’t freak out, as it is sticky - if you have made it by weight you will be fine. Set a timer and walk away from the mixer if you need. If after that time it really isn’t coming together and you’re worried, add flour a teaspoon at a time just until the dough just comes together.
  3. The dough should be smooth and elastic, and pass the windowpane test.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a surface and flour or oil very lightly if needed to bring into a tight ball with a bench scraper. Transfer to a bowl greased with olive oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  5. Place the dough in a warm spot and rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 ½ hours.


  1. Grease an 8" (20cm) square nonstick pan with olive oil.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 20g portions. Roll each piece into a ball and place into a bowl. 
  3. Add the Filippo Berio Grilled Vegetable Pesto and gently stir until the balls of dough are completely covered with pesto.
  4. Transfer the balls of dough to the prepared pan, arranging so that they sit in a single layer. 
  5. Cover the dough balls with half of the cheese (15g), sprinkling it evenly over the top. 
  6. Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise in a warm spot until almost doubled in size, approximately 30-45 minutes (this depends on your environment). This can be slightly hard to tell, but look for how far it rises up the sides of the pan. You can also leave one little patch slightly exposed so you can do the press test. When dough is properly risen, it will spring back lightly leaving a little indentation when gently pressed with a finger.
  7. Toward the end of the rising process, preheat your oven to 350°f / 180°c.
  8. Sprinkle the monkey bread with the remaining 15g of grated parmesan. 
  9. Bake the monkey bread for 20 to 25 minutes, until the bread is baked, springs back when pressed, and the cheese on top is golden brown. It can be slightly hard to tell when the bread is done because of the cheese - If you like you can also take the internal temperature, which should read at 190°f / 90°c (this is an additional measure of doneness). 
  10. Remove the monkey bread from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  11. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. Refresh briefly in the microwave before eating.

Keywords: Monkey Bread, Pesto, Cheese, Savory baking, pesto bread