Friday, December 16, 2011

Cheesy Garlic Bread... Um... Muffins?

Ok, so inspiration for today's post comes from a lot of places... and I'm not sure I can name them all... but I'll try.

I love monkey bread... You know, the bread that you make for breakfast?  Cinnamon and sugar, and you pull it apart and eat it?  Awesome.  I'm a little obsessed.

Fast forward, and I'm trying to think of new and different things to do with monkey bread.  I found a recipe for garlic bread done monkey style and loved it.  And THEN... this geniusness.

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread

Pizza, all wrapped up in neat little pull-apart bites... *and* you get to dunk it.  Cool.

I took it one step farther, and thought it'd be fun to make them individualized.  I *think* I saw this idea somewhere once upon a time for regular monkey bread, so I can't even take all the credit... I just put all these ideas together.  I don't remember where I saw the little muffin things originally, though.  Wish I did.

Anyways, I always start out any italian bread thingy with this breadstick recipe.  We love it... so I use it for bread sticks, or garlic bread, and even pizza crust.  Why fix what's not broken, right?


Directions for the dough...


1 package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 teaspoons, if you're getting yours from a jar)
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons unsalted butter,softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fine salt
1/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 plus 2 tablespoons warm water

To start the dough, sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup warm water in your mixing bowl.  Let it sit for about 5 min, until foamy.

Add in flour, butter, sugar, salt, and 1 1/4 + 2 tbs warm water, and mix for about 5 minutes.

Then knead for about 8 min.  If you're lazy like me, though, you can just let the dough hook on your mixer do this part, if you've got one.


Dough Accomplished

I always let my dough rise in my oven... I preheat it to about 150 and then turn it off before I put the bowl in... it's perfect.  Warm, and away from any potential drafts or disaster my house/family/pets might throw its way.  While it's rising, for this recipe, I cubed my mozzarella cheese into 1/4 in cubes.  Also, it's time to make some garlic butter... about 2 tablespoons butter and some minced garlic or garlic powder, whatever you happen to have on hand.  I'll leave the measurements up to you... it's all about how garlicky you want to get.

After about an hour, that's what it looks like.  Awesome dougheyness.

Punch down the dough, and here's the fun part...
Pull out a piece a little larger than a super ball.

Wrap it around a cube of cheese, making sure to seal the dough all around.  I left out the pepperoni, because my husband doesn't always like it... but you could put that, or whatever your favorite bite-sized topping might be, if you wanted.

Then dunk the whole ball into your garlic butter.

Put the ball into a section in your muffin tin.   Each section should fit 3 dough balls perfectly.

Back into the oven to rise for a while.

Then, I pulled the dough out and preheated the oven to 350.

I had a few cheese squared left when I'd run out of dough, so I just put those on top of the 'muffins' and put the whole thing in to bake.

Bake for about 15 minutes at 350, and viola!  Personal cheesy bread muffins.  

Pull apart and dunk in marinara sauce for some yummy pizza goodness!

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