Confession #27: I don’t put butter on anything… Buttery Dill Monkey Bread

by alexandra

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Okay, so I’m not saying that I don’t use butter. Baking without butter isn’t necessarily easy, is it? But for about a year now, I have boycotted adding butter to food. So I won’t put it on bread, veggies, or anything else that’s already made. I figure that skipping butter allows me to eat more chocolate chip cookies :)

When I came across this recipe for a dill butter monkey bread, I figured, “Hey, there’s a way to have some butter on my bread without feeling guilty about it.” And the great thing is, there really isn’t that much butter in this bread. With 5 tablespoons of butter, you can make an absolutely delicious Buttery Dill Monkey Bread. Dill is one of my favorite herbs, if not my favorite, and it really shines in this recipe.

What’s great about monkey bread is that it’s perfect for sharing. I made this recipe for a party, and everyone just got to pull off a few balls of bread to eat with their dinner. It was a huge hit!

The interesting thing about this recipe is that you bake the bread balls in groups of 6-8, using multiple small ramekins or loaf pans. They key is to find the right size baking dish so that the bread has room to rise but not so much room that the balls won’t stick together. Since I had to use an assortment of baking dishes, I ended up serving the bread in a bread basket with all of the bread balls separated. It would be more ideal to serve the bread in the same dishes you use for baking it, but in order to do so it would be better if all of the dishes you use are identical :)

Buttery Dill Monkey Bread

adapted from Ashley Brouwer

(makes 40-55 1-inch bread balls)


2 tablespoons warm water

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 ¼ cups bread flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk, lukewarm

1 egg

1 tablespoon buttermelted

1 tablespoon dried dill

Dill Butter

4 tablespoons melted butter, divided

1 tablespoon dried dill

Oven Temperature: 375 F

1. In a small glass bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar, and let sit for 10 minutes, or until the surface begins to form small bubbles.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, lightly whisk the flour and salt. Putting the dough hook on the mixer, gradually add the yeast mixture, milk, egg, butter, and dill. At medium speed, mix the dough until it starts to come together, no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl. Knead lightly by hand and place the ball of dough in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine 2 tablespoons of melted butter with 1 tablespoon of dried dill to make the dill butter.

4. Once the dough is ready, punch it down and shape into 1-inch balls. Dip each ball into the dill butter and place in a small greased ramekin or loaf pan. A 1 cup ramekin or 4 ounce loaf pan is ideal. You should make anywhere from 40-55 balls of dough, with each dish/pan having about 6-8 balls. The dough will rise more, so don’t cram to much dough into too small a space. Note: You may find that you need to melt more butter than stated for this step, depending on how much butter you put on each ball.

5. Cover the dough again with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 20-25 minutes. During this time, preheat your oven to 375 F. Right before baking, brush some of the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the dough. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, brushing again with the butter twice throughout the baking process (or until you use up all of the butter!)

6. Enjoy warm from the oven :)

frugalfeeding October 16, 2011

Sometimes one just has to indulge in a little butter! This seems like one of those occasions, as are scones. For baking I usually use stork which works just as well.

alexandra October 16, 2011

It’s true; every once in a while warm bread with some melted butter is amazing :)

Jennifer October 17, 2011

It sounds nice and easy to make. I’m going to try a small batch for my test run, but it’s pinned on my food recipes board on pinterest! Thanks for sharing :)

alexandra October 17, 2011

It is pretty easy :) Thanks for pinning and let me know how it goes!

Earache October 21, 2011

Can you explain what you mean by, “If you want everyone to really be able to “pull apart” their own piece of bread, I recommend using a uniform set of baking dishes!” please? That part lost me.


alexandra October 21, 2011

What I meant is that the idea of monkey bread is that all of the little balls of bread are stuck together, and you pull pieces off when you eat it. Since i ended up using baking dishes that were all different, I combined it all in a bread basket so that it would look better to serve for a dinner party. However, in doing so, I ended up separating the bread balls into individual pieces. If I had baked all of the bread in the identical baking dishes, I would have been able to just serve it in the same dishes, with the balls still stuck together. I hope that clears it up. Thanks for letting me know about your confusion!

Ann Cardamone Soumar October 21, 2011

I came across this recipe on, and couldn’t wait to try it out. I made these tonight, with a few modifications. I only had whole wheat flour and wasn’t sure how it was going to work, but they turned out pretty well. The dill butter is AMAZING…. and I loved how they came out soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Next time- and there absolutely will be a next time- I will definitely have to use bread flour (the whole wheat flour made them a bit grainier and rise less). Great recipe! Thanks for sharing =)

alexandra October 21, 2011

I’m so glad you took the time to leave me this comment! That’s good to know how whole wheat flour cooperates in this recipe. Whole wheat often gives breads that denser texture, but sometimes that’s okay :) Definitely try the bread flour so you can see what it taste like in this recipe… and I agree the dill butter is AMAZING! Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience with me :)

Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom October 25, 2012

Oh my goodness! this buttery dill money bread looks amazing. I just had to tell you. . I can’t seem to leave your blog. Love these recipes! :)
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted..Indian Burritos with Curried Cauliflower. Going Meat-less Baby.My Profile

alexandra October 30, 2012

Haha thank you so much! I’m so glad you like what you see.

Chocolate Lady December 6, 2012

I love the way you think – maybe I should join the “don’t add butter” boycott…of course, that will have to be after I make your San Francisco sourdough and enjoy a few fresh out of the oven slices with a pat of butter. Your blog is addicting! This recipe looks amazingly delicious by the way.

alexandra December 6, 2012

Haha I love butter, I just have to restrain myself. I would definitely make an excuse for a bit on some warm slices of sourdough, though! I’m really so glad that you have been looking around the blog and enjoying everything you see. Thanks for taking the time to leave the comments; I really appreciate it!

Jennifer February 23, 2014

I came across this recipe oddly enough while looking for a gluten free vegan pull apart bread. It looks amazing though and I’m determined to make it (with some modifications), possibfor dinner tonight. Once tested out, I’ll let you know how it turns out with gf flour & coconut oil based ‘butter’. I’m not dairy free or gf by choice and I miss pull apart bread like you wouldn’t believe. Review to follow shortly!

alexandra February 24, 2014

Since this recipe is the total opposite of gluten-free and vegan, that’s funny that you found it, but I hope it works out well! I’d definitely love to hear how it goes. :)

Emily b November 26, 2014

Have you ever tried freezing the dough balls before the second rise? This will make too many for us and wonder how/if they freeze well?

alexandra December 2, 2014

I haven’t, but I think it would work fine, as long as you make sure they’re covered in the freezer and you let them rise fully before baking. Most dough freezes well!

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