Nancy Reagan's Monkey Bread


Nancy Reagan's Monkey Bread

Nancy Reagans Monkey Bread
Nancy Reagans Monkey Bread

If you've ever had monkey bread, a sweet pull apart bread that's perfect for an after dinner treat, probably comes to mind. Nancy Reagan's Monkey Bread however, is a savory recipe you can enjoy during your meal. This is a great way to serve dinner rolls to a large party during the holidays or other times of the year. This is the signature dish one of the most beloved first ladies used to make for Thanksgiving, and we thought it only fair that we all enjoy a piece of history. Make this savory pull apart bread part of a festive plate this year, or simply spead some butter or jam on a piece and have it with tea. You're sure to find many uses for this simple, yet mouthwatering recipe.

Serves1 large loaf; 36 pieces

Preparation Time30 min

Chilling Time5 min

Cooking Time30 min

Cooking MethodOven

Cooking Vessel Size10-inch tube pan


  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 ounces butter room temperature, plus 8 ounces butter, melted


  1. In a bowl, mix yeast with a small amount of milk until dissolved.

  2. Add 2 eggs and beat. Mix in dry ingredients. Add remaining milk a little at a time, mixing thoroughly.

  3. Cut in butter until blended. Knead dough, let rise 1 to 1.5 hours until doubled in size.

  4. Roll dough onto floured board, shape into a log. Cut log into 24 pieces of equal size. Shape each piece of dough into a ball, roll in melted butter.

  5. Place 12 balls in the bottom of a buttered and floured bread mold (tube pan), leaving space between. Place remaining balls on top, spacing evenly.

  6. Let dough rise in tube pan for 30 minutes. Brush top with remaining egg. Bake in preheated oven at 375 F degrees until golden brown. 25 to 30 minutes.

  7. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.


A convenient way to provide a warm, draft-free place for dough to rise is to use your microwave. Place a measuring cup of water into the oven and heat on high for 2 minutes. Push the cup to one side of the oven and place the bowl of dough into it and close the door. Let rise 30 minutes without opening the oven door.

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Does this really require 5.5 TBSPs of sugar?

I can imagine former First Lady Nancy Reagan baking this Nancy Reagan's Monkey Bread for her family probably even in her twilight years. And even after former President Reagan's death. This bread recipe is very easy to make, ingredients are simple and easy to find. I like to have these dinner rolls in my meal, it looks so yummy with butter. I want to bake this money bread.

The ingredients look like they belong to my hamburger bun recipe. Except for the shaping and the melted butter on top, it could be. So, I can imagine how good it tastes. It would go well with spaghetti. I would not call it monkey bread either.

I couldn't stop eating it! This bread was delicious.

Absolutely LOVED this recipe! Fluffy and flaky pull-apart bread will definitely be my new go-to when I'm having company over for dinner.

This was great pull apart bread, but I am not sure I would call it monkey bread since it wasn't super sweet.

When I think of monkey bread, I think of cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread. This was more like dinner roll pull-apart bread, but it was absolutely amazing. I would serve this at a big family dinner.

Great monkey bread! It was light and fluffy--I could easily eat this all day!

I don't know what was better about this bread the way it tasted or the way is smelled. Pulling each roll apart was heavenly, and I couldn't decide if I should butter them or stick my nose in them. In the end, I decided butter was the better decision, but you might not feel the same.


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