Dish No. 57: Peels’ Monkey Bread


Webbed with cinnamon and slathered with sweetened mascarpone cheese, the monkey bread that Shuna Fish Lydon makes at Peels is reminiscent of the Entenmann’s breakfast pastries of our childhood, only about 10,000 times better.

The bread uses the same brioche dough that Lydon uses in her excellent St. Louis Sticky Gooey Cake, and it’s endowed with an airy, slightly chewy crumb and a bottom crust that caramelizes to sweet, toasty deliciousness during baking. Much of the bread’s sweetness is contained in the mascarpone icing, which puts us in mind of those Danishes of our youth, and in its cinnamon-sugar veins, which remind us of the best coffee cake ever.

The bread is served in appealingly thick slices that beg to be pulled apart in chunks — and you’d do well to do just that, slowly and with great purpose.