Mrs. Marv’s Chubble Bread

Fresh Baked Chubble Bread

Fresh out of the oven, I can’t begin to describe how fantastic this bread smells

Nearly three months ago I came across this decadent recipe for Chubble (cheddar bubble) Bread. It’s a pull-apart bread chock full of herbs, spices, and cheese. Lots of cheese.

As a kid, when I would take road trips with my grandmother, Doe, between her house in Marin and my house in Santa Barbara, we’d always (almost compulsively so) stop at the garishly pink Madonna Inn right off the highway (worth the trip to the bathrooms alone, since the men’s urinal is a waterfall, and in the women’s, there is a tiny pink toilet perfect height for a 4 year old). It was clean, safe (does the assault on the eyes count?) and we could get a loaf (or two) of sticky delectable cinnamon monkey bread. It was such a treat, and Doe was indulgent, so the two of us would devour the whole loaf…before we got to the next town.

So, when I saw Mrs. Marv’s Chubble Bread, it looked delicious, but I didn’t realize until I actually made it, that it was a savory version of my beloved childhood monkey bread. Obviously there is room for sweet tweaks to the recipe in the future. I had been dreaming about chubble bread for months, but when Jennifer the Baklava Queen inspired me with a post on homemade bread, and kindly offered to help me get through any bumps along the way, and I finally committed to start with chubble (it would taste good no matter what, with all the flavors).

I made a few adjustments, that I’ll tell you about, but her original recipe is quite straightforward, so I don’t need to repost it here. It is a bit labor intensive, and took the whole day, but was so utterly delicious, I highly recommend it. I started at about 12:45pm (on a rainy Sunday afternoon) and with all the rises in between and baking, we sat down to dinner at about 6:30. So you can take that rough time line into account if you make it. The baking bread permeated the whole house with an aroma so sensational, I decided that it’s what heaven/nirvana/paradise (insert your preferred otherworldly term) smells like. I served the chubble bread with a simple pureed vegetable soup, since the bread really was the star of the show.

Chubble Bread

These are the adjustments I made, or would make in the future, and of course used as many local/sustainable/organic ingredients as I could.

My adjustmens to Mrs. Marv’s Chubble Bread

For a couple weeks, the household has been mesmerized by a spectacular applewood smoked cheddar with a smoked paprika rind, so that just had to go in the bread. Being vegetarian, it’s a little disconcerting (and bordering on scandalous) that the flavor was quite similar to bacon.

I didn’t have any green onions, so since everything tastes better with caramelized onion, I diced up two of them and got them reducing in a pan while I assembled the rest of the herb and cheese stuffs. Because I used olive oil to saute the onions, I reduced the oil in the stuffs at the end to 1 tablespoon.

Mrs. Marv called for processed Parmesan in the…dare I speak it…nefarious green can. She contends it’s dried out and therefore necessary, but no powder masquerading as Parmesan shall cross my threshold. I used good grated Parmesan, with delicious results.

She recommended 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons salt depending on the saltiness of your cheese. I used 2 teaspoons to be on the conservative side, and it was still to much. I don’t think my cheese was particularly salty, but I would really use no more than 1 1/2 tsp. next time. Also, I added some of the suggested salt to the onions while I caramelized them to help bring out the flavor.

I also added half of the red pepper flakes to the onions while they were sauteing, which brought out more heat into the oil. It was a little on the hot side for me, but may be just perfect for you.

Finally, when I baked them, I decided to fill muffin tins for (what ended up being) 20 individual servings. I didn’t listen to my instincts with the baking time, and went by her recommendation. She suggests 25-35 minutes, but I realized the next day that it was most likely intended for loaf size or cake pans. I checked on them at the peak of the delicious smell (20 minutes) but even though they looked done, I doubted myself and cooked them five minutes longer. Of course they would bake faster in muffin tins with the heat of the pans hitting more of the actual bread! So, they were a little over done, but still tasty. Live and learn.

Chubble Bread unbaked

Just seconds before going in the oven

25 thoughts on “Mrs. Marv’s Chubble Bread”

  1. Oh Bri, if you ever need help with my recipes, never fear asking! I’d be happy to help.

    You really can try any combination of “stuffs” with this bread and have it come out. (Another favorite is tomato, feta and oregano.) And I do have to say that I used to have a ban on the green caned parmesan, but it does a wonderful job of sopping up the extra oil that I have to use it.

    And, yes, the muffin tin version is the hardest to get right, time wise.

    Glad you’ve enjoyed the bread!

    – Kris

  2. ‘Chubble’. That is best name for a bread I’ve ever heard in my life.

    Looks great too, which is a bonus.

  3. Kris – Thanks for your offer of help, and thanks so much for a delicious recipe. I’ve been day dreaming all day about making it again as sweet monkey bread. I love your suggestion of tomato, feta and oregano. I bet is awesome! Hmmm…leave it to me to pick the most difficult baking method on my first time. Well, now I know, and I still didn’t wreck it 😉 Thanks again! (sorry about the parmesan jab, I may have gotten carried away)

    JEP – Thanks! Yes, with a big hearty salad with this would make a delicious meal. Great to see you!

    Graeme – I love the name chubble too. Wish I could take credit for it, but I love it. I love wordplay and constantly slam two words together to make a new one. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Ok, now I REALLY have to make this. When two of my favourite food bloggers make something, and they both think its completely delicious.. Yeah. I’ll have to get right on it.


  5. Muffin – Yes, you REALLY do need to make this. Well worth the effort. And, hey, I’m one of your favorite food bloggers? I feel so honored. What a kind thing to say. Since we all have our variations, I can’t wait to see what you do with it and how it turns out. Keep us posted. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Bri, all your notes are greatly appreciated. I had copied this same recipe a while back and haven’t gotten around to making it yet. Thank your for sharing all your adjustment tips!

  7. Bordering on scandalous– hee 🙂 You’re always welcome to air-mail those gorgeous chubbles to me. Now, I just need to save up for some real-deal paprika..

    By the way, I was a bit puzzled by your comment on my site, since you haven’t had any new entries on your blog’s feed. It turns out your Atom Feed, which I subscribed to, has been defective since after January 5, 2008. D’oh!! So I switched to your RSS 2.0 feed and I’m retro-reading now…

  8. yum, ok first you tempt me with roasted cauliflower and now these — I think I might have to pull this one off for the house guests we have for the weekend.

  9. LisaRene – Glad to be of service. 🙂 Always nice to have someone else try it out first and see how effective the recipe is. It really was fun, with great results and I’m already thinking about how soon I can make the sweet one. Yum!

    Maya – Thanks! There is little in the world so satisfying as the smell (and then taste) of freshly baked bread. Thanks for stopping by.

    Jasmine – The recipe is such a success, I think if you served this to house guests they will likely never leave. So, be prepared for some new roomies 😉

  10. Manggy – I know, totally scandalous, right?! Sadly, I think airmailing wouldn’t do justice to the fresh baked smell…

    I’ll have to look into the Atom feed thing. I had been wondering where you were, but thought that maybe all my cold weather posts weren’t that interesting to you in the tropics. Glad to know it’s all sorted out. 🙂

  11. Patricia – Thanks! Yes, I bet you’ll love them. Maybe you can use some of your interesting local Brazilian cheeses and spices and see what direction you can take it. The basis for the dough is so tasty, you can really take it in any direction. And I know you are a very creative one. Great to see you again!

  12. This looks amazing and I am dying to try it! I have been toying with the idea of making this for a Super Bowl party all weekend but am not sure how to work out logistics. Will it suffer if not consumed the same day? I wouldn’t mind eating it all myself, it looks so tasty. 😉

  13. Melanie – To be honest, a good 50-75% of the pleasure is the ecstatic aromas wafting from the kitchen beforehand. Not being a big football fan myself, I don’t know how the timing works for the big game, but since it took about 6 hours to make, you could start at say, 9am, and they’d be ready by 3pm.

    Or you could do all of the prep today all the way up to that last rise before you bake it, but put it in the fridge instead. Then you could take it out of the fridge, put it in a warm spot for like an hour, while the oven preheats, and then bake them. Now, having said that, I am NOT an expert baker. I don’t know whether what I just described will work or not, but my instincts tell me it should. Actually, you could follow the link to Mrs. Marv’s site and ask her about the timing for the big game. I’d be curious to know what you experience. Good luck!

  14. bri, these breads look so TASTY, i would totally buy a dozen of them at bri’s bake shop! 🙂

    i wonder if jalapeno would work in here in place of onion… guess i will have to find out! thanks for sharing!

  15. Gigi – Thanks for making another attempt at the comments. The quirk seems to have worked itself out.

    Hmmm…”Bri’s Bake Shop”…that has a nice ring to it 😉 I’m seriously considering making up another batch soon. I think jalapeno would be a great option. If you used a traditional Mexican cheese, or jack, or smoked mozzarella, with the jarred, pickled jalapenos, that would be really tasty. And instead of parsley, use a big bunch of cilantro…yum…I want it now! (that was a little Veruca Salt). Thanks for your comment!

  16. Alecto – Oooo! I love Goat Cheddar! What a combo. I just may have to make this again. Very soon. I’m so glad you made it and have “yet to recover”. Thanks for letting me know. 🙂

  17. Hi,
    Is there a way to do this if you don’t have a mixer with dough hooks, etc. (All I have is a small food processor with a blade attachment – that wouldn’t work, would it?)
    Thank you!

  18. Hi Jessy ~ Why don’t you do it the old-fashioned way….by hand. The quantity of dough may be too much for your small food processor / motor.

    To do this bread by hand, you need:
    ~ a big sturdy bowl (ceramic is nice)
    ~ a big fork OR slotted spoon for the earlier stages of stirring in the yeast
    ~ a long handled strong wooden spoon for stirring up the thicker dough

    And when it’s time to knead…
    ~ a large wooden OR bamboo cutting board dusted lightly with flour (I suppose a silpat mat may work? Marble/granite counter tops or a smooth tile surface would also work.)
    ~ your ‘clean’ hands lightly coated with olive oil (so the dough doesn’t stick to your skin very much).

    I learned to make bread when I was young (mid-20s). LOVED it! Bread-making by hand is a wonderfully tactile, organic process that verges on sensual in a ‘Rated G’ ie. good-for-you way. You’ll need to learn what the right texture is for the kneaded dough, but that’s easy to recognize: knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, approx. 7-10 minutes.

    Enjoy yourself! And come back to let us know how it turns out.

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