Monkey bread is a bakery product in which pieces of baked yeast dough coated in butter and sugar with cinnamon, create something like a tear-off bread. This bread is very popular in the United States as a breakfast or as a sweet snack. Depending on your taste preferences, apart from sugar, butter and cinnamon, you can also sprinkle this bread with pieces of nuts.
When making this bread for the first time, I couldn’t help but feel that it reminded me of one of my favourite Hungarian dessert. So imagine my surprise when after learning about the history of monkey bread, it turned out that it originates from that exact Hungarian dessert I had in mind. The name of that Hungarian dessert is aranygaluska (golden galuska), i.e. pieces of yeast dough covered in sugar and butter, sprinkled with chopped walnuts. Classic aranygaluska is served with delicious vanilla pudding.
I start preparing monkey bread by preparing yeast dough, which includes bread flour, sugar, yeast, butter, milk, water and egg. Egg is not always an ingredient added to the dough, but this recipe contains it. After combining all the ingredients and kneading the dough, I leave it to rise for at least an hour. After that, I divide the risen dough into small pieces, which I form into balls and coat them in butter and sugar with cinnamon. I place the pieces of dough in a baking pan and let it rise. When it increases its volume by half, I bake it at 180 degrees Celsius for a little over 30 minutes. I cool the baked bread and cover it with icing.
If you decide to make the coating with more sugar and butter, the icing may turn out to be an unnecessary addition, because the sauce that will be created while baking the bread from butter and sugar will be enough. I prefer the version with icing and less sugar and butter, hence the choice of amounts of ingredients. I encourage you to try the recipe for monkey bread below and I wish you happy baking.
Ingredients for monkey bread.
- 400 g bread flour
- 40 g soft butter
- 1 egg “M”
- 1 flat teaspoon of salt
- 40 g powdered sugar
- 5 g instant yeast
- 150 ml lukewarm milk
- 50 ml lukewarm water
- 120 g light brown sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 80 g liquid butter
- 1 tablespoon of sof butter
- 150 g powdered sugar
- 25-30 g boiling water
How to make monkey bread.
Pour lukewarm milk and water into a cup, add instant yeast, mix and set it aside for 5 minutes. Sift the bread flour, powdered sugar and salt, add yeast from the cup, egg and soft butter into a large bowl. Mix then knead the dough for 8 minutes. Next, cover the bowl with the dough with a cloth and set it aside in a warm place for an hour and 20 minutes for the dough to rise. Afterwards, place the dough on the kitchen counter, knead it lightly, then divide it into 38 pieces and give them a round shape. Pour the liquid butter into a large bowl, place the yeast dough balls in it, cover them thoroughly with butter, then add brown sugar mixed with cinnamon and roll each dough ball with it.
Grease the metal tin with a chimney with soft butter and when ready, transfer the yeast dough balls coated with sugar and cinnamon to it. Cover the tin with a cloth and leave the dough in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes. Place the risen bread in an oven preheated to 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes. Let the baked bread cool for a while, then while it is still warm, remove it from the tin onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.
Pour powdered sugar into the bowl of a kitchen mixer, add boiling water, not all at once, but in a slow stream. Mix for 8 minutes. Pour the prepared icing over the cooled bread.
Good to know when making monkey bread.
I baked the bread in a metal baking tin with a chimney in the middle, corrugated on the sides. The tin had a diameter of 22 centimetres.
If you like your bread to be stickier and contain a lot of sugar and butter, increase the amount of ingredients used to coat the yeast dough by 50%.
You can also roll the dough balls individually, first in butter and then in sugar and cinnamon. Whatever amount of sugar and butter remains in the bowl after putting all the dough pieces into the baking tin, pour it also onto the dough in the tin.
Boiling water should be poured in batches, because its amount depends on how thick an icing you want to obtain.
You can also add nuts to the dough. These can be chopped walnuts or pecans.
The taste of the icing can be changed by replacing the water with orange or lemon juice.
Do you like homemade bread? If so, try our recipe for Cocoa bread with olives, chocolate and pistachios.