Monkey Bread – No Monkeys Required

Monkey, Monkey, Monkey, Monkey Bread!
This pan happened to end up in my collection in one of those shopping moments when all sensible rationale flies out of the window.  Lured by cute monkeyness and sheer curiosity the pan found its way into my shopping basket.

See the monkey? Darn it!

A bit of digging around came up with tons of rave reviews and a million different recipes – how did I not know about this? Monkey bread is a fab sweet cinnamon tear and share bread you don’t want to miss out on.

Hmm, now here’s the catch, I can’t ‘do’ bread, it turns out wrong, I have no intuitive feel for it and the thought sends me into a bit of a tizz!  So sharp word with myself, get over it and keep thinking that the monkeyness might help. I’m so glad I did.

For the dough
500g Strong White Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Salt
55g Butter
2 Eggs beaten
2 tbsp Honey
15g Dried Yeast (3 tsp)
175ml Milk

For the sugar coat
150g Caster Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon

For the Sauce
200g Butter
100g Dark Brown Sugar

Begin by making the dough.
Warm the milk so it is tepid.
In a small dish mix 2 tbsp of the milk with the yeast and cream together.
Into a large bowl sift the flour, salt and cinnamon and mix.
Add the butter in small pieces and rub into the flour.

Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, honey yeast and just enough milk to make a dough, it should be soft and not too sticky.  I only had to add 125ml of the remaining milk but this will depend on how wet or dry your mix is.

Tip your dough out onto your work surface and knead.  You shouldn’t need any extra flour and it will stick a little to begin with but keep going and it will come together nicely.

After ten minutes kneading (aka the bingo wing work out!)  You should have a dough that looks something like this.

So far so good.

Pop it into an oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside to rise in a warmish draught free spot.  This should take about 1 1/2hours but will depend on where you have put it.

Once doubled in size tip it out onto your work top, give it a quick knead to knock it back and shape into a long fat sausage.  Cut into approx 1cm thick slices.

Chop each slice into three or four random shaped pieces, no need for precision here.

In a large bowl mix together your sugar topping combining the caster sugar and cinnamon, now put all your monkey bits into the bowl and give it a good mix up to coat them all well.  Some may stick together but just separate them as you mix.

Once they are all well coated (and already looking yummy) pop them all into the monkey bread or tube pan.  You don’t need to grease the pan, I have had no problems but if you’re worried a quick grease won’t do any harm.

Cover again with the tea towel, place it in a nice cosy spot for an hour or until puffy and doubled in size.
Now’s the time to preheat the oven to 200c/180c Fan/375F/Gas Mark 5.
Prepare the sauce.  In a pan melt down 200g Butter and 100g Dark Brown Sugar.  The butter should be melted and the sugar dissolved.
Once the monkeys have doubled in size pour over the sauce – all of it!

Now, into the oven it goes for 35-40 mins.  Halfway through cooking cover with a good layer of foil to stop the top catching.
Once bake time is up remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 mins.  Invert the monkey bread onto a serving dish, you should have no trouble getting it out but a couple of gentle taps may be required to help it on its way.
I would allow this to cool for at least 15 mins before serving, the caramel sauce is a red hot burner, I know, I was extremely impatient!

Monkey Bread – The Best Tear and Share around.

Ruth Clemens, Baker Extraordinaire

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53 Responses to Monkey Bread – No Monkeys Required

  1. says:

    I have been thinking about this for days, i mean look at all that caramel!! just looks so good

  2. Karolina says:

    Wow, this looks amazing. I have never heard about monkey bread, I must do it. 🙂

  3. Ruth says:

    If you're planning to make this the Monkey Bread Pan is from Lakeland – go get yourself one!

  4. Chele says:

    I've collected a few monkey bread recipes now and I'm just dying to try them out. I saw this pan at Lakeland too and have added it to my wish list for pay day ;0)

  5. Ice Maiden says:

    This looks fabulous – I love cinamon. Wonder if it would work in a Bundt tin?

  6. Ruth says:

    I'm sure it would work in a bundt tin, or even a round robust cake tin with a baked bean tin in the middle (just make sure it's empty, perhaps fill it with ceramic baking beans or rice for a bit of weight?)

  7. Karolina says:

    I was actually thinking about using my a pond cake tin, rather than buying a new one, which I would use for one cake only (?). 🙂

  8. Anonymous says:

    Monkey bread looks A-MAZING!!
    One question:
    When you say, "In a small dish mix 2 tbsp of the milk with the yeast and cream together", you don't mention any cream in the recipe! Is it the warm milk that's you're referring to?
    Am i being a bit silly? (as per usual)

  9. Anonymous says:

    Monkey bread is a very American, and especially a Southern American (that's me!) thing but a lot of the recipes use refrigerated bread dough that you can't get here in the UK. I was THRILLED to see this recipe. I have never actually made a bread dough but I can't wait to try this. Thanks so much for posting it.

  10. Lou;) Truro says:

    We were amazed that you did not win,(although we loved Ed),and admired your food from the beginning. Thank you for such a great site, look forward to seeing you on Saturday kitchen and all our favorite foodie programmes soon!
    Lou & Sarah

  11. Ruth says:

    the 'cream together' is just referring to activating the yeast by mixing it with the milk. Sorry I try to be clear with my instructions so didnt mean to confuse you! No cream involved just mix together the milk and the yeast x

  12. Anonymous says:

    Oh, that looks fun – though a week's calories in one go! Congrats on your BakeOff performance, I'm sure you've caused lots of people to dust off their bun tins!
    All the best from a Yorkshire Ruth

  13. Anonymous says:

    Just watched the finale of Bake-off and wish you huge congratulations on being the top lady baker in the UK! I am guilty of buying children's cake mixes when my daughter wants to try baking (the shame!) but I am inspired by you to have a go at the real thing! Thoroughly enjoyed the show and was massively impressed by the skill you and other contestants showed on every episode.

    Fionna, Fife

  14. Anonymous says:

    This monkey bread looks so yummy! I'm going to try making it next month when I get paid to buy the monkey bread tin. Ruth – it was an absolute delight watching you on the programme: you have inspired me to bake even more! Really enjoyed the series, and look forward to seeing you and your recipes again on the telly!

    SR, Leicester

  15. Rachel says:

    Monkey Bread is AMAZING! My sister is married to an american guy and his mother has a tradition we are all now addicted to….
    She makes monkey bread for the whole family on Christmas Eve and they all sit and watch a film with a plate of hot fresh monkey bread and a mug of hot chocolate with a peppermint candy cane in it for stirring. You can't get more christmassy than that!

  16. Sarah says:

    Apart from the gazillion calories involved here, do you think this would be nice with custard?

  17. Dave M says:

    For those of us without an airing cupboard (or an Aga) what's a useful place to rise dough?

  18. veens says:

    Have always loved to learn to bake,love to cook but have a fear of baking,but you have inspired me to try am going to give your lemon drizzle cake 'fit for the queen' a try.
    So generous of you to share your recipes, would you be interested in giving baking lessons?

  19. Ruth says:

    Dave M… I would pop a clean tea towel over the top and bob it on a warm windowsill or even just on the worktop, just as long as it's out of direct sunlight and not somewhere draughty it'll do the job!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Roll over Delia, Ruth is in the house. Well done on the show. Looking forward to trying some of your receipes. xx PS, You was robbed!!

  21. hprice14 says:

    Made this at the weekend and it was delicious!!! What wasn't eaten on Saturday (and there wasn't much) was finished off for breakfast on Sunday and still tasted good

  22. Anonymous says:

    I made the Monkey Bread today, lovely recipe, well written and easy to follow. Very tasty too! Thank you.

  23. Charlotte says:

    Hi Ruth, I was inspired by your pictures to give this a go – as I had bought the tin previously when I bought the Hummingbird book (this was the only tin I could buy on the high street that was the right size for their humungous cakes!)The wow factor was irresistible and eveyone is raving about it. Thanks for the pics they really helped!

  24. Lucy says:

    Well, it's in the oven…. can't wait!

  25. Olivia says:

    Hi Ruth,

    As yummy as this dish is and I wouldnt doubt for a second it's quick disapearance!!…. How long will it keep for?
    Thanks x

  26. Ruth says:

    I think it will be good for the day after making but beyond that I think that the caramel will deteriorate the bread x

  27. Een foto per week says:

    Thank you for this delicious recipe. I baked it and it was a succes!

  28. Lisa says:

    Not sure i should make this as have visions of me sat on the kitchen floor with an empty tin next to me!!!! But it sounds so lush I think I will have to take a chance!
    By the way Ruth thought you were fab on TGBBO…loved your whole attitude to baking from episode 1 x

  29. Anonymous says:

    Looks gorgeous! I feel some hungover baking (and scoffing) coming on ……….

  30. tyla says:

    i love a tear and share bread – next weekends supper is sorted!xx

  31. Abbas says:

    Looks wonderful Ruth — Would a bundt tin suffice here though? x

  32. Ruth says:

    Abbas – bundt tin will work just fine x

  33. Anonymous says:

    I grew up with my mother making this–but always with pecans! OOOo Ahhh. Gimmie some!
    –chick from America

  34. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ruth,
    I want to make this for my mum but she is allergic to eggs… do you think it would work without if I just added some extra milk for moisture? x

  35. Ruth says:

    Hi – yes try it without the eggs and add extra milk – it should work out just fine for you x

  36. Glitter Monkey says:

    Thanks for the recipe – it looks great!!
    Lol Lynn ?

  37. Stampingcaz says:

    Hi there we made a successful Monkey Bread the other month and looked forward to our second one. However this time the caramel sauce crystalised in the oven. We are very much novice bakers and wondered why??

    Thanks though for the recipe I love your ideas.


  38. Ruth says:

    Stampingcaz – it sounds like the oven was a little too hot. When the caramel sauce is cooked for longer it becomes thicker and starts to granulise. To stop it happening check the oven isn't too hot, or reduce the baking time x

  39. Stampingcaz says:

    Thank you Ruth we will give it another go xx

  40. Olzki says:

    Finally got around to giving this a go – delicious! Loved the gooeyness of it, with the cinammon syrup – only trouble was the pan I used was a little shallow and the bottom of the oven got well and truly covered! Wondering how deep your monkey pan is?

  41. Nicki says:

    Hubby and I made this together this afternoon using a bundt tin. And it’s fantastic! Thanks so much for putting the proper recipe online (not the refrigerator biscuits version).

    Thanks again. Nicki xx

  42. Tracey says:

    Finally I have made it. Had to convert to fresh yeast and cooked in a silicon mould but soooo worth it. My new favourite recipe, yum yum and yummy!!! x

  43. Stuart says:

    You have taken the fear out of monkey bread for me. I thought it was too complicated but will try your recipe for my blog if okay – thank u?!!!

  44. Sarah says:

    Hi Ruth
    I love your recipes and they all work really well. Please could you tell me: if I use fast acting yeast in the monkey bread, do I have to change any of the method? Thanks for your help.

  45. Jojo says:

    Brilliant I’d been looking for an easy follow recipe since making something very similar to this in the states a few years ago – we made smaller portion sizes and for whatever reason it was called “Monkey Balls” as soon as I read the ingredients this sounded right!

  46. Pingback: The Ones to Treat the Family! | Baking, Recipes and Tutorials - The Pink Whisk

  47. Hayley says:

    This look amazing but I don’t have a ring tin and don’t live near Lakeland! Can you tell me what size of tin I could use instead so we can get baking!! Thanks:-)

  48. helen says:

    My friends dubbed this “the best food they have ever eaten”. Praise indeed!

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