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Simple Sourdough Monkey Bread Recipe

Monkey bread is a delicious breakfast dish that tastes like bite sized cinnamon rolls covered in a gooey frosting. This has an additional perk by incorporating a sourdough in this simple monkey bread recipe.

small loaves of sourdough monkey bread with a fork

I remember growing up with my mom making monkey bread with those refrigerated biscuits.

She would cut them into pieces and roll them in melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar and bake them into a yummy loaf.

This recipe is a handmade take on a classic breakfast sweet bread that adds a bit of nutritional value from the sourdough.

Even though we all know no one eats monkey bread expecting it to be healthy. 😊

We can say one thing, for certain, it is so incredibly delicious!

pull apart monkey bread and forks

What is Monkey Bread?

This delicious breakfast dish is easy enough to be made for a regular morning or saved for a special day like Christmas morning.

It is similar to my yummy Christmas cinnamon pancakes in that they feel very rich.

But, they are also humble enough to eat on a regular morning.

Monkey bread is made of small dough balls that are dredged in melted butter and rolled in a decadent cinnamon sugar mixture.

You will put the dough balls in a well greased bundt pan and allow them to rise for a bit before baking until baked through.

Monkey bread is basically a dessert pull apart bread that tastes like Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls.

mini pull apart monkey bread and forks

Why you’ll love this monkey bread recipe

  • This is a delicious recipe that can be made ahead of time and baked in the morning. If you like having easy make ahead breakfast options, be sure to try my greek yogurt banana bread, sourdough pumpkin bread, or sourdough cinnamon muffins.
  • There are different variations as far as toppings for this recipe that will allow you to cater to your family
  • You can add nuts for a bit of crunch and protein- think of pecans or walnuts!
  • Keep it simple with just the cinnamon sugar mixture, or make it extra yummy by creating a brown sugar mixture
  • Even though this is a sweet treat, the additional benefits of the healthy sourdough bread give some benefit to this dish
  • You can use a bundt cake pan or loaf pans for this recipe
  • If you are in a pinch and don’t want to make dough, you can substitute the sourdough dough with a can of Pillsbury biscuits
batter in a glass bowl on a digital kitchen scale

Ingredients for Sourdough Monkey Bread

  • Active Sourdough Starter– Make sure it is bubbly and fed. If you don’t have a starter, you can make a sourdough starter simple enough. I shared all about my amazing dry sourdough starter method that is simple!
  • Sugar– I use white sugar, but you can use sucanat, maple sugar, or rapadura. I use this for both the bread dough and the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Warm water
  • Melted butter– This is for both the dough and for dredging the small balls of dough in
  • Flour– I used an unbleached all-purpose flour, but you can substitute with a flour you have on hand
  • Cinnamon– This gives a nice spice to the bread.
small dough balls on a cutting board

How to make Sourdough Monkey Bread

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix up the ingredients for the sourdough bread. Allow the dough to rise in a large greased bowl at room temperature for 6-8 hours.
  2. After you let the dough rise the first time, divide the dough into small dough balls that are about 1 inch pieces.
  3. In a small mixing bowl melt butter to dip the dough balls into so the cinnamon sugar will stick to the dough.
  4. Place the sugared dough into a well greased bundt pan and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise in a warm place for another hour.
  5. Once the pull apart monkey bread has risen, bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes.
  6. Cool the sweet bread for 10 minutes before turning it out on a serving platter. Eat it as is or drizzle it with a delicious frosting.
ball of bread dough on a counter with a towel

How to make the Sourdough Bread dough

This is an important part of the sourdough monkey bread. As with all sourdough and homemade dough recipes, you must plan a bit ahead.

If you want to have this bread tomorrow morning, then start your sourdough today.

That way it will be ready the next day for breakfast.

  1. This morning, feed your sourdough starter so it is nice and bubbly. About 2 hours prior to making your dough.
  2. In a stand mixer, add in your bread dough ingredients: active starter, flour, sugar, warm water, salt, melted butter and mix with a dough hook for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. If you don’t mix long enough, you will be left with a shaggy dough so make sure you mix it long enough so the end result is what you want.
  3. Let your dough rise for 6-8 hours in a warm place. I make my dough mid-mornings and then let it rise until the evening. Cover it with plastic wrap and a towel to help keep the heat and moisture around the dough.
  4. After your dough has had a chance to ferment and rise, dump it out on a very lightly floured surface and cut the dough into small, 1 inch balls.
  5. Continue with dipping the dough balls into the melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar and then put them in your baking dish. The second rise will be in whatever is your baking pan of your choice.
  6. At this point, you can either put your monkey bread in the refrigerator to bake at a later time (for a few hours or overnight) or let it have its second rise for 2 hours and then bake it as directed in the recipe.
  7. If you chose to let your bread rise in the refrigerator overnight, pull it out in the morning and let it rise on the counter for an hour while the oven preheats. Bake according to the recipe once it has risen and the oven is hot.
pull apart monkey bread and forks and flowers

How can you tell if Monkey Bread is done?

To ensure your monkey bread is cooked through, place it on the center rack of your oven and allow it to bake until the top is a deep golden brown.

It can be difficult to be certain that your bread is done because the bundt pan is so deep.

Do the toothpick test by sticking a toothpick into the bread and seeing if it comes out clean.

If you have a digital kitchen thermometer, bake the bread until it reads 190°F in the center of the bread.

mini pull apart monkey bread and forks and flowers

Can you make sourdough monkey bread ahead of time?

You can make this sourdough monkey bread ahead of time by preparing it until it is all in the bundt pan.

Once you add it to the bundt pan, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

For best results, pull the monkey bread out of the refrigerator the next morning.

Allow it to sit on the kitchen counter for 1-2 hours and then bake in a preheated oven.

Bake according to the directions.

Make sure you test the inside of the loaf for doneness prior to pulling it out of the oven.

It might take a bit longer since the dough is chilled.

dough balls and flowers on a piece of wood

What kind of pans can you use for Monkey Bread?

One thing that makes this a great recipe is that you can prepare it in several different types of pans.

You can bake this monkey bread in:

  • Bundt pans
  • Loaf pans
  • Mini loaf pans
  • 9×13 pan

You will need to adjust the time you bake the bread depending upon your pan choice.

The bundt pan requires the longest bake time since it is the deepest pan.

Monkey Bread Tip

If you are running low on time when making your monkey bread, use a small pan.

Mini loaf pans bake up monkey bread quickly and they create an adorable loaf.

white icing on loaves of sweet bread

Monkey Bread Variations and Toppings

  • Caramel Monkey bread– Make a gooey caramel sauce by warming 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, 1/3 cup heavy cream, pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Pour over baked monkey bread that has been turned out on a serving platter.
  • Cream Cheese frosting– In a stand mixer, mix 4 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/2 cup powdered sugar on medium speed until the frosting is whipped and smooth. Smear on top of the monkey bread.
  • Powder Sugar Icing– This is the simplest addition for your monkey bread. Mix 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk together until smooth. Pour on top of monkey bread and enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make sourdough monkey bread with discard?

You can make this monkey bread with your discard, but you will need to include 2 teaspoons of quick rising yeast. This bread needs to rise, so your discard won’t be strong enough to rise it on its own.

Can I make this monkey bread ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this bread the day before and bake it the morning you need it. Just pop it into your refrigerator and allow it to slowly rise in the refrigerator. When you are ready to bake it, set it on the counter for 1-2 hours to finish rising and bake according to the directions.

monkey bread on a fork with icing

Sourdough Monkey Bread Recipe

Sourdough Monkey Bread

Liz Quick
Monkey bread is a delicious breakfast dish that tastes like bite sized cinnamon rolls covered in a gooey frosting. This recipe has an additional perk by incorporating a sourdough bread in this simple monkey bread.
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 45 mins
8 hrs
Total Time 10 hrs 45 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 1 bundt pan
Calories 200 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 stand mixer
  • 1 bundt pan

Ingredients
  

Sourdough Bread

  • ½ cup active sourdough starter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¾ cups warm water
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Cinnamon Sugar Mixture

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Powdered Sugar Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

Instructions
 

  • Feed your sourdough starter so it is nice and bubbly. About 2 hours prior to making your dough.
  • In a stand mixer, add in your bread dough ingredients: active starter, flour, sugar, warm water, salt, melted butter and mix with a dough hook for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  • Let your dough rise for 6-8 hours in a warm place. Cover it with plastic wrap.
  • After your dough has had a chance to ferment and rise, dump it out on a very lightly floured surface and cut the dough into small, 1 inch balls.
  • In a small mixing bowl melt butter. In another small bowl combine the cinnamon and sugar.
  • Roll the dough balls in the butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Place the sugared dough into a well greased bundt pan and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise in a warm place for another 1-2 hours.
  • Once the pull apart monkey bread has risen, bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes.
  • Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes and turn out onto a serving platter.
  • Mix the icing ingredients together in a pourable measuring cup and whisk until smooth. Pour over the finished bread.

Notes

To refrigerate overnight:
Once you add the dough balls to the bundt pan, cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator overnight.
For best results, pull the monkey bread out of the refrigerator the next morning and allow it to sit on the kitchen counter for 1-2 hours and then bake in a preheated oven.
Bake according to the directions, making sure you test the inside of the loaf for doneness prior to pulling it out of the oven.
Keyword sourdough monkey bread

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