Monkeying Around Bread

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dairy free
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 8" round bread, 5 to 7 servings

Recipe photo

This is the simplest, most basic of all monkey (pull-apart) breads. It's a great introduction to this fun style of loaf, and a great place for kids to start baking with yeast.

Read our blog about this bread, with additional photos, at Flourish.

Monkeying Around Bread

star rating (28) rate this recipe »
dairy free
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 8" round bread, 5 to 7 servings
Published: 01/01/2010



  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon


  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


1) Make the topping: Blend the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, or shake them together in a small lidded container. Set aside.

2) Place water, vegetable oil, egg, salt, sugar, and yeast in a medium bowl and stir well.

3) Add 1 cup of the flour, stirring to blend.

4) Add the second cup of flour, stirring to make a cohesive dough. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes; this gives the flour a chance to absorb the liquid, making it easier to knead.

5) Knead the dough — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — till it's soft and smooth.

6) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or large measuring cup, cover it, and let the dough rise for 30 to 60 minutes, till it's doubled in size.

7) Gently deflate the dough, and place it on a clean, lightly greased work surface; a silicone mat works well here. Divide it into pieces about 1 1/2" in diameter; you'll make 16 to 18 pieces.

8) Lightly grease an 8" round cake pan. Dip each piece in water, then roll it in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat.

9) Place the pieces in a single layer in the prepared pan. Sprinkle any remaining cinnamon-sugar over the top.

10) Cover the pan, and let the bread rise for 30 to 60 minutes, till it's visibly puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

11) Uncover the pan, and bake the bread for 25 to 30 minutes, till it's golden brown and feels set.

12) Remove from the oven, and immediately turn the pan over onto a cooling rack. Lift the pan off the bread, and scrape any leftover topping in the pan onto the bread.

13) Pull the bread apart to serve. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Yield: 8" round bread, 5 to 7 servings


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  • star rating 10/25/2013
  • Lisa from Millstone, NJ
  • I saw my husband eying the monkey bread at Walmart, so I decided to make some for him. I did make some changes to the recipe, I used half ap flour and half white whole wheat (KA of course) and about a tablespoon of additional water for the dough. I also used 1/2 a cup of homemade brown sugar and 1/2 a cup of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon for the topping. I just took them out of the oven and burned my mouth wolfing one down, they just smelled soooo good. They were light and fluffy and just the right amount of sweet, my husband loves them and so do the kids.
  • star rating 03/12/2013
  • from
  • I followed the recipe exactly as written (60 min for each wait), except I completely subbed KAF white whole wheat for the flour and added 1 tbsp of water to compensate. Turned out with a good taste, but rather dry - like a cinnamon-coated dinner roll, which wasn't what I expected. Next time, I may add another egg to see what happens.
  • star rating 02/05/2013
  • Mary from New Orleans, LA
  • Love it! Like others, I dipped the batter in milk instead of water. Also, I had the second rise in the fridge overnight. Then in the morning, popped it in the oven for 30 minutes. Perfect! Next time might try some sort of cream cheese topping. Thanks!
  • star rating 10/29/2012
  • somethyme from KAF Community
  • The BEST! I haven't made monkey bread in years because of how blah it'd turned out with the previous recipes I'd used. Today, housebound for Frankenstorm, I promised my son we'd make some so I found this recipe and am so glad I did. It's almost all gone, and only 3 of us here to eat it:) The only little changes I made: I used one cup whole wheat pastry flour, one cup all purpose four; dipped the pieces in half-and-half instead of water (meant to grab milk like others suggested but this worked great); and for the topping I used 1/4 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 cup organic sugar. Kids LOVE this- the taste, the making, the name- so I am sooo happy to have a good monkey bread recipe!
  • star rating 10/10/2012
  • Elizabeth from Springfield,Ohio
  • Delicious and easy to make!I first made this recipe on a Sunday morning and both of my little brothers(3 & 6) were playing upstairs the whole time I was baking and my dad doesn't care for stuff like this, so I flopped the bread on a plate and had breakfast for 1! That probably makes me sound like a pig, but I'm 13 and have an appetite bigger than a teenage boy.
  • star rating 04/24/2012
  • cindy from knoxville, tn
  • I made this recipe as written and found it dry and bland. Will not be making it again.
  • star rating 11/20/2011
  • 60scookinggram from KAF Community
  • for the people who couldn't print the whole recipe, maybe if you save to your desktop or favorites, then print, it will print all. I don't print, only save in my recipe folder. However, I did save in favorites and did print the entire recipe.
  • star rating 11/20/2011
  • 60scookinggram from KAF Community
  • This recipe is the best tasting,easiest one i have done. My grandaughter loves cinnamon rolls. However, on school mornings, i don't have the time to bake them. In their place, i make this Monkeying Around Bread. She has almost decided that this is better than the rolls, not quite yet thought. It is almost failsafe. The worst part of the recipe is waiting for it to rise the 2nd time. In total, i can have this on the table in a little more than 2 hrs. Going to attempt to make to bake stage, bake for maybe 10 min and freeze to finish when needed. thank you King Arthur. You have come thru with yet another fail safe recipe.
  • star rating 08/02/2011
  • slhloveskids from KAF Community
  • I made this recipe so my daughter could take it to work to share with the staff. Unfortunately she was only able to take one serving and share it with one co-worker. What a wonderful treat!!! I am getting ready to make it again and hope that my husband and I can resist taking a sample taste so she can share it with the entire office. It is sweet, moist and full of flavor! That is why I came back to the site for the recipe again.
  • star rating 02/18/2011
  • larag35 from KAF Community
  • I have made this monkey bread a few times and my kids love it!...actually so do I. I roll my dough in milk before I dip it in the cinnamon mixture and I added a half teaspoon of the buttery sweet dough and it is YUM!
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