Let’s Monkey Around

May 5, 2011

Do you like monkey bread?  I do.  I found this recipe when I made the lemon pull apart bread for Easter.  It assembles the same way as that bread but has cinnamon brown sugar in it.

I actually like this bread much better than monkey bread.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe, because it’s a grown up version of monkey bread.  That’s probably it.

This bread slices so easily and has a great caramelized crunch.  The parchment paper really helps in removing the bread from the pan and keeping the pan clean.  You don’t have to use the parchment paper, but I recommend that you do.

I’m sure that this bread freezes well, but we ate it too quickly for that.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar Pull Apart Bread

For the sweet yeast dough
  • 2 3/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 2 1/4 t (1 envelope) instant yeast
  • 1/2 t fine sea salt
  • 1/3 C Half and Half
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs , at room temperature
For the brown sugar paste filling
  • 3/4 C Brown Sugar
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 C butter , melted
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, the yeast, and the salt and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and set aside.  In a small saucepan, melt together the half and half and butter until the butter has melted.  Remove from the heat, add the water and vanilla, and set aside until warm (115 to 125°F) , about 1 minute.    Pour the milk mixture over the flour-yeast mixture and, using a rubber spatula, mix until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.  Add the eggs and stir the mixture until the eggs are incorporated into the batter.  The eggs will feel soupy and it’ll seem like the dough  and the eggs are never going to come together.  Keep stirring.  Add the remaining 3/4 C flour and stir with the spatula for about 2 minutes.  The mixture will be sticky, that’s just right.  Place the dough in a large, greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.  Place in a warm space and allow to rest until doubled in size.  You can then refrigerate the dough overnight for use in the morning.  Just allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes before rolling out.
While the dough is rising, make the filling.  In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and melted butter.
Make the bread.  Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a 9x5x3 loaf pan with parchment paper. Or, lightly coat the pan with nonstick spray.  Gently deflate the dough. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 20-by-12-inch rectangle.  Spoon the  melted butter/sugar mixture generously over the dough. Cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips, each about 12 by 4 inches. (A pizza cutter is helpful here.)   Stack each strip on top of one another.  Cut the strip into six equal slices again.  You’ll have six stacks of six squares.  Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan.  While there is plenty of space on either side of the strips widthwise in the pan, fitting the strips lengthwise is tight. But that’s fine because the spaces between the dough and the sides of the pan fill in during baking. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled in size.  Bake until the top is golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.
Here’s the original.  Love Joy the Baker!


  1. I have been meaning to try monkey bread, and your recipe is really tempting me! It looks absolutely delicious and decadent, just how I like my sweets. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! You have a beautiful blog and I’m going to explore more of your recipes. 🙂

    • Georgia-
      Thank you! You are too sweet!

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