Sourdough Monkey Bread

Sourdough Monkey Bread is a soft, tender, naturally-leavened pastry made of rich bite-sized brioche dough that’s rolled in cinnamon sugar before being baked. As the mixture of cinnamon and sugar bakes, it coats the bread into an irresistible sticky, gooey caramel. This tear and share bread is the perfect treat for a special occasion breakfast, brunch or just anytime you want to make you and your family something that tastes delicious and feels satisfying.  

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Table scene with baked monkey bread and pieces of fluffy bread torn from the loaf

I still remember the first time I ever had Monkey Bread. My sister made it for us the day after Christmas. It was such a memorable treat because I don’t think I’d ever eaten homemade bread before that day. Tearing bite-sized pieces of caramel covered bread from my own Sourdough Monkey Bread took me right back to that day. 

Recipe Box Series

This Sourdough Monkey Bread recipe is the fourth in my Recipe Box Series with Imperial Sugar. Each month, I’ll be releasing recipes for classic bakes made with a sourdough twist! You can look forward to comforting classics like Sourdough Fudge BrowniesApple Pie with Sourdough Crust, Sourdough Pumpkin Bundt Cake and many others. 

Sugar is such a vital part of every dessert, it imparts flavor, texture, moisture, and without it, it would be impossible to make our favorite bakes. I’m so grateful to Imperial Sugar for making the Recipe Box Series possible and so proud to be partnering with a company with such a long tradition of producing such high-quality products. Imperial Sugar products are 100% pure cane sugar, non-GMO and provide consistently delicious results.

The secret to soft, fluffy bread

Adding a little bit of cornstarch into yeasted bread reduces the protein content of the flour. This tenderizes the crumb and results in Sourdough Monkey Bread with a tender, pillowy texture. If you don’t have any on hand, just replace it with an equal amount of potato starch or just use all-purpose flour. 

Baked Sourdough Monkey Bread with pieces pulled apart

Baking with sourdough

This bread has a lot of added enrichments, such as eggs, butter and milk, which can slow down the activity of yeast. This means your dough may take longer to rise than you are used to. It’s vital to use an active and vigorous sourdough starter, both to help your dough rise and to ensure the resulting bread is not too sour. I try to feed my starter three times a day for two days before making any enriched dough like this one. 

I’ll give timed cues in this recipe, but it’s important to know that the recipe may take longer or shorter depending on the strength of your starter and temperature in your kitchen. Look for signs of fermentation instead, you should see a noticeable increase in volume and should look like it’s full of air before you end your bulk fermentation period and before you bake it. 

Baked sourdough discard monkey bread in bundt pan

Do I have to use a bundt pan?

Sourdough Monkey Bread is commonly baked in a bundt pan. This recipe makes a smaller portion and was developed using a 6-cup bundt pan. You can easily double this recipe If you have a larger pan (10 to 12-cup). If you don’t have a bundt pan, you can bake this recipe in a 9 by 4 inch loaf pan or an 8 by 8 inch baking pan. 

How to prevent sticking

To prevent your Sourdough Monkey Bread from getting stuck, grease your bundt pan completely with butter. Use a pastry brush or paper towel to get into all the nook and crannies of your pan. Once done baking, don’t let your Monkey Bread cool completely in your pan or the sugar will harden and get stuck. Allow your Monkey Bread set in the pan for 5 minutes and then immediately flip it onto your serving platter to serve. 

Now onto the recipe!

Yield:

1 Large Bundt Cake

Special equipment: 

  • 6-cup bundt pan
  • Pastry brush
  • Wire rack
  • Baking sheet

Ingredients

Cake Batter

IngredientWeightVolume
All-purpose flour300 grams2 ½ cups
Cornstarch30 grams¼ cups
Salt4 grams¾ teaspoon
Active sourdough starter113 grams½ cup
Egg50 grams1 large
Whole milk120 grams½ cup
Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar60 grams¼ cup
Unsalted butter, softened113 grams 1 stick

Topping

IngredientWeightVolume
Unsalted butter, melted113 grams½ cup
Vanilla extract9 grams1 tablespoon
Cinnamon, ground7 grams3 teaspoons
Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar72 grams⅓ cup
Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar67 grams⅓ cup
Pecans95 grams¾ cup

Instructions

Make the dough

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, cornstarch and salt, in a large mixing bowl. 

In a large measuring cup, combine the active sourdough starter, egg, whole milk and Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar. Stir thoroughly until no traces of egg or starter remain. 

Make a hole in the middle of the flour mixture and pour your starter mixture in the middle. Stir to combine the mixture using your hands or a spatula until a shaggy dough has formed.

Knead the butter into the dough one tablespoon at a time. Waiting until each piece is incorporated before adding more. Your dough will start out feeling greasy then begin to feel smooth and only slightly tacky after each piece is fully Incorporated.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let your dough rest for 15 minutes. This will allow the flour to fully hydrate and make your dough easier to handle. 

Strengthen the dough

Turn your dough out onto a clean work surface. Knead the dough until it feels cohesive, smooth, and extensible, about 5 to 10 minutes. Gather the dough into a tight ball and nestle it inside a clean, lightly-oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out and forming a skin.

Bulk fermentation

Place your dough in a warm place and let it ferment untouched until it has doubled in volume, feels airy and bubbly, about 4 to 6 hours depending on the activity of your starter and the temperature in your kitchen. 

Cold proof

Once your dough has fermented, line a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish with two large pieces of plastic wrap. Place the dough in the casserole dish and flatten it out. Wrap the dough completely with the plastic wrap. Let your dough rest in the refrigerator overnight (at least 8 hours and up to 24)

Sourdough monkey bread dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and divided into portions

Assemble your monkey bread

The next day, combine the melted butter and vanilla in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar, Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar, and ground cinnamon. 

Remove your wrapped dough from the casserole dish. Sprinkle a generous layer of cinnamon sugar on the casserole dish. Brush one side of the dough with butter (make sure it’s not too hot). Put the dough back in the casserole dish with the buttered-side down on the cinnamon sugar. Brush the other side of the dough with butter, and sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon sugar on top. Using a bench knife, divide the dough into 40 portions (10 horizontal rows and 4 vertical columns).   

Brush your bundt pan thoroughly with butter. Mix the leftover melted butter and cinnamon sugar together. Spoon half of the sugar butter mixture into your bundt pan. Sprinkle a third of the pecans into your bundt pan. 

Round each square of dough into a ball and place them inside your bundt pan. Create alternating layers of dough, pecans and sugar butter. Cover your pan with plastic wrap and let your dough rise untouched until you see a noticeable increase in volume in your dough. Your dough should look puffy and feel like it’s full of air. (I usually feel lots of little bubbles under the surface when I poke my dough). This usually takes about 2 to 4 hours depending on the activity of your starter and temperature of your kitchen. 

Unbaked sourdough monkey bread in bundt pan

Bake 

Once your Monkey Bread is close to being ready, preheat your oven to 375F. Place the bundt pan on top of a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the top of the pieces are browned and the bread registers at at least 200F when probed with an instant-read thermometer. 

Enjoy and store

Place your bundt pan over a wire rack to set for 5 minutes. Put a plate on top of the bundt pan and turn the Monkey bread onto your serving plate.

This bread is best enjoyed fresh from the oven. Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. 

Print

Sourdough Monkey Bread

Sourdough Monkey Bread is a soft, tender, naturally-leavened pastry made of rich bite-sized brioche dough that’s rolled in cinnamon sugar before being baked. As the mixture of cinnamon and sugar bakes, it coats the bread into an irresistible sticky, gooey caramel.

  • Author: Make It Dough
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 to 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 18 minute
  • Category: bread recipes

Ingredients

Scale

Dough

300 grams (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour

30 grams (1/4 cup) cornstarch

4 grams (3/4 teaspoon) salt

113 grams (1/2 cup

1 large egg

120 grams (1/2 cup) whole milk

60 grams (1/4 cup) Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar

113 grams (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 

Topping

113 grams (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

9 grams (1 tablespoon) vanilla extract

7 grams (3 teaspoons) ground cinnamon

72 grams (1/3 cup) Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar

67 grams (1/3 cup) Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar

95 grams (3/4 cup) pecans (optional)

Instructions

Make the dough: Combine the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, active sourdough starter, egg, whole milk and Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir the mixture together until it forms a shaggy dough and all of the flour has hydrated.

Add the butter: Knead butter into dough 1 tablespoon at a time. 

Knead the dough: Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes or until it feels cohesive and smooth. Gather the dough into a tight ball and place it in a clean lightly-oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. 

Bulk ferment: Let your dough rise untouched for 4 to 6 hours or until it has doubled in volume. 

Cold proof: Line a 9 by 13 casserole dish or baking sheet with two large pieces of plastic wrap. Place the dough on the prepared dish and flatten it out into a large rectangle. Wrap the dough completely with plastic and place the dish in the refrigerator overnight (at least 8 hours). 

Make cinnamon sugar topping: combine the melted butter and vanilla in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar, Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar, and ground cinnamon. 

Assemble your Sourdough Monkey Bread: Remove your wrapped dough from the casserole dish. Sprinkle a generous layer of cinnamon sugar on the casserole dish. Brush one side of the dough with butter (make sure it’s not too hot). Put the dough back in the casserole dish with the buttered-side down on the cinnamon sugar. Brush the other side of the dough with butter, and sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon sugar on top. Using a bench knife, divide the dough into 40 portions (10 horizontal rows and 4 vertical columns).   

Prepare your bundt pan: Brush your bundt pan thoroughly with butter. Mix the leftover melted butter and cinnamon sugar together. Spoon half of the sugar butter mixture into your bundt pan. Sprinkle a third of the pecans into your bundt pan. 

Build your Sourdough Monkey Bread: Round each square of dough into a ball and place them inside your bundt pan. Create alternating layers of dough, pecans and sugar butter.

Final rise: Cover your pan with plastic wrap and let your dough rise untouched until you see a noticeable increase in volume in your dough. Your dough should look puffy and feel like it’s full of air (about 2 to 4 hours). 

Preheat oven: Once your Monkey Bread is close to being ready, preheat your oven to 375F.

Bake: Place the bundt pan on top of a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the top of the pieces are browned and the bread registers at at least 200F when probed with an instant-read thermometer. 

Notes

  • Don’t allow your Sourdough Monkey Bread to cool completely in the bundt pan or it will get stuck
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days 
  • Time cues in the recipe are just estimates. Rising times depend entirely on the vigorousness of your starter and the temperature of your kitchen. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4

Keywords: sourdough bread

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jennie says:

    Oh my gosh this recipe is worth every second!! Delicious and tangy monkey bread with unbelievable tenderness!

    1. Thank you for making it!! I’m so happy you loved the recipe ❤️

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