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.
Sponsored by Imperial Sugar
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 Apple 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.
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.
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 Monkey Bread from getting stuck
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.
What you need to make this recipe
- All-purpose flour - do not substitute another type of flour (whole wheat will result in dense and dry monkey bread)
- Cornstarch - impeded the development of gluten in the dough without destroying the structure of your bread, resulting in fluffy monkey bread (substitute potato starch or tapioca starch)
- Salt - I used Morton's salt, double the volume if you are using Diamond Crystal (use the same amount if using weight measures)
- Sourdough starter - this recipe has a lot of enrichments which can really slow down fermentation, make sure your starter is active and mature
- Egg - good-quality organic eggs add more richness
- Whole milk - substitute skim milk or another plant-based milk of your choice
- Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar and Imperial Sugar Light Brown Sugar
- Unsalted butter - substitute vegan butter or coconut oil
- Vanilla extract - use extract not vanilla flavor
- Cinnamon - imparts a warm flavor to this monkey bread
- Pecans - really completes this monkey bread recipe, substitute walnuts if you prefer
Step by step guide
- Whisk together the all-purpose flour, cornstarch and salt
- Combine the active sourdough starter, egg, whole milk and Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- Add sourdough starter mix to flour mixture
- Knead the butter into the dough
- Knead the dough until smooth and cohesive
- Let the dough rise covered for 4 to 6 hours or until doubled in volume
- Knock the air out of the dough and place it in a large casserole dish lined with plastic wrap
- Let the dough proof in the refrigerator overnight (at least 8 hours)
- Divide the dough into 40 portions (10 horizontal rows and 4 vertical columns)
- Make the cinnamon sugar topping
- Brush the dough with butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top
- Grease the bundt pan
- Round each portion of dough and layer sugar-coated dough portions and pecans inside the bundt pan
- Let dough rise for 2 to 4 hours until puffy
- Bake at 375 F for 35 to 40 minutes
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Sourdough Monkey Bread Recipe
- bundt pan
- 300 grams all-purpose flour
- 30 grams cornstarch
- 4 grams salt
- 113 grams sourdough starter mature and active
- 1 egg large
- 120 grams whole milk
- 60 grams granulated sugar Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 113 grams unsalted butter softened
- 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.
- 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.