Kids in the Kitchen, pt. 5: Monkey Bread and Monkey Business

Yesterday I mentioned making monkey bread with all four of my monkeys in the kitchen. While there were times of craziness when we were putting this together – really, really we did have fun! (All of us…even me.)

Monkey Bread Tutorial 2

I wanted to share this recipe with you, as it is a healthy (uses only whole wheat flour and  unprocessed sugars), yummy treat that is fun to make with your kids. It does take a bit of time to make, but you do it in stages, and the time spent is worth it!

I simply used my Honey Whole Wheat Bread recipe, but instead of forming loaves as normal, we made it into this wonderful, sweet cinnamon pull apart bread for our breakfast.

How to Make Whole Wheat Monkey Bread

Kids in the Kitchen, pt. 5: Monkey Bread and Monkey Business
  • 6 cups whole wheat flour, divided
  • 1 ¾ cups warm water, divided
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 package yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 T. melted butter
  1. Mix 3 cups of whole wheat flour with 1 ½ cups of warm water in a large glass bowl. Allow this to sit for about 30 minutes. This will break down the gluten and help the bread to rise better.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together ¼ cup water, yeast and honey. Allow this to sit for about 10 minutes, or until the yeast is activated and mixture becomes bubbly.
  3. Add salt, melted butter and yeast mixture to the flour and water mixture. Gradually add the remaining three cups of flour and stir well.
  4. As the dough becomes harder to stir, pour it out onto a clean counter and begin to knead the dough. Add a little flour if needed to keep it from sticking. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Place the ball of dough back into the bowl and cover it with a cloth. Allow the dough to rise for one hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Using a floured hand, pull the dough out of the bowl onto the counter. Knead for just a minute or two until the air bubbles are gone.
  7. Melt one stick of butter.
  8. In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup rapadura and 3 t. cinnamon.
  9. Pull off small fits of dough and roll them around in your hands to form a ball.
  10. Dip the ball of dough into the melted butter, then roll it around in the cinnamon/rapadura mixture.
  11. Place the covered ball into a buttered bread pan or angel food cake pan.
  12. Continue to dip bits of dough in butter and cinnamon/rapadura. Fill pan ½ full. You should be able to make two pans.
  13. Allow the dough to rise for about 30 minutes.
  14. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Here are a few picture highlights of our Monkey Business:

Once the dough had risen and needed to be punched down…EVERYONE wanted to be a part of that. I mean – it’s permission to punch something. What little boy doesn’t want THAT?!


Asa got to knead the dough, and I’m not sure what Justus and Malachi are licking off their fingers there…flour? Okay you two – wash your hands…again.


boysbreaddough8sm.JPGNot to be outdone by the biggest brother, Justus and Elias needed to knead too.
Asa got the butter melting on the stove.


Justus smeared butter all over the bread pans.


Malachi stirred up the rapadura and cinnamon mixture.


And then EVERYONE got to pull off balls of dough and do the fun rolling and dipping and making ooey-gooey bread part.


Ah, the beautiful loaves, rising and almost ready to go into the oven.

Monkey bread!!  Can’t you just smell it?!

The next morning, I rewarmed it a little and we had it with milk for breakfast. When the boys woke up smelling it, they jumped out of bed and ran downstairs.

All the way down the stairs, I was hearing monkey noises, “Ooo Ooo…Aah…Aah..” in high pitched tones and looked over to see four monkeys making their way into the kitchen. And that is how my monkey bread morning began.

(At least they didn’t start picking bugs off of each other and eating them. My monkey’s are slightly tamer than that.)


  1. says

    Yummy! (I think I always say on your posts about goodies..hehe). We make the completely NON-healthy version of this, and we love it. I’ll have to give the HEALTHY version a try and let you know how it goes over!


  2. says

    Oh, wow, that looks goooood! I haven’t made monkey bread in ages. I should try some, soon!
    Thanks for visiting my blog. I think that the next few weeks will be the best time to buy and freeze butter. And we want some in stock for that yummy corn that we’ll be eating in a few months, too! (Hey, spring is less than a week away. I can dream of summer fruits and vegetables, can’t I?)


  3. Laura says

    Rapadura is dehydrated cane sugar juice. It is sugar is it’s whole form…therefore it still has it’s vitamins and minerals in it. I buy mine through my food co-op, Azure Standard.


  4. says

    Will the dough rise if your use stoneware?


    Lthrbth Reply:

    Yes – I make bread in stoneware loaf pans all the time.

    I’m going to try this recipe in a Bundt stoneware pan, with honey instead of Rapadura! I’m out of the latter and think the gooey-ness of honey would be a plus.

    Thanks for the recipe!


  5. Lisa says

    OK,really not sure what I did wrong. But, my dough never rose and it’s hard as a rock and not soft enough to knead. Should I have combined step 1 with step 3 (small bowl)? That would have been the 3 cups of flour and the other 3 cups of flour. That’s where I got confused. I’m not very good at baking bread. I bake all kinds of other things from scratch, though, however I’ve always had trouble with bread and pizza dough.


  6. says

    Lisa, Sorry it didn’t work. I just made it for tomorrow morning but I just used my regular bread recipe on the dough cycle in the breadmaker. I added an additional 2 tablespoons of rapadura to my regular bread. That was my only change. Then I continued with this recipe with rolling the little balls in butter, etc. Mine just came out and are fine. My point: Do you happen to have a plain bread recipe that works for you? If so you can just use that for this recipe. Hope that makes sense. Beth


  7. Lisa says

    You know, I think, I may have killed the yeast. Did not realize that I could not put in the melted butter while it was still warm. We tried to save it, but, it still did not turn out well at well and my boys only had one bite each. Unusual for them to not love any kind of baked bread.


    Laura Reply:

    Yes, it sounds like that’s what happened. I’m sorry I didn’t ever answer your OTHER comment…I’m terribly behind. :)


  8. says

    My family LOVES Monkey Bread! I use my large pizza pan and let them rise like hot rolls, that way I can put icing on them as well!

    I am a “new” healthy eater and I’d like to thank you for all the wonderful recipes you have posted! I’m from a long line of food junkies and really didn’t know where to start. I asked our yahoo homeschool group for any suggestions and someone posted your site. I am a new fan!

    Thank you and may God continue to bless your wonderful family!


  9. says

    This was delicious, despite my mistakes and a substitution or two. My flour mill arrived yesterday, and I finally had decent flour for baking today without having to mill it one-half cups at a time twice-through my coffee grinder. The final product had none of the gritty particles I’d been getting when I ground my wheat in the coffee grinder, so it looks like my new flour mill does the job even though the flour really doesn’t look very different to me.

    Today I also used up the last of my dehydrated “butter”. Besides tasting a bit strange, it turns out that it also doesn’t melt into true melted butter. The dough balls got dipped in some weird mixture of melted butterfat and cooked whey filler, or something like that, but they survived with good flavor. From now on I can use real butter. Hurrah!

    I forgot at one point that I was making a half recipe so I had to hurridly come up with something more to absorb some excess water. I ground some steel cut oats, which can be quickly and easily ground to a fine flour in the coffee grinder, and threw in some non-fat dry milk powder. My new bench mixer with the dough hook, which came in the day before the flour mill arrived, worked splendidly for adjusting the solids content of the dough. I didn’t have to go though trying to mix something too heavy for a spoon but too wet to kneaded, while trying to find the right amounts to add. After the dough seemed to have the correct amount of moisture in it, I put it on the counter and worked it by hand. In the end it was still just one loaf, but a hefty one, and very, very tasty.


  10. Maureen says

    Absolutely Everthing..and I mean Everything that you have in your recipes works!!! I was praying for help with my cooking and that God would help me cook more healthy! Praise God! The Giant Breakfast Cookies are a smash hit and never last very long, the Breakfast Egg Casserole is soooo easy. A now the Monkey Bread…it smells soooo good.

    Thank you! You are a huge blessing.


  11. Bernadette says

    This is baking right now and it smells AMAZING! I put two blueberries in each ball of dough and sprinkled some throughout the pan as i was adding the balls of goodness! It looks amazing! Thanks for the idea Laura!


  12. Sara says

    This sounds like a great recipe and I can’t wait to try it. One question though. Do you think it’s possible to freeze this? And if so how would you go about reheating it?


    Laura Reply:

    Yes, this will freeze just fine. I’d cover it and reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.


    Sara Reply:

    Sorry, One more question. Would it be better to freeze before or after baking?


    Laura@HeavenlyHomemakers Reply:

    It would really work fine either way. I think I’d probably play it safe and bake it first, then simply reheat it in the oven when we’re ready to eat it. :)

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