Banana monkey bread

Monkey bread is made by stacking small dough balls into a loaf tin and layering them with banana and cinnamon syrup. It’s a decadent breakfast hailing from America.


  • 40g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225ml lukewarm whole milk
  • 50ml lukewarm water
  • 35g caster sugar
  • 20g light brown soft sugar
  • 7g sachet dried active yeast
  • 550g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced

For the syrup

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Melt half the 40g butter, then put it in a bowl with the milk, water, sugars and yeast. Leave to froth.
  2. Put the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl) and make a well in the centre. Sprinkle the salt around the edge. Pour the frothy yeast mixture into the well and mix, using a dough hook attachment (or with a wooden spoon), until incorporated. Knead using a dough hook (or with your hands on a clean surface), adding the rest of the softened butter. Work until the dough starts to come away from the bowl (or surface). Transfer to a clean large bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for around 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. To make the syrup, melt the 200g butter with the light brown sugar in a saucepan, stirring, then add the cinnamon. Allow to cool slightly, then pour a third of the syrup into a 2 litre loaf tin and add a few of the banana slices.
  4. Punch down the risen dough to knock out the air, then divide into small balls (about golf ball size) and stack them up in the tin, layering with the remaining banana slices and the remaining syrup, in drizzles.
  5. Cover the loaf with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 45 minutes or until risen by half. Heat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/ gas 6 with a baking sheet on the middle shelf. 6. Bake the loaf, covered with foil, for 30-35 minutes or until risen and golden. Leave to cool in the tin slightly, then turn out on to a wire rack. Warm up any extra syrup to pour over (see tip).

delicious. tips

  1. Make some extra syrup on the day of eating to drizzle over, if you like.
  2. Make the dough and leave to rise overnight in the fridge. Continue from step 3. Alternatively, freeze the loaf at the end of step 4. When ready to bake, defrost and prove as in step 5 before baking.You can freeze the baked loaf, too. Defrost and warm in a low oven when ready to serve.

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