Coconut Monkey Bread

Coconut Monkey Bread

I'll be honest. I didn't grow up eating monkey bread. I didn't even know what monkey bread was until I moved to the States 14 years ago (has it really been that long??) The concept of monkey bread is BRILLIANT. It makes total sense with a clever name and it tastes heavenly. One of my favorite Hong Kong style buns is the Coconut Roll (椰絲包) and not to be confused with the Cocktail Bun (雞尾包). The Coconut Roll is pretty much an inside-out version of the Cocktail Bun, and it's not as sweet since you don't get the massive filling inside. Like my mom, I love any sweet things that are made with shredded coconut. So when I thought of making monkey bread, I just naturally jumped into the idea of whipping out a coconut version of it.

I've been eyeing on recipes that I can tweak to make this coconut monkey bread happen for a really long time. I'm also not much of a baker if you haven't noticed cause I like the freedom of not needing to measure everything when I cook. Sure, I can make a good loaf of banana bread on the weekends and some treats for the holiday but baking and I are not BFFs. Will we ever be? Probably not. That's why I have such admiration for Yossy Arefi's work. Oh my god, have you been to her blog Apt. 2B Baking Co.? It'll make you want to get into the kitchen and get your hands dirty. I found her amazing Chai Spiced Monkey Bread post on Food52, and adapted the recipe for my coconut monkey bread.

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For someone who only bakes from scratch once in a blue moon, I was thrilled to get such an amazing turn out! (Much credit goes to Yossy's recipe!) I mean, how could I or anyone not love this gooey and caramelized goodness?

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I know working with yeast may sound intimating but this is a winner all the way, and I'm glad you stopped by to share my love for coconut!

Don't have a bundt pan? Get a classic Nordic!

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Coconut Monkey Bread

Prep time: 2 hours 30 mins  Cook time: 30 mins  Total time: 3 hours

You'll need:

  • Dough:
  • 4 tbsp unsalted soften butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup milk, 110°F
  • 1/3 water, 110°F
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast, 1 envelope
  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • Coconut Coating:
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Approach:

  1. Use 2 tbsp of unsalted butter to grease a 12-cup bundt pan. Make sure every crevice is covered.
  2. Combine the warm milk and water, sugar, and active dry yeast in a 2-cup measuring cup. Let it sit for 5 minutes while "proofing" and it starts to get bubbly.
  3. Combine flour and salt in a stand-mixer bowl fitting with a dough hook.
  4. When yeast is ready, turn stand-mixer on low (setting 2 on a KitchenAid) and stream in the yeast mixture. Add the remaining 2 tbsp soften butter and egg. Knead the dough for 7 minutes. Dough should be soft and sticky. If it seems too wet, add more flour a few tbsp at a time.
  5. Transfer dough in a large, oiled mixing bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise 'til it has double its size, about 1 hour.
  6. While you're waiting for the dough to do its magic, prepare the coconut coating by combining brown sugar, coconut sugar, and shredded coconut together in a bowl.
  7. When the 1 hour is up and dough is finished from rising, transfer it to a floured surface and pat it into a 8" by 8" square. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 36 pieces (6 strips each way).
  8. Roll each dough piece into a ball. Dip in the melted butter, then the coconut coating. Place each ball one of top of the other in the buttered bundt pan.
  9. After all the dough pieces are placed into the pan, cover it with a kitchen towel. Let it sit for 1 hour. The dough will rise 1 to 2 inches, and closer to the rim of the pan.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the monkey bread for 25-30 minutes until the top has turned golden brown and the sugar is bubbling around the edges.
  11. Let it cool for 5 minutes before placing a plate on top, then flipping it over. Let it cool for another 5 minutes before serving.