Originating in Hungary and brought to the USA by the Hungarian immigrants, monkey bread, the original name of which was “arany galuska,” has grown to become a mandatory element of the American Christmas table. There are several specificities to this delightful dessert bread, among which there’s the bundt pan needed to bake the monkey bread in. Although a bundt pan is not that hard to find, it isn’t something you necessarily have in your kitchen. So how to make monkey bread without a bundt pan?
Sheet pan, tube pan, glass pan, loaf pan, or muffin pan are all great substitutes for a bundt pan. You can also make your own mold using tin foil.
There is a way to use a bundt pan substitute and keep the recognizable monkey bread shape. To make things easier for you, in the following paragraphs, I will give you some ideas on how to make monkey bread without a bundt pan, provide you with some tips on keeping the shape, and present you with a recipe, so you are all set for your next monkey bread adventure.
What to Use Instead of a Bundt Pan for Monkey Bread?
Considering that monkey bread is incredibly easy to make and as delicious too, it would be a shame to give up on this delicacy just because you lack the bundt pan. Luckily, the shape of the bundt pan has nothing to do with its taste, opening the door to many other options other than the bundt pan. Therefore you can use other types of pans such as a sheet pan, tube pan, glass pan, loaf pan, or muffin pan to make your monkey bread.
A sheet pan is the classic baking pan with the widest range of use. This type of pan is very favorable for monkey bread, as it will allow the buns to bake without getting moist. To make monkey bread in the sheet pan, you need to layer it with parchment paper and stick the buns close together, as they would be in the bundt pan.
You can place a metal saucer in the middle of the sheet pan and line up the buns in a circle around it to get a shape similar to the monkey bread circular shape with the hole in the middle.
A tube pan is considered the best bundt pan substitute as its shape is very close to the shape of the bundt pan. The bundt pan and the tube pan are also made of the same material, and they can make of either tin or coated steel.
The same shape and material mean that the tube pan will transfer the heat equally as the bundt pan and what you get with the bundt pan, you will get with the tube pan too. The only difference is that the tube pan has a smooth bottom, and the bundt pan has a wavy bottom, so the lowest layer of monkey bread buns will turn out flatter with the tube pan.
Before putting the buns in the tube pan, make sure you grease the pan with butter to avoid the buns sticking to the pan.
If you genuinely don’t have another choice, use the glass pan, but be warned, it isn’t meant for pastry. Glass pans are heatproof pans used to bake meat, pasta, or vegetables; generally, things you can take out of the oven, mix and bring back inside. I don’t recommend glass pans for pastry baking because they tend to bake the pastry unevenly.
Nevertheless, if you decide to use a glass pan, make sure you butter it with a significant quantity of butter and, if possible, layer the pan with parchment paper. Bake on medium heat, placing the pan on the lowest rack at the beginning and moving it to the upper racks as the buns bake.
The loaf pan is a very suitable bundt pan substitute for monkey bread, mainly because it is made of the same material, meaning it will transfer the heat the same way. The loaf pan will give you a loaf-shaped monkey bread, which isn’t a bad idea as it is.
Since the loaf pan is narrow, you will have no trouble stacking the buns onto each other, so you will get a rectangle of monkey bread with the same density and the same softness. Therefore I highly recommend the loaf pan as a bundt pan substitute for monkey bread.
Although the monkey bread made in a muffin pan won’t lose taste or quality, it won’t be monkey bread, sort to speak. Considering that the muffin pans have individual molds for one muffin, or in this case, one bun of monkey bread, there you won’t get to separate the buns since they are already separated.
Still, I’d label the muffin pan as a suitable bundt pan substitute because it is made of the same material, distributes the heat the same way, isn’t sticky, and will yield tasty results. Moreover, if you really want the monkey bread experience, you can make smaller buns and fit several inside one muffin mold; this way, you will have more muffin-shaped monkey bread.
Before placing the buns inside, don’t forget to spray the muffin pan with cooking oil.
Custom-made Tin Foil Monkey Bread Mold
Since tin foil is excellent for baking, meaning that your monkey bread is not likely to burn, the thing you need to look out for is making the tin foil mold thick enough to hold the bread inside.
Cut a few large sheets of tin foil, layer them on each other, and spray the last sheet with cooking oil. Cut another large sheet, make a ball with it, and place the ball in the middle of the sheet. Stack the monkey bread buns starting from the center, i.e., around the ball, and line them in a circle.
Make three layers of monkey bread buns and roll the foil around them, making it look like a nest. If you have any remaining buns, place them on the ones that are already inside; just see that they all fit into the foil.
Tips for Monkey Bread
To make your monkey bread taste even better, you can try adding pecans to the rolling mixture and crushed biscuits to make the coating richer and more flavorful.
You can also overnight the dough in the fridge and make the monkey bread the day after you make the dough.
Sprinkle some raisins over the monkey bread buns to give the bread more texture.
What to Eat With Monkey Bread?
Monkey bread goes great with fruity sides, such as fresh berries, apple slices, oranges, and even sugar-coated lemon slices. It also pairs excellently with nuts and dried fruit. You can combine it with honey-bound nuts and sprinkle some cinnamon in the mixture to continue the cinnamon whiff of the monkey bread.
What Ingredients Are Needed for Monkey Bread?
You need brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter for the monkey bread coating. You need brown sugar as it is the best option for sugar-coating because it melts well and glazes the surface on which it is on. If you want to substitute it, try granulated white sugar, but don’t expect the same result.
The cinnamon is optional but desirable. If you are not a fan of cinnamon, feel free to substitute it for nutmeg or another dessert spice to your liking.
You need the butter to dip the buns inside before coating them; this ingredient is essential. Don’t substitute the butter for oil; you can substitute it for margarine.
You need milk, flour, an egg, yeast, and milk for the buns. It is not recommendable to substitute either of these ingredients as they all contribute to the softness of the bread in their unique way. If you really have to, substitute the milk for a non-dairy variant and the egg for a vegan egg, but be warned that the dough won’t be as soft.
All ingredients you use need to be fresh, and in no way can they be past their expiration date.
How to Store Monkey Bread and How Long It Lasts?
Monkey bread is best stored at room temperature in a plastic bag. Keep it out of light; it will be safe for a few days, four to five but not more. The sugar coat acts like a natural preservative; even though it contains perishable ingredients (milk, eggs, butter), it will remain safe.
Another way to extend the shelf life of your monkey bread is to pop it into the freezer. To freeze the monkey bread, you need to cut it at least in half and place it in freezer baggies. Once defrosted, you cannot freeze your monkey bread again, so consider how much you can eat/serve in one sitting and divide the bread accordingly.
Monkey Bread Without Bundt Pan
For the buns
- 2 tsp active yeast
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 egg
For the coating
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1-2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup melted butter
Procedure for the buns
- Mix one cup of flour with the yeast, milk, sugar, and egg.
- Stir everything well until the mixture homogenizes.
- Add the remaining two cups of flour to the mixture and knead until you make a dough.
- After you make the dough, let it rise for 30 minutes.
Rest of the instructions
- Mix the sugar and cinnamon and roll the dough buns in the mixture.
- Dip the buns in the butter and coat them well with the sugar and cinnamon mixture from all sides.
- Spray the loaf pan/baking tray/tin foil mold with cooking oil and stick the dough buns close to each other.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F, i.e., 170 °C, for 10 to 15 minutes before placing the monkey bread in.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until they become golden brown.