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Affogato Monkey Bread

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  • Author: John Whaite
  • Yield: 8 -10 servings 1x


Monkey bread sounds fun, and it most certainly is. It’s basically balls of pillowy white bread dough dipped intosyrup and coated in sugar, then baked as a whole. Sort of like a very rough and ready share-and-tear loaf. My version—for an exceedingly indulgent brunch—is laced with coffee syrup, and served with ice cream, a combination inspired by the Italian classic, affogato.


  • Scant 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 ½ teaspoons 1/4-ounce envelope active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • Scant 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup strong black coffee
  • 2 pints vanilla ice cream
  • 9 tablespoons 1¹?8 sticks unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 1/8 cups water
  • Sea salt flakes


  1. Grease a 9-inch ring or savarin mold with butter.
  2. I make the dough in my freestanding electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, but it can be made by hand. In a mixing bowl, toss together the flour with 1 teaspoon salt and the yeast. Add the water—room temperature is fine—along with 31/2 tablespoons of the butter. Bring the ingredients together to a scraggy mass, then knead vigorously until elastic and smooth. This will take about 5 minutes on high speed in the mixer, or a good 10 minutes with full-throttle elbow grease by hand. Bring the dough into a rough ball and place in the mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, put in a warm place, and allow the dough to prove and rise until about doubled in size—up to an hour. While the dough proves, make the syrup. Place the remaining 51/2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan with 61/2 tablespoons of the sugar and the black coffee. Stir everything together, then bring the contents of the pan to a boil. Boil for just a minute, stirring until well mixed. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. Put the remaining 1/2 cup sugar into a bowl. When the dough has risen, gently slap it a couple of times to knock it back—a technical term for “deflate.”
  3. Divide the dough into walnut-sized nuggets—about 30 to 35 in total. Roll each portion into a rough ball and dunk it into the coffee syrup, then into the sugar. Pile the dough balls into the prepared pan, and pour over 2 tablespoons of the syrup, reserving the rest for serving. Allow the dough to rise again, until it comes up to just under the rim of the pan, between 30 minutes and an hour. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Once the dough has risen, bake for 35 to 40 minutes until puffed up and golden brown. Invert the loaf immediately onto a wire rack, and allow to cool for about 15 minutes—you should serve this warm, but not so hot that the ice cream melts instantly. Boil the remaining syrup in a small saucepan until it’s thick like honey.
  4. Put the monkey bread onto a serving plate and pile the ice cream into the hole in the center. Drizzle over the syrup. Allow the eaters to tear off chunks of bread and scoop up loads of ice cream.


If you don’t have a ring mold you could use a loaf pan instead, and serve slices of the bread topped with scoops
of ice cream.

  • Category: Baking, Breakfast, Dessert
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