Year of the Monkey Bread

Happy Chinese New Year! (It’s the 8th in China already.) This week Crystal and I had to fly home for med school interviews, and fortunately that meant we got to spend the holiday with family. To ring in the year of the monkey, I couldn’t resist baking something to celebrate, and monkey bread was a no-brainer! But mind you, this isn’t your typical monkey bread. It’s much healthier and way tastier. This version of monkey bread is also in keeping with my Chinese new year resolution to fuse American and Asian influences more often in my recipes. So cheers to a delicious, healthful, and creative year of the monkey!

Year of the Monkey Bread

Makes 6IMG_2972IMG_2973


For the dough

  • 195g all-purpose flour
  • 70g white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup warm milk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted

For the filling

  • ½ cup red bean paste (recipe + instructions here)

For the coating

  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  1. For the dough, combine flours, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine milk, honey, and butter. Using chopsticks, mix the wet ingredients into the dry. After they start to come together, knead the mixture till it becomes a smooth, elastic dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place for an hour or till ~doubled in size.
  2. For the coating, combine the milk and butter in a small bowl and the sugars and cinnamon in another. Set aside.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll one portion into a log and cut it into 9 pieces. With a rolling pin, roll each piece out into a flat disc. Repeat for the other three portions.
  4. Spoon ~1 tsp red bean filling onto half of the discs. Top each with one of the remaining discs and pinch the edges to seal the filling inside.
  5. Dip each filled disc in the milk mixture and then rub some of the sugar mixture all over.
  6. Place 3 coated and filled discs in each buttered cupcake pan well. Let rest in a warm place for ~20 minutes for a second rise.
  7. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or till golden.


2 thoughts on “Year of the Monkey Bread

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