In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine half of the flour with one-fourth cup of the sugar, the salt, and the yeast. Heat the milk and one-fourth cup of the butter in a heavy saucepan until the mixture reaches 120° to 130°F on an instant-read thermometer. Add the milk/butter mixture and the egg to the flour/sugar mixture in the mixer bowl. Mix on medium speed until moist. Add the remainder of the flour and stir until the dough is easy to handle.
Combine the remaining one-third cup sugar with the cinnamon in a small bowl, and mix to blend. Set aside.
Turn the dough out of the bowl onto a clean work surface; knead the dough for five minutes. Sprinkle with flour if the dough becomes too sticky. Shape the dough into 24 balls. Dip each ball into the melted butter and roll into the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Arrange the dough balls in the greased tube pan, cover, and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a tube pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and invert on a platter. Allow to cool a bit before pulling apart the balls.
Monkey muffins are a faster, easier version of monkey bread that you can make when you don't have much time. All you need is a can (10 count) of refrigerated biscuits, one-third cup of melted butter, one-third cup sugar mixed with a heaping tablespoon of cinnamon, and a muffin tin.
Cut each biscuit into three pieces, shape the pieces into balls, and roll in the melted butter and cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place three dough balls into each muffin cup and bake according to biscuit package directions.