Basic Sweet Yeast Dough

Perfectly soft and fluffy yeast dough every single time

What are your thoughts on yeast dough? Are you perfectly confident making it or do you feel like every time is a challenge and a nightmare? 

​had a very rough and demanding relationship with Mr. Yeast Dough for such a long time. There were even moments when I was thinking this will never work out and it is better for us to part ways.. However, the stubborn me that I am, couldn´t give up that easy. So I decided I will give this relationship more patience and time to make it work. And you know what? That is exactly what it needed, patience.

When ​it comes to working with yeast, the key is to take your time and not rush with it.I know we are living in a busy world where no one has time. However, some things do need time and you should give it to them. There are other ways, faster ways, of making yeast dough, but the results will then also not be the same. That being said, if you want a really pillowy bun, then give it all the time it needs. You need to first allow the yeast to start reactingat the start of the preparation and here you will also see right away whether the yeast you are using is good. Then you need to prove the dough for at least one hour,work it with your hands for five to ten minutes adding in some flour to get it right and then prove again for an hour. This way the air bubbles will have enough time to form and once you bake it, you will be greeted by a super soft bun.

I have tried to explain everything thoroughly in the recipe and show it in the tutorial, but I would like to make a little list here to cover the main points, let us call this a check sheet for making a perfectly soft yeast dough:

  1. If possible, always use fresh yeast. Since I started using fresh yeast I have never looked back. Get your yeast just a couple of days before making the dough, to make sure it is the freshest possible.

  2. Make sure the liquid (milk and yogurt mix) is warm when you add it to the yeast. You don´t want it to be hot as that will destroy the yeast, but you also don´t want it to be cold. I always test with a clean finger and if it feels warm to touch I know it is perfect.

  3. After the first 15 minutes proving time, check that the yeast has started to react. If it has not then it is probably not good and there is no point for you to waste any further ingredients.

  4. Once you have all ingredients in the bowl start mixing on low first and then mix on high for at least 4-5 minutes. 

  5. Don´t rush! Very important. Allow the dough to raise at least for an hour. 

  6. Prove the dough in a warm place. If you are not sure whether the room temperature is enough, you can turn your oven on to a minimum, then turn it off and place the covered dough in a heat-proof bowl into the oven. If it is cold in your home and you don´t place the dough to a warm place it will not be able to raise as well.

  7. Once the dough has had at least one hour to raise you want to start working it with your hands. The recipe calls for only 450g flour because the rest you want to add later and work it into the dough while checking for the perfect structure. You want to add only as much as to reach a spongy, soft dough that doesn´t stick to your hands. 

  8. The dough deflates while you work it with your hands and that is why you want to raise it again for an hour after you have made the buns, rolls or cake. 

I hope that with these instructions you will feel more confident about making a yeast dough and can make your own sweet buns, rolls or cakes, rather than buying them. I can assure you, nothing beats a super fluffy warm yeast bun :)

And before I leave you taking in all that information, here is some delicious recipe inspiration for you, for which you can use this Basic Yeast Dough Recipe:

Finnish Laskiaspulla Cream Bun

Super Soft & Fluffy Cinnamon Roll

Rahkapulla - Finnish Cream Cheese Bun

Festive Citrus Bun

German Poppy Seed Cake

Happy Baking Lovelies!

Step by Step Video

RECIPE

Basic Sweet Yeast Dough

Perfectly soft and fluffy yeast dough every single time

​INGREDIENTS

  • 450g flour + extra as needed

  • 50g sugar

  • 25g fresh yeast (believe me it is worth it using fresh yeast :))

  • 250ml warm milk (about 35°C) (I usually just test with a hand that it is warm to touch but not hot)

  • 160g natural yogurt (10% fat)

  • 75g soft butter

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add flour at the bottom of the bowl of your standing mixer just to cover the bottom. Make a well in the middle.

  2. Add the sugar into the well and crumb the yeast over the sugar.

  3. Mix the warm milk with the yogurt. Make sure the yogurt is at room temperature before mixing it with the milk so that the whole mix remains warm. Then pour the mixture over the dry ingredients.

  4. Cover with a towel for 15 minutes.

  5. Then add the rest of the flour and the soft butter. Knead with a dough hook, first on a low setting and then on the high setting for about 5 minutes if using a standing mixer. With a hand mixer this might take longer, see video for how the dough should look by the end of mixing.

  6. Sprinkle some flour over the dough, cover with cling film and then with a towel and allow to raise for at least an hour in a warm place. If it is very cold in your house you can also raise the dough in the oven. Heat your oven to 50°C and then turn it off. Place the dough with a heat proof bowl into the oven to raise.

  7. Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and transfer the risen dough onto the flour. Sprinkle over some more flour and start working the dough with your hands. At this point the dough might feel very soft, but don´t worry about it. Add flour to the dough little by little until it starts to get a bit firmer and stops sticking to your fingers (see video). Add just enough flour for the dough to become soft and spongy. At this point it should also stop sticking to your fingers.

  8. Use the dough right away to make sweet buns, cinnamon rolls or any other sweet yeast dough treat. (Recipe suggestions available above)

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