Sweet Dough

April 12, 2016
5 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 2 pounds of dough
Author Notes

This is a basic enriched dough—a little buttery, plenty soft, and lightly sweetened. It's a good back-pocket recipe for building all kinds of pastries—check my profile for a few ideas of how to use it! The recipe makes 2 pounds, but you can multiply it by 1 1/2, 2, or even 3 times perfectly depending on your intended use. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (2.66 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup water (2.00 ounces)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (12.75 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (9 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (1.30 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (2.00 ounces)
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked (1.75 ounces)
  1. In a small pot, heat the milk and water over medium heat. Warm the mixture until it reaches around 100 to 105°F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour, yeast, and sugar to combine, 30 seconds. Add the salt and mix to combine, 10 seconds more.
  3. Add the milk/water mixture to the mixer, along with the butter and egg. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Raise speed to medium and mix for 3 minutes more. The dough should be smooth and not overly sticky.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large bowl lightly greased with nonstick spray. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until double in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  5. Divide the dough and shape as desired. Proof the shaped dough until nearly double in size before baking.
  6. You can make it one day ahead and refrigerate it overnight. Either bring the dough to room temperature before shaping, or shape it cold but account for extra rise time. (Eventually it will get over-proofed even in the refrigerator, so only make it one day ahead of time, maximum.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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    Marina D Polak
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

6 Reviews

Valerie G. September 19, 2020
Thank you. RE: the mixing speed. KitchenAid stand mixers always say never to mix bread faster than the low setting. Probably because otherwise you run the risk of burning out the motor. Do you mix on a higher speed with a KA and throw caution to the wind? or are you only recommending a different kind of mixer? Or just be sure to use a higher-end KA mixer (even tho they also say don't mix bread on speeds below 2).
alisonia October 3, 2019
I made these yesterday as rolls in the Emile Henry crown mold and they were perfect and delicious. I think the key to having my yeast doughs rise is that I set them in a barely warmed oven. I pre-heat my oven to 100* F, turn it off and crack the door open. Five minutes later I set the dough inside the oven to rise, but keep the oven door cracked open. This works for me every time, so hopefully people who have problems with rising on their countertops will find it useful.
Marina D. April 11, 2021
Did you proof in the fridge? Re EH crown-do the fit perfectly?
Sandra June 7, 2019
Are the units in parentheses by weight or volume?
vaughan January 9, 2017
I found the dough to be easy and delicious. Made it in the afternoon, let it sit for awhile and then made cinnamon rolls. Let them rise on the counter overnight. Baked up beautifully at 6:00 in the morning. Made enough for 9 rolls to fit into a standard 8by8 pan. thanks!
Samantha T. May 1, 2016
Made this last night and turned out terribly. Possibly if you let the yeast sit in the milk for 5 minutes and then add it in, it would turn out better.