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 McDowell
2 pounds of dough
whole milk (2.66 ounces)
water (2.00 ounces)
all-purpose flour (12.75 ounces)
active dry yeast (9 grams)
sugar (1.30 ounces)
unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (2.00 ounces)
In a small pot, heat the milk and water over medium heat. Warm the mixture until it reaches around 100 to 105°F.
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.
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.
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.
Divide the dough and shape as desired. Proof the shaped dough until nearly double in size before baking.
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.)
I always carry three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's pie. My first cookbook, The Fearless Baker, is out on October 24, 2017.