Warm, tender, and deliciously fragrant, yeast dough is the perfect accompaniment to a variety of baked goods. This yeast dough recipe is perfect for any savory recipe from bread rolls to Piroshki. It will be your go to dough recipe. A classic Russian yeast dough straight from babushka.
Everyone needs 2 yeast dough recipes, one for savory baking and the other for sweet yeast dough baking. Classic yeast dough is popular in Russian and Eastern European, and you can use it when making Cabbage Pie, Russian Salmon Pie, Fried Beef Piroshki, Pirog Meat Pie. It's even great for bread rolls, pizza dough and more.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Easy - anyone can make dough, and if you get stuck, follow along in the video instructions
- Multi-purpose - perfect for all savory recipes, you'll use this again and again
- Foolproof - get perfect dough every time!
- Instant Yeast - so easy, you can't screw this up
- Sugar and Salt
- Milk - warmed to lukewarm temperature
- Flour - all purpose flour is all you need
- Melted Butter
Instant Yeast doesn't need activating or proofing, so why do I recommend you do it? If you're anything like me, you probably have yeast in your pantry, and even thought it's not expired, it's best to be sure. It only adds minutes to your process, and you're guaranteed live yeast.
How to Make Yeast Dough
- Proof Yeast - mix yeast with ½ lukewarm milk and sugar and salt. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour allow to activate for 15 minutes (you will see bubbles and foam).
- Mix - in a large bowl, add remaining flour, milk with egg and melted butter. Pour in the activated yeast mixture and stir until it forms a shaggy ball.
- Knead - on a floured surface knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic
- Rise - place in oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and a kitchen towel. Place in warm spot. Takes about 1½ hours to rise. Punch down and gently knead before using.
Instant Yeast or Active Yeast?
Active Yeast or Instant Yeast are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. Active Yeast needs to be activated by mixing with a warm liquid and a pinch of sugar. This is the traditional way yeast was used by our mothers and grandmothers.
Active also isn't as potent as Instant Yeast. I used Instant Yeast in this recipe, prepared the same way by activating it with milk. I like the tradition of it all, and ensure the yeast is alive before I add it to the flour. If using Active Yeast for this recipe, just add an extra ½ teaspoon of yeast to compensate for the strength (as per recipe).
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- Avoid Heat - when the temperature is too hot, the yeast will die. Be careful of using too hot of an oven, avoid temperatures higher than 120°F/50°C
- Too Cold - feel like Goldilocks yet? If room temperature is too cold, then your yeast will take a long time to rise, it will get there but maybe turn up the heat a bit
- High Altitude - if you live in high altitudes, you might need less yeast as the dough can explode
- High Protein Flour - better for baking as has more gluten, try Canadian Flour
Can I Make Yeast Dough Ahead of Time?
- Fridge - After yeast dough rises, cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge. Use within 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before using.
- Freezer - if you have leftover dough, you can freeze it, but you must shape it into its final form. Good for little bread rolls, place on a baking sheet and freeze for a few hours. After they are frozen solid, place in a Ziploc bag. When defrosting, place on baking tray for a few hours until they rise, then bake.
Why Didn't My Yeast Dough Rise?
- Ensure the Yeast is alive. If it didn't bubble and rise during initial activation, the yeast is likely dead.
- Too hot or too cold. If the liquid you add is too hot, then it will kill the yeast, too cold, and the dough will not rise.
- Air exposure of old yeast in the cupboard. Yeast doesn't live indefinitely, so check expiration date.
Recipes You'll Love
A classic yeast dough that's versatile and can be used for any savory baking you need. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 ⅓ cup lukewarm warm milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon Instant Dry Yeast
- 4 cups flour
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- Pour yeast, sugar, salt, and ½ of the lukewarm milk in a bowl. Whisk together and mix in 2 tablespoons of flour. Allow to sit for 15 minutes until it starts to bubble and foam, seeing the yeast is activated.
- In a larger bowl, add the flour, egg, remaining milk and melted butter. Pour in the yeast mix and combine all together until it forms a dough ball. Knead on a floured surface for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Place back into an oiled bowl, cover loosely with cling wrap and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm place until it rises, about 1 ½ hours.
- Punch down dough to remove air, gently knead again before using.
©PetersFoodAdventures.com *originally posted September 2020, updated April 2023