You'll love this Master Sweet Dough recipe with easy to follow instructions, including video. A universal dough recipe to make desserts like cinnamon rolls, sweet buns or even doughnuts.
There are many ways to make sweet dough and this is based on a Russian dough called cлaдkoe cдoбнoe тecтo, (sdobnoye for short). It's like an Eastern European sweet dough recipe we use for everything. This yeast dough recipe is made with milk.
Ingredients You'll Need
- yeast - instant dry yeast
- lukewarm milk - 105°F-115°F (40°C-46°C)
- white sugar
- flour - regular all purpose flour
- white sugar
- melted butter
Types of Yeast for Sweet Dough
Yeast is versatile and there are slight differences but they are mostly interchangeably used. Technically only the fresh yeast needs to be activated before use, but I activate all yeasts to ensure they are alive.
Instant Dry Yeast - quickly dissolves and can be added dry into your recipe
Rapid Rise Yeast - a strong rising yeast, only needs one rise before use
Active Yeast - similar to Instant Yeast, not as finely ground, used the same
Fresh Yeast - strong flavored yeast sold in a block. If using fresh yeast, double the amount of yeast in the recipe below, crumble it and add it liquids to activate as per recipe
How to Make Sweet Dough
- Activate Yeast - mix yeast with ½ lukewarm milk with 1 tablespoon sugar. Whisk in ½ cup flour and allow to site for 15 minutes until it activates.
- Mix - whisk 2 eggs, salt, sugar and melted butter together. Add rest of the milk. Pour into activated yeast mixture and slowly add flour until it forms.
- Knead - on a floured surface knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic
- Rise - place in oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in warm spot. Takes about 1½ hours to rise. Punch down down and gently knead before using.
Melted Butter or Oil
Making Sweet Dough is usually made with melted butter. Butter provides richer flavor and nicer texture. However, you can also use oil. Substituting oil is more economical than butter and still makes a fantastic dough. If using oils, keep it light and neutral like Sunflower Oil, Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil.
Recipe Tips and FAQs
- Proofing in Oven - a warm place can be hard to find for yeast to rise. Place in an oven with the light on, or place in the oven kept warm at 85°F/30°C.
- Oil the Bowl - after kneading, oil the bowl before adding the dough to rise. This makes it easier to come out when ready, and I often forget (see video).
- Rise Twice - after initial proofing, punch down again, cover, and allow to rise a second time. This is why it can take all day to make yeast dough. However, dough that's risen once also works fantasic in your baking.
- Make it Sweeter - this recipe uses 6 tablespoons of sugar, for a sweeter dough, use 8 tablespoons
Do I Need To Activate Yeast?
Dry Yeasts don't technically need to be activated, however I highly recommend. There is a chance yeast is old and not as effective, or even dead. If the yeast is old, your dough will not rise. It's a waste of time and ingredients and you have to start again from scratch. Fresh Yeast needs to be activated before using.
I like the tradition of activating yeast, and to see the bubbles come alive. If it doesn't bubble up, then don't mix it into the flour, and have less wastage.
Making Sweet Dough in Advance
Fridge Method - Prepare the dough as per recipe. After punching it down and gently kneading, place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge. Use the dough within 24 hours.
Freezer Method - freezing sweet dough works best when dough is shaped into its final form before freezing. Place formed balls on a baking sheet and freeze for a few hours until frozen solid. Put into a Ziploc bag, freeze and use within 1 month. To defrost, place on an oiled sheet and defrost for about 4 hours until it has risen. Bake as per instructions.
What to make with Sweet Dough?
You'll love sweet dough because it's so versatile and can be used in so many recipes. If the recipe calls for a sweet yeast dough, you can substitute with the recipe.
- Old Fashioned Blueberry Pie
- Cinnamon Buns with Amazing Cream Cheese Frosting
- German Plum Cake
- Vatrushka Sweet Cheese Buns
- Blueberry Piroshki
- Shanezhki Cheese Pastry with Strawberries
It's not scary to make sweet yeast dough if you follow along in the video. A classic Russian and Slavic recipe that is versatile for so many recipes. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1⅓ cups lukewarm milk
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups flour plus more for kneading
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons melted butter or oil
- Pour yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar and ½ of the lukewarm milk in a bowl. Whisk together and mix in ½ cup of flour. Allow to sit for 15 minutes in a warm place until it starts to bubble and foam, then the yeast is activated.
- In a bowl, mix together 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, 5 tablespoons sugar, 5 tablespoons melted butter. Mix in the remaining milk. Pour into the yeast mixture and slowly add the remaining flour until it forms a dough ball.
- Knead on a floured surface, adding more flour if needed, for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Place back into bowl, cover with cling wrap. Place in a warm place until it rises, about 1 ½ hours. Punch down dough, gently knead and you are ready to use.
©PetersFoodAdventures.com *originally published July 2020, updated March 2023