Using a simple sweet raised dough recipe is wonderful to take advantage of with all the different variations that you can make. It’s so much nicer when you need a reliable base for baked treats such as raised coffee cakes, Easter and Paska breads, cinnamon rolls and raisin bread, good luck pretzels to other sweet rolls.
Another draw to using a sweet raised dough recipe it is less expensive for what you produce than using baking powder for sweet quick bread alternatives. I also love the fact that I have some much more freedom in changing what I decide to do to each form that I make from adding unique fillings, toppings, frostings, etc. from my basic recipe.
Some people may be intimated with recipes calling for yeast. My personal preference is always active dry yeast over cake yeast. For one, it seems more available in my area. Another is I buy a big one pound bag for less than $5.00 at GFS Marketplace (Gordon’s Food Service) because I bake all my breads instead of buying them.
The secret for any success with yeast is just not using overly hot water that could kill it. A good habit to get into is always testing the temperature inside the crook of your arm to make sure it’s not too hot, but very warm. Also, add a teaspoon of sugar to that water helps. It helps proof the yeast with all the bubbles that you’ll begin seeing after a few minutes.
If you’re more of a quick bread baker, I honestly hope you decide to take a chance and experiment with yeast. My recipe can help inspire you to expand your baking skills to make other forms of sweet dough or deviate the taste using my other recipes that I linked to above.
Sweet Raised Dough Recipe
- 1/3 cup very warm water
- 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast or 2 packets
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 can 5.33- fluid- oz. evaporated milk
- ½ cup melted butter or canola oil
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 7 to 7-1/2 cups of flour
In a large mixing bowl, add the very warm water, yeast and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Before proceeding, give the ingredients and stir and allow it to stand for about two or three minutes.
After that time is up, you will see some bubbling action afterwards to show you the yeast is growing. When you notice those bubbles, add the rest of the sugar, eggs, undiluted evaporated milk, melted butter or oil, salt, vanilla, and just three cups of the flour. I like to use a wooden spoon to incorporate this to initially stick the sweet raised dough recipe together. You will gradually be adding more of the flour until it forms a soft, but pliable dough that you can work without being overly sticky.
When you get to that stage, sprinkle some flour on your table or the surface that you usually bake on and knead the dough a bit until shaping into a big ball or two smaller balls. You keep them covered and allow them to grow for about an hour.
After that hour, punch the dough down again and continue growing for another before shaping.
To shape, I like to roll the dough into long strips. I cross two strips at a time to alternate and crisscross them.
Turn out on greased baking pans and let your shaped sweet raised dough grow covered for at least twenty minutes before transferring to a 350-degree oven for about twenty minutes or so, depending how your oven is regulated. Check the bottom to see if it is lightly browned can give you an indication that it is done.