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The Ultimate Basic Sweet Dough Recipe

In the world of baking, a basic sweet dough recipe has the same place as a king in a kingdom. You can not make anything without it.

I still remember those chilly winter mornings when I first started baking, and my mother introduced me to the sweet yeast dough.

It was like discovering magic for the first time. I made a whole batch for a week and tried new things every day. Since then, it has been a kind of constant in my life.

Now, in this quarantine, my daughter got interested in baking, and it was the perfect time to teach her about the basic sweet yeast dough.

In this article, I will share the simplest recipe for Basic Sweet Dough. The internet is overwhelmed with a lot of enriched dough recipes. But mine would help you to learn more effectively if you are a newbie.

Sweet Dough can be used to make crumbs, sweet rolls, and many more recipes like them. You can make as many delicious recipes as you want with Sweet Dough.

Thida Bevington’s wonderful recipe is my inspiration for this sweet dough which I’m sharing with you all. Before we get into that, let’s learn what different types of sweet dough are and how you can use them.

Types of Dough Based on Ingredients

Enriched Dough

Enriched dough comprises all the premium ingredients that give a unique flavor and aroma to the dough and, ultimately, the baked goods.

In this type of dough, there are intricate layers of butter that are laminated in different folds of the dough. Examples include Danish Pastry and Babka Bread etc.

Lean Dough

The lean dough is a simpler dough that has no complicated ingredients. It is perfect for beginners who do not want to get into the complications just yet—for example, pita, Ciabatta, etc.

Types of Dough on the basis of Consistency

Another Category of dough is based on the flour to water ratio.

Stiff Dough

It has more flour and less water, hence the consistency is stiff. You can make pastries from this kind of dough.

Soft Dough

As the name indicates, it is a softer inconsistency because of more water and less flour. This type of dough is used in the making of yeast bread.

How to Make Basic Sweet Dough?

basic sweet dough with yeast

I am trying this Recipe with Yeast, but you can also make sweet dough without yeast. So, let’s get towards the ingredients of our recipe.


  • Four Tablespoon Butter
  • Three cups of Milk
  • One Teaspoon Yeast
  • One big-sized Egg
  • Two Cups of Wheat Flour
  • Salt to Taste

Preparing all the ingredients before cooking anything is the quality of a good chef. So, I prepared all the ingredients before kneading the Sweet Dough. The quantities of ingredients that I have shared are for one person serving.


ᴥ Take a clean bowl and start with cracking the egg cleanly in the bowl.

ᴥ Put the given quantity of butter in the saucepan and melt it on a low flame. When the butter is melted completely, add 3 cups of milk to it and stir it at a temperature between 37°C to 43 °C for a minute.

ᴥ I have used a stand mixer for preparing the sweet dough, but you can also use a food processor for better results.

ᴥ Now pour the mixture of milk and butter into the stand mixer. Also, add yeast powder and sugar according to your taste. Because some people like sweeter foods. So, the quantity of sugar is up to your choice.

ᴥ Now, leave the mixture for 6-7 minutes until the yeast starts to get fluffy.

ᴥ Take the cracked egg and add it to the above mixture after slightly beating it. Stir the mixture again.

ᴥ After adding salt and flour to the mixture prepared above, turn the mixture ON and let it knead for 5 minutes on medium speed.

ᴥ After five minutes, you will see the ball of dough has started appearing inside the stand mixer. (You can also knead the dough by hand, it would also give the same results.)

ᴥ Now, coming back to the stand mixer. Open the mixer and check the dough; it will be silky and soft. Take out the dough from the mixer and shape it cleanly into a ball.

ᴥ Take another bowl and brush it with oil. Put the Sweet Dough ball into the greased bowl and let it sit for 2 hours. Cover it with a plastic sheet. Time may vary due to the variation in the room temperature.

ᴥ In these two hours, the yeast will do its magic, and the dough will start rising and becomes fluffy and light.

ᴥ Your Sweet Dough is now ready. You can make any kind of delicious rolls and crumbs with it.

If you do not know how to feed you sourdough starter. You can read our extenisve guide. 

Making Nutella Swirls with the Sweet Dough

Nutella swirls with sweet dough

Nutella swirls are the yummiest thing that can be ever made from the Sweet Dough. They are also my favorite, and I’m sharing the famous recipe with you.

Roll out the kneaded dough into six square patches and brush melted butter over them.

Sprinkle tiny sugar cubes and also some Nutella chocolate chips.

Now again roll them up and seal with hand pressure. With light, the pressure gets them into a swirl shape.

Again brush the melted butter and sprinkle sugar and chocolate chips over them one by one.

Put the tray in the oven and set the temperature to 350F. Bake them for 25 minutes or until they give a brownish color.

After 25 minutes take the swirls out and let them cool for some time.

 Tips for Making Sweet Dough Recipe

  • Be sure you use active yeast, not some old one. Active yeast will make the dough soft and fluffy. I’ll tell you how you can differentiate between active yeast and old yeast. Before kneading the sweet dough, take some flour and add water and a pinch of yeast to test. Mix it gently and leave for 4-5 minutes. If the flour rises or becomes fluffy, then your yeast is active and safe to use, but in the opposite case, you should bring a new one.
  • If you have shaped more rolls or swirls, then simply put them in the freezer and bake them when you want. Frozen food doesn’t get spoiled very quickly.
  • The temperature of the milk should be 115F.
  • Use the ingredients according to the quantity mentioned. As if you use more water, then your dough will get more sticky, and to overcome this stickiness, don’t use extra flour. This will dry out your dough. Simply leave the dough to overcome the stickiness.

Why is my sweet dough recipe sticky?

Your Sweet Dough can come out to be sticky for two reasons. First, you have used too much water while kneading. This leads to more stickiness.

The second reason is you have used cold water as cold water is responsible for releasing glutens that cause stickiness in your sweet dough.

So as a tip for making sweet dough less sticky, use warm water.

What makes dough light and fluffy?

Yeast is the secret behind fluffy dough. The growth of yeast results in the creation of carbon dioxide gas. This CO2 gas will make your dough fluffier and lighter.

Secondly, you can knead the dough again and again 3 to 4 times to make it fluffy, soft, and light.

How do you make the dough softer?

Kneading a softer dough is very simple. Just follow my instructions for this. Add some water, some drops of lemon juice, and a small quantity of gluten and yeast to your dough before kneading. Mix them lightly and knead.

This tip will help you soften all the types of sweet dough recipe that has turned hard mistakenly.

Can you freeze the basic sweet dough?

Yes, that is the purpose of this dough. You can make a batch for a whole month and freeze it in a plastic bag and use it over time for different recipes. The thawing process is simple, either put it in the fridge overnight or keep it on the kitchen counter until it’s soft.

How to make dough without yeast?

If you do not have yeast available, you can always use baking soda and some kind of acid to substitute it. For the acid component, lemon juice or buttermilk is a perfect choice.

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Amy Nicholson

Hi, My name is Amy Nicholson and I am a Food blogger and writer, also a food lover, and sharing food recipes with my loving readers. I am also a Lead writer at EO Food and Drinks. If you want to share any idea of your favorite recipe, you can share it with me.

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