Simply Sweet Dough
Makes 2 1/2 Pounds of Dough
- 1 package active dry yeast (0.ounce)
- 1/4 cup warm (110º to 115ºF) filtered or bottled noncarbonated water
- 1/2 cup warm (110º to 115ºF) 1% low-fat milk
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- In a medium bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water and mix with a spoon until the yeast dissolves. Let the mixture proof for about 5 minutes. Small clusters of chalky-looking bubbles should appear on the surface. Stir in the milk. With a fork, beat in the eggs one at a time. Set the mixture aside.
- To make the dough in a bowl, mix together 4 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, and salt. Break up the butter over the dry ingredients and work it in with your hands until a crumbly mixture is obtained. Add the yeast mixture and mix with your hands until a ball of dough is formed. Add additional flour if necessary to obtain a dough that is soft but not too sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it for 3 to 4 minutes, until a smooth ball of dough forms. Let the dough rest on the work surface for 10 minutes, covered with a towel or inverted bowl. Knead the dough again for 5 minutes, until smooth and no longer sticky.
- Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking oil spray or lightly coat with butter. Gather up the dough, place it in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
- When the dough has risen to approximately two times its size, use two fingers to make two indentations into the center of it. If the indentations do not close up, the dough is sufficiently risen and ready to use.