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Time for another basic recipe, this week sweet yeast dough and one delicious idea what to do with it included. How this idea emerged? Well last Saturday I was playing around with yeast dough a little bit – and yes I`m totally aware of how ambiguous this phrase sounds – anyway back to the sweet yeast dough. Honestly I haven`t been making any since last Easter. Why? Well there`s a certain fear I had towards sweet yeast dough for the last years. I`ve never seen a trickier ingredient than sweet yeast dough. Maybe it`s just me, but I had so many of them not rising or not being fluffy enough, that I tried to avoid working with it most of the time. Fun fact; I used to not have any trouble with non-sweet bread dough made with yeast. No idea why, but I guess maybe it`s the lack of plant-based milk and margarine.
But at one point we all have to face our fears, isn`t it? So as many of you were asking for basic recipes and probably are struggling with the same yeast dough problematic, I decided to grow myself a pair of balls by sharing an easy basic sweet yeast dough recipe, which is bullet-proof. If you stick to everything in this post your yeast dough will be a success! So no more bailing out, it`s time to get your hands dirty with flour and overcome your fear. Please note that we`re talking about fresh yeast in this post. I rarely use dry yeast, mainly because you just don`t get the same results in fluffiness and rising with dry yeast compared to fresh yeast. Also be aware of the fact that you can`t substitute fresh yeast by the same amount of active dry yeast. One fresh yeast cube (=42g) is equal to 2 packages (=14g) of dried yeast.
Ready? Nice, then let`s first discuss some fundamental things about yeast dough. These facts are essential and if you don`t take them serious your dough probably won`t work out as expected. Basically when you`re working with yeast you have to understand what yeast is and how it works. So let me explain briefly. Yeast is a living organism, more precisely it`s a species of fungus. If we think about yeast as a living organism, we understand, that the fate of your dough is already determined by the way you store it. Always make sure your fresh yeast is stored airtight in the fridge. Yeast starts propagating over 30° Celsius and desiccates without proper packaging. Both will reduce the power of your yeast. Also make sure to use fresh yeast as quick as possible, the longer you store it, the more power it will lose. In return you can freeze fresh yeast without any problems. The freezing process won`t reduce the activity of your yeast. Just be aware, that your yeast will be liquid after defrosting, which is why I recommend putting it in a glass or container before putting in the freezer.
Get it? Perfect, then let`s move on to fermentation, the process taking place when your yeast dough actually is rising. There are three important points that influence the outcome of the fermentation process, thus for the amount your dough is going to rise. First temperature, second sugar and third time. I already told you above that yeast starts propagating around 30° Celsius, fermentation is similar. Higher temperatures accelerate the fermentation. There`s a but though! Temperatures over 40° Celsius will kill the yeast and your dough won`t rise at all. So what to do now? I always recommend to use lukewarm water or to heat plant-based milk and let it cool down to room temperature. If you use margarine make sure it has room temperature. Like that you provide the perfect environment for your yeast. The liquid you dissolve your yeast in should be between 20° and 32° degrees. Also make sure to provide a warm (20-30° degree) environment during the time your dough is raising. You can put it in a lukewarm oven or next to an oven during cold seasons.
Sugar is the second most important thing. You all know that I try to avoid refined sugar most of the time. One exception is yeast dough. Yeast needs sugar as it`s the main food to ferment. Of course you can use xylitol or any other sugar alternative, but don`t expect to get the same results. And please don`t add any salt to your yeast mixture as it will stop the whole process. Salt belongs to the flour and sugar to the yeast.
Third aspect is the time you give your dough to rise. There`s a huge difference between letting your dough rise for 30 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours. But be aware that letting it rise for too long will make your dough collapse at one point. It`s all based on the chemical reaction yeast is making in combination with flour and sugar, which I don`t want to dwell on too much. The main question is, what is the best rising time for a sweet yeast dough? I would say everything between one hour and 2 hours. Of course the raising time always depends on the amount of yeast you use. If you are using less yeast, your dough needs more time and vice-versa. Basic rule; your dough should double in size, if not, it needs more time or you didn`t consider one of the above mentioned points. Also note, that the dough needs to rise another 15 to 30 minutes as soon as you finished processing it into whatever you want to do with it. For example I put the rolls into the apples and let them rise another half an hour. This provides maximum fluffiness.
That`s literally the whole magic of making the perfect yeast dough. Suddenly not scary at all anymore right? Before I forget it, there are some voices who advise making a mother dough. I believe if you do or don`t do it lays in the eye of the beholder. Honestly I don`t do any mother dough for yeast based-dough, but some claim you get fluffier and more even results. For that very reason, I didn`t go into the matter of mother doughs.
Now we have been talking a lot about yeast dough, but what about these stuffed apples. Well folks, I have to say, they are a pure delight. There`s no better combination than apples and marzipan! Ok maybe apples and cinnamon, but that`s an old shoe. And somewhere far back in my brain I remembered a Tasty video stuffing apples with cinnamon rolls. So I thought, hey why not making a fusion of stuffed oven baked apples and marzipan rolls – as a variation of cinnamon rolls – and this is how these marzipan roll stuffed apples emerged. One of my best ideas ever honestly spoken! But see it for yourself by trying these sweet little babies.
Read you soon,
Basic Sweet Yeast Dough
- 500 g spelt flour organic
- 300 ml oat milk, lukewarm organic
- 42 g fresh yeast organic
- a pinch of salt organic
- a pinch of sugar organic
- 30 g cinnamon sugar or regular sugar organic
- 55 g vegan margarine
Mix flour and salt together.
Heat oat milk in a pan and let it cool down to at least 30° Celsius. Add a pinch of sugar to the milk.
Dissolve yeast in the sugar oat milk mixture.
Pour dissolved yeast to the flour and add the margarine and cinnamon sugar as well.
Mix and knead using a kitchen machine with dough hook until you got a smooth dough that is elastic and doesn`t stick anymore (approximately 5-10 minutes).
Dust a bowl with flour, put the dough in there, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for 1 up to 2 hours. After that your dough is ready to be processed into whatever you like.
Marzipan Roll Stuffed Apples
- 1/4 yeast dough from the recipe above about 250g dough
- 250 g marzipan
- 1-2 tbsp apple star fruit jam apple jam works as well
- 1-2 tbsp margarine
- 6 apples organic
Preheat the oven at 180° Celsius.
Whilst the dough is rising, prepare the apples. Remove the stem and carve out the apple starting from the upper part. Carve a hole big enough for the rolls to fit, but don`t break the outside of the apple. You can make apple sauce with the removed apple flesh instead of throwing it away.
Sprinkle some flour on a flat surface. Roll out the dough into a rectangluar shape. Roll out the marzipan as well. It should be about the same shape and size like your dough.
Baste apple jam onto the dough and place rolled out marzipan on top of the dough. Start rolling up the dough from the long side. Cut the roll into pieces and you got your marzipan rolls.
Melt margarine and baste the inside of the apples with margarine. Put one marzipan roll into each apple and let rise for another 30 minutes.
Put the apples on a baking sheet and bake them for 30 up to 40 minutes in the oven.