Basic Sweet-Roll Dough

Total Time:
1 hr 35 min
1 hr 20 min
15 min

1 3/4 pounds dough


Warm 1/2 cup water and the milk in a saucepan over low heat until a thermometer registers 100 degrees F to 110 degrees F. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the yeast on top, then sprinkle with a pinch of the sugar; set aside, undisturbed, until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Whisk the melted butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the yeast mixture until combined. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, the remaining sugar, the salt and nutmeg. Make a well in the center, then add the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to make a thick and slightly sticky dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 6 minutes. Shape into a ball.

Brush a large bowl with butter. Add the dough, turning to coat lightly with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is doubled in size, about 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Turn the dough out of the bowl and knead briefly to release excess air; re-form into a ball and return to the bowl. Lightly butter a large piece of plastic wrap and lay it directly on the surface of the dough. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Photograph by Johnny Miller

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    Easiest Dough Ever! I don't normally bake but I was craving cinnamon rolls. This dough is perfect and my yeast rose properly. I did read everyone's comments and remembered to use the 1/2 cup water with the milk. Huge help!
    I used this to make Mexican Chocolate Loaf and it turned ot PERFECT!!!! I proofed my yeast I warm water out of the facet and some sugar... That way if it's dead ( and my first batch was) you're not wasting milk.... This whole thing was so fun to make and so DELISH!! I made the sweetbread one day and then the Mexican chocolate loaf the next... Everybody loved it... So easy to make and will try with cinnamon rolls next time...
    This is the second time making this. I usually leave the bread baking to my mom, but I wanted to try this great multipurpose dough. I had to proof the yeast with the 1/2c water only then added the milk. Dough was perfect and sticky. I used it to make the cinnamon rolls but thought the amount of butter and sugar were too sweet so I made 2 recipes of dough and split the butter and cinnamon/sugar mixture between the two recipes. Amazing taste, but Worth the half day effort!
    I have never reviewed a recipe before but wanted to warn people that there definitely is something wrong here. I followed all the directions- included the water, made sure the yeast wasn't expired, read through the directions first as others suggested- but the dough never rose. I tried to make monkey bread with this recipe. It's too bad- a lot of time and money was wasted.
    I have tried this two times also and can never get my yeast to activate. I'm so frustrated!
    I made this from the actual magizine and had no problems, they turned out great and both times I didnot make enough.
    Sorry to hear so many had trouble. Reading through the ingredients list AND the instructions at least once before attempting a new recipe is crucial. This dough is the easiest I've worked with.
    Did anyone else have trouble proofing their yeast?? Mine never seemed to foam up and i correctly did all the directions!
    Excellent dough - similar to other reviews you really need the extra water otherwise the dough is too dry. Also the dough may seem a little funky after you knead it the first time but if leave it alone overnight it turns to silk and is really easy to roll out.
    Take your time. Let the dough rise and you'll not regret it. The beautiful light dough is worth the wait.
    Used it to make cinnamon rolls and they were the best I've ever made. !!!!! DO NOT FORGET THE WATER LISTED IN THE DIRECTIONS BUT NOT IN THE INGREDIENT LIST !!!!!!! I had to throw out my first attempt because the dough was way too dry.
    I love this recipe. I've used it twice and it was great both times. There was one time my yeast was dead but I caught it before I added it to the flour mixture because it didn't foam like it should. I love making cinnamon rolls now!
    ATTENTION!!!! It just occurred to me the second time making this that the recipe only lists 1/2 cup of milk in the ingredients list, but it says in the directions to mix this with 1/2 cup of WATER AS WELL! Not adding that half cup of water would probably yield the dry dough everyone is talking about in the reviews!!! 
    absolutely delicious for cinnamon rolls. i followed the directions exactly and everything was moist and rose fine. if it doesn't rise for you, check your yeast, its probably expired. i'm also not sure how some reviewers might have found this to be dry. it was VERY sticky at first and i was worried it would be impossible to roll out. letting it sit for those four hours/overnight is very important. i put the dough in the fridge over night and let it rise in an oven after i briefly heated it to 200 degrees. after making it re-heated really well a few hours later.
    I made the dough recipe that was in the magazine today and it was horrible, very, very dry almost like a pie crust dough. I ended up making Paula Dean's dough recipe and worked perfectly. Should have looked here first. Will try it again and add the 1/2c of water. 
    Love this recipe - had NEVER baked homemade cinnamon rolls before in my life.....and now I have twice and both times my dough has been perfect and the rolls are so yummy. Everyone in the house loves them. I definitely will be using this dough to make the other desserts in the magazine. Next up will be the monkey bread!
    The dough was never soft or sticky.It was very very dry and didn't come together. I noticed that this recipe is almost the same as Almost-Famous Cinnamon Buns. It has the same ingredients and quantities except for the milk. The later has 1 cup and the Basic Sweet Dough calls for 1/2 cup. That would make a huge difference.
    Awful!!! The dough did not rise at all. I thought we'll ill just go with it and baked them. They were kind of like scones... The taste was there but the roll part was horrible.
    I love this dough. It is light and fluffy and super moist. I made the cinnamon rolls today and I am going to try the monkey bread tomorrow. Can't wait.  
    For those of you that found this dough to dry did you notice that you need to warm half a cup of water and half a cup of milk?
    Horrible recipe! Dough was WAY too dry. I had to add additional milk just to get it to come together. Furthermore, it did not rise. A waste of perfectly good ingredients.
    This dough was delicious, although I did have to add more flour than the recipe called for, but that tends to happen with dough recipes.
    This dough was so dry I had to add a little extra splash of milk otherwise it just fell apart. Extremely difficult to roll out, I will be sticking to my family recipe going forward.
    For some reason my dough was never sticky. Perhaps it needed more milk or less flour? My hands are still sore from kneading it ;, Disappointment.
    I made this dough for the cinnamon rolls they were delicious! It was the best dough I thought it was too sticky at first but the rolls were perfect. Will definitely make again!
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