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Yeasted Sweet Dough

This is an extra rich yeast dough perfect for many baked goods; babka, cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes, etc. I've been making it forever always with great results. We've made a how-to video to make this perfect dough. Watch it here! It'll open up a whole new world of desserts; most of which can be made dairy-free. If you've made challah, you can make this dough ~ give it a try!

Kosher Status: Parve
Number of servings: makes 2 babka loaves or coffeecakes, 18 cinnamon rolls
Main Ingredient(s): Flour - Unbleached All Purpose
Preparation Time: 00:30
Cooking Time: 00:00
Skill Level: 2 (1 Easy - 5 Hard)
Estimated POINT value:
Average Rating: 5/5


  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 packages yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm soy milk (or real milk if dairy is okay)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup margarine, room temperature
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups of all purpose or bread flour


Dissolve the yeast in the water. Let it rest and bubble for a while.


Add the milk, sugar, salt, eggs, margarine and half the flour. Mix by hand with a wooden spoon or beat with a hand mixer.


Add the remaining flour, a little at a time, to form a soft dough. It shouldn't be sticky but it shouldn't be too stiff.


Knead the dough with a dough hook or by hand until very smooth, about 10 minutes.

The dough will stretch without tearing when kneaded enough.

Grease a bowl, add the dough upside down, and turn to have oiled side up. Cover with a tea towel until double in bulk.

Shape into desired shape.



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Jason: Table salt or kosher salt? If kosher, which brand do you use? (As you know, the actual amount of salt you get, when measuring by volume, changes dramatically between those three choices.)
Lynn: "dairy" not diary
Kathy: I'm confused. The written recipe calls for 1/2 C. water while in video, Leah says 1/4 Cup. And then the writen recipe says 2 eggs but in the video Leah uses 3 eggs. Looking forward to trying to make the Poppy Seed Roll using this dough recipe.
Leah: Okay, sorry for the delayed response; just figured out that the website wasn't designed to notify me of comments made. To Jason: I never use kosher salt; ever. Also, when baking in a commercial setting, we use weight not volume. To Lynn: Thanks for the spell check; I upload under duress: little sleep and guilt. I have someone combing the website for just those errors. He's up to recipe 50; it'll be a while! To Kathy: Another function of reducing a recipe for 28 pounds of dough to a few. I'll change the recipe as changing the video is not an option. It'll only make the dough richer. I'll change the water, too. At some point, I'm going by the feel. Too sticky, add a little more flour. Too wet, add a little more flour. You may have noticed that I basically quit giving the amounts of anything in the videos for just this reason. Once you get the hang of things, you'll realize that on a hot day you can use more water. On a cold day, more yeast. I appreciate your comments; trying to make something instructional so I shouldn't confuse matters. Thanks!
Kathy: Thanks for your recipes. I've got a poppy seed roll in the oven as I type this. I still have the other half of the dough to use. Can it be refrigerated or frozen or does it need to be used right away?
Leah: Hi Kathy, Yes, refrigerate the dough or freeze for longer storage. We usually shape the dough into babka or something and then freeze. Thaw and let rise before baking.
chava: can you please post this recipe for a bread machine, or is it pretty much the same following machine specifications?
Leah: Hi Chava, I have never used a bread machine! I use industrial Hobart mixers or do home batches by hand. That is part of the fun of bread making! I'm not sure what the adjustments are for a bread machine. If you adjust for this recipe, please let me know what you do. Thanks!
chana: can I use this dough for Challah? thanks
Maya: How long do you let the dough rise? Thanks!
Leah: I prefer to let the dough rest in the fridge for a few hours or over night. It gets rolled very thin so it doesn't need to get too puffy. But, it a forgiving dough that can be used after the first rise, especially for cinnamon rolls. Yum!
Barbara: Hi Leah happy I found you. Your yeasted sweet dough is very similar to my grandmother's recipe ..except she uses scalded and cooled milk, no water to mix with yeast. I will give you' say try. For the chocolate babka recipe, I don' see the amounts for the crumb much flour and sugar, please. I got the 1/2 stick of butter. Thanks. Barbara
Manuela: I have made this the cinnamon babka twice and both times there is a lot of liquid on the bottom of my pan after I take it out of the oven. I baked once w/unsalted butter than a second time with margarine and still got the same results. Is that normal? Also, does this receipt (dough) make two separate babka or am I supposed to cut in two then make the rope design. When I cut the dough in half i use just one to make a long rope (as shown on your video) than cut it in half. But it is very narrow when I place it in the pan. Just wondering. thanks
Tessa: About how much would a package of yeast be in tablespoons? Thanks Leah!
Leah: Hi Tessa, There are 2 1/4 teaspoons in a package of yeast (last I checked!). That is the amount I always use in calculating. Good luck!
Donna: Wondering if you could substitute sweetened condensed milk for the would make it pretty own mouth is watering now....
Donna: I didn't see the oven temp or cooking time...maybe I missed it but I set the oven at 350 for 30 minutes....just realized I forgot the eggs(?) I think but I think it will be ok...just not as yellow....and I tried it with the sweetened condensed milk just cause I had some in the fridge....
Batshevah: HI Leah. So happy just found your site! How much yeast is needed exactly in spoons? packages come in different sizes. Thank you.
Leah: Hi Batshevah, Here, our packages are about 2 1/4 teaspoons. Have fun!
Nancy: Hi, Leah! Love your website and videos. I was wondering how long (about) should I use the dough hook for this recipe? Kneeding is difficult for me due to arthritis. Thanks!
Leah: Hi Nancy - with my heavy duty mixer, I like a 12 minute knead. Smooth and elastic if the test - you want to be able to roll it thin without breaking. Good luck! Thanks for using the website :-)! Leah
sana: hi i just wanted to know how much is 2 packages yeast ? we get yeast in different sizes (in grams) in pakistan and uae. thanks
sana: sorry just saw your reply for yeast. so 2 packages will be 4.5 tsp?
Susan: You make everything look so easy on your videos. I cannot knead by hand so I use a mixer to knead. I wish my dough came out looking as nice and smooth as yours, but it does not even with the mixer kneading it. It did seem a bit dry. Can I add more water to it as it is kneading? Not sure how to get it smooth like yours.
Leah: Hi Susan, Well, I've been baking and cooking a long time - it is easy for me. I'm trying to make it easy for everyone else! rather than add more water while needing, back off on the flour at the start. Then, just add enough flour a little at a time so the dough comes together nice and smooth without being too dry. Hope that helps! Happy New Year!
Josie: This recipe is absolutely amazing! My husband is Israeli, and he's asked me throughout the years to bake a poppy seed roll like his grandmother used to bake. I came across your youtube video and decided to make a go at it. The rolls don't last for more than a day. I now have 4 Israeli guys that come over whenever I make this roll. They're all addicted to it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
Kristeen: I have watched your Video’s regarding the makings of the Cinnamon Walnut Babka Cake. When making the Yeasted Sweet Dough it is unclear on how much sugar you use in total. I’m guessing it is a ½ cup sugar added to the yeast, what is the amount of sugar added after the yeast mixture sits. I don’t see it in the Video or in the written down recipe and you just say to add the rest of the sugar. Help, can’t make this until I get this info. Love your website! Thanks!
Leah: Hi Kristeen - The total amount of sugar is 1/2 cup and it is added with the other ingredients and 1/2 the flour. The yeast isn't dissolved with the sugar - although, you could add a little. Or, you could throw everything into the bowl holding back a little flour and adding as necessary. I find the dough to be very forgiving - but, make it softer rather than too dry and tough. Have fun!
Monina S: Excellent recipe. Made it many times. I use my scale to measure all my ingredients since that is how I have been doing it for 40 yrs. the weather conditions can affect the recipe. This recipe reminds me of the Babka I used to purchase from one of our baked goods suppliers. Namely Diamond Bakery on Fairfax in Los Angeles. For the Yeasted Sweet Dough I use 1/4 cup warm water (quick 15 seconds in the microwave) 1/4 oz or 7 g Lesaffre SAF-instant Yeast (Red color pack) or any instant yeast 1/2 cup lukewarm regular milk (or sav milk) 1/2 cup of sugar (I remove 1 Tablespoon to add to the yeast and water) 1 teaspoon table salt ( any brand) 3 whole Large Eggs at room temperature ( I too check for blood) 4 oz or 113g butter (margarine) at room temperature 64-70 degrees. 41/2 cups or 563g of All Purpose flour ( King Arthur is my favorite). It contains 11.7% and Bread is 12.7 %. Any All Purpose that is your favorite will work. Since the dough will be sticky, I cover my board with a little flour and roll the dough on it. I slowly add more flour as I go (about 2 Tablespoons) by sprinkling a little more flour until I reach the smooth, stretch stage without tearing the dough. Leah advised to knead for 10 minutes and it's perfect. I let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. Leave it on the counter about 2 hrs on a cold day and 1-11/2 hr on a warm day. OMG! This Babka is always a hit anywhere I take it and anytime I serve it. Thank you Leah for posting and sharing not only this recipe, also the rugalach, and your hamentashen.

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Hi! Thank you for stopping by to watch me, Leah, cook kosher. I've been the owner operator of my boutique catering firm in Seattle, Leah's Catering, for the past 14 years.

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