Basic yeast dough recipe – with many tips and vegan variant

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A yeast dough can be used in many ways. From it you can conjure up a delicious pastry – whether sweet or savory. Prepared correctly, it tastes airy, light and juicy at the same time. It’s not difficult to make yeast dough at home. But you should follow a few tips. A detailed basic yeast dough recipe with exact quantities and step-by-step instructions can be found below.

Basic yeast dough recipe

Use only warm ingredients

The ingredients used for a yeast dough must not be cold.

The liquid in which yeast is dissolved must be lukewarm so that the leavening power of the yeast is quickly activated. It must also not be hot so as not to kill the yeast.

All other ingredients should be at room temperature. That means if you want to make your dough with eggs and butter, get them out of the refrigerator early and let them get room warm.

Do not use more flour than necessary

To ensure that your pastry tastes fluffy and not dry, do not knead more flour than necessary into the dough. Under no circumstances should the dough become too firm.

Since flour can absorb different amounts of liquid, and eggs have different sizes, the amount of flour given in each recipe may be different for you. You may need a little more or a little less flour.

For this reason, you should always add flour in batches to the liquid mixture and check the consistency of the dough each time. It is just right when your dough is soft and slightly sticky.

Yeast dough recipe

Knead thoroughly

After you have incorporated the necessary portion of flour, knead your yeast dough thoroughly. You should knead it for about 7 – 10 minutes before you let it rise.

A food processor or a hand mixer with dough hooks is the best way to do it. Of course, you can also do it with your hands.

When you have kneaded the dough sufficiently, it will separate from the edge of the bowl and form a ball on the dough hooks. It also becomes elastic, smooth and hardly sticky.

Ideal room climate

A yeast dough loves warmth and also needs sufficient humidity. So let it rise, covered, in a warm place, but definitely not in a hot one.

You can place the mixing bowl with the dough near a heater or in the oven with the light on. Cover it with a damp tea towel**.

I usually put a container of hot water (boiled in the kettle just before) in the turned off oven and let my yeast dough rise there with the oven door closed.

In addition, a yeast dough does not tolerate drafts and must not come into contact with cold utensils or work surfaces.

Fluffy sweet buns

Allow enough time to rise

A yeast dough needs time to rise well. You should give it this time so that your pastry tastes fluffy and delicious later.

A yeast dough should rise for about 1 hour. It should at least double in volume.

The baked goods will be even finer if you let the dough rise twice. That means you let it rise for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, then knead it briefly and let it rise for another 30 – 40 minutes.

The rising time of a yeast dough always depends on the room temperature. The colder it is in the room, the slower it rises. Of course, you must not put the dough in a hot place, because otherwise the yeast’s leavening power will be killed.

The time it takes for a yeast dough to rise also depends on the ingredients. The more fat and sugar the dough contains, the longer it must rise.

However, you should not let a yeast dough rise indefinitely. Otherwise it could collapse.

You should also let the ready formed dough pieces rise in a warm place for about 20 – 30 minutes before baking.

Basic yeast dough recipe with dry yeast

I usually use fresh yeast for my dough.

However, you can use dry yeast instead of fresh yeast in the basic yeast dough recipe, which you can find in the recipe box here at the end of the post.

The amount of dry yeast you need for a given amount of flour is on the package of your yeast.

Usually, you need three times less dry yeast than fresh yeast. That means, for a recipe with 500 g flour you need 21 g fresh yeast or 7 g dry yeast.

Vegan yeast dough

Yeast dough recipe without pre-dough

With a pre-dough you can test very well whether your yeast has not lost its leavening power. If the yeast is no longer active, you save wasting the rest of the ingredients.

In addition, a pre-dough improves the consistency, aroma and taste of the dough.

You can also prepare a yeast dough without a pre-dough according to my basic recipe. To do this, dissolve fresh yeast and sugar in lukewarm milk and then immediately add the remaining ingredients, flour last.

Vegan yeast dough

You can make a yeast dough without eggs, milk and butter. For a vegan yeast dough you only need lukewarm water, flour, some vegetable oil, yeast, sugar and salt. You can find a recipe for it for example in my post for piroshki with bean filling.

Yeast dough does not rise

If you followed all the tips for the basic yeast dough recipe (lukewarm to room warm ingredients, warm place to rise), inactive yeast could be the reason your dough won’t rise.

If you have another package of yeast at home, you can try to save your dough with it.

Make the pre-dough again with the other yeast and let it rest for 15-20 minutes. If the yeast became active during this time, add it to the dough, add some more flour and knead the dough thoroughly again. Let it rise again in a warm place.

Yeast cake

How to freeze yeast dough?

You can make a yeast dough in advance and freeze it, just like a Danish pastry dough.

To do this, prepare the dough according to the basic recipe, but do not let it rise. Immediately after kneading, divide it into several pieces as needed, pack them airtight, for example in an air tight container, a cling film or freezer bag, and place them in the freezer.

Let the dough thaw overnight in the refrigerator before processing. Then knead it and let it rise, covered, in a warm place as usual.

My basic yeast dough recipe is

  • suitable for sweet and savory pastries,
  • also vegan possible,
  • not difficult, but time-consuming.

The pastry from it is also

  • fluffy,
  • juicy,
  • soft,
  • tender,
  • very tasty.

Different yeast dough recipes

There are several yeast dough recipes that are slightly different from each other.

For example, water, milk and kefir can be used as liquid for the dough. The dough can contain eggs or can do without eggs. The amount of sugar can be different – depending on whether you want to make sweet or hearty pastries.

In a yeast dough recipe, however, you can’t leave out sugar completely, as yeast needs it to become active. It should be a teaspoon of sugar. Also, do not add too much sugar to the dough, otherwise it will be difficult for it to rise.

Russian sweet buns

Recipes with yeast dough

Have you already tried my delicious recipes with yeast dough?

Sweet recipes

Hearty recipes

How to make yeast dough: tips and tricks

  • If possible, do not use expired yeast.
  • A pre-dough is a good way to test whether your yeast still has leavening power.
  • Dissolve yeast only in lukewarm liquid with a little sugar. This is because yeast needs warmth and sugar (not too much of it) to start its leavening power.
  • The amount of flour given in the recipe may vary. Add the flour in batches until the dough gets the right consistency. It should be very soft, not mushy, but not dry or too firm either.
  • Knead the dough thoroughly so that it becomes smooth.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm place without drafts.
  • Give the dough enough time to rise.
  • After your dough has had time to rise, knead it briefly and let it rest for about 10 – 15 minutes, possibly dividing it into pieces beforehand if you want to make small pastry. After that, it can be easily stretched and shaped.
  • To give the dough a nice golden color, brush it with an egg or a tablespoon of milk mixed with egg yolk before baking.

Have you made yeast dough according to this basic recipe? What did you make with it? I look forward to hearing your results, your star rating, and your comment below here on how you did with the dough.

Looking for more basic dough recipes? Here are some more:

Basic yeast dough recipe

Basic yeast dough recipe

A yeast dough can be used in many ways. From it you can conjure up a delicious pastry – whether sweet or savory. Prepared correctly, it tastes airy, light and juicy at the same time. It's not difficult with this basic recipe to make yeast dough at home. But you should follow a few tips, which you can find at the top of this article.
Cook Time 25 minutes
Dough Rising Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Course Basic dough
Servings 1 large pastry / cake


for the pre-dough

  • 150 ml milk lukewarm
  • 15 g sugar**
  • approx. 120 g flour**
  • 21 g fresh yeast

for the dough

  • pre-dough
  • 90 g butter room warm
  • 60 g sugar** or less for savory pastry
  • 1 egg room warm
  • 1 egg white room warm
  • approx. 350 g flour**
  • 1/2 tsp salt

to coat the pastry

  • 1 egg yolk room warm
  • 1 tbsp milk room warm


Preparation of the pre-dough

  • Dissolve fresh yeast and sugar in lukewarm milk.
  • Add flour in batches and mix to form a viscous mass.
  • Cover the pre-dough with a tea towel and let it rise in a warm place for 15-20 minutes.

Preparation of the dough

  • Mix softened butter, egg, egg white, sugar and salt, add to the pre-dough and mix until homogeneous.
  • Add flour in portions and knead it into a soft, slightly sticky dough. Then knead the dough for about 7 - 10 minutes and let it rise covered in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • Knead the dough briefly (divide it into pieces as needed if you want to make small pastry) and let it (or the dough pieces) rest for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Shape the dough as desired and let the dough piece(s) rise in a warm place for 20 - 30 minutes.
  • Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of milk and carefully brush the dough piece(s) with it.
  • Bake the dough piece(s) in a preheated oven at 180 °C top and bottom heat, depending on the recipe.


  • A pre-dough is a good way to test whether the yeast still has leavening power.
  • The specified amount of flour may vary. Add the flour in portions until the dough has the right consistency. It should be very soft, not mushy, but not dry or too firm.
  • If you don't plan to coat the dough with egg yolk, you can omit the egg white in the dough. In this case, you might need less flour.
  • Note the detailed tips and tricks for making yeast dough yourself at the top of the post.

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