With the weather changing and fall already here, we pray for rain and especially for winter – an excellent time to make rib-sticking, comforting pastries, both sweet and salty. That is why I chose to dedicate this week to yeast dough, one of my favorites.
In contrast to the popular belief that yeast dough is very difficult and complicated to work with, I think the exact opposite is true. The fact that I make yeast pastries every weekend, whether they be halla or cake, bread rolls or other pastries, serves as proof.
Yeast dough is easy to prepare and perfect for manual kneading, although I have to admit that I prefer to always prepare it in an electric mixer with a kneading hook. From this I learned that different processing speeds are required when using the electric mixer, in order to best imitate kneading the dough by hand. Of course, from the outset you can prepare the dough with manual kneading, without an electric mixer or food processor.
Yeast dough must rest – or, rather, it must be given time and the ideal conditions in order to double in size. One of those conditions is warmth. If you are short on time, you can definitely let the dough rest in the refrigerator and work with it the next day.
I have chosen to present you with a number of yeast recipes. They are quick to make, and all share a similar technique of preparation and an intriguing design. The three sweet pastries start, of course, with soft and airy yeast dough, which is divided into small and medium-sized balls, which are arranged on a baking tray side by side. The magic happens when baking them, as the dough balls expand and connect.
The differences between the pastries are in the materials that connect them, their fillings, their coatings and, of course, the flavors that vary from one pastry to another.
The first recipe is a cinnamon yeast cake. Dough balls are rolled in butter, sugar and cinnamon and arranged in a circular mold – and they connect during baking and turn into a mountain of sweet, brown dough balls that you eat by pulling the balls away from the cake.
The second recipe contains medium-sized yeast balls with a filling of raisins, almonds and jam, which are dipped in melted butter. These dough balls are arranged on a well-oiled round pan and connect while baking. They are then coated with sugar syrup.
The third recipe includes rolls of rich, airy yeast dough, bathed in butter, which are arranged and flattened in a baking tray. They are soaked in sugar syrup after baking.
These three kinds of sweet buns should never be cut with a knife. They are served at the center of the table and the guests pull them off one by one.