8 Fun And Tasty Ways To Use Yeast Dough

What do cinnamon rolls and pizza rolls have in common? That's right, they're both made of yeast dough! This dough is incredibly versatile dough, and it's surprisingly easy to make. We're going to show you the base recipe for yeast dough and then introduce you to 8 delicious things you can make with the base. Think of the dough as your jumping-off point and once you've mastered it, you can go places you've never been before. All of these recipe ideas come together really well, look cute, and taste delish! 

Yeast Dough Base Recipe:

You'll Need:

For the yeast dough:

  • 2⅓ cups flour
  • ½ cup lukewarm milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • ½ egg
  • ¼ stick softened butter

For the egg wash:

  • ½ whisked egg + 1 tbsp milk

Here's How:

Mix the milk, sugar, yeast, and egg. Add the flour and then start kneading until a smooth dough starts to form. As you're kneading, add the butter bit by bit. Knead the dough until it stops sticking to your hands, then transfer it to a bowl, cover it, and let it rise for 45 minutes. Once you have this dough base, you can make all of these different recipes below.

1. Lemon Roses

For the filling (makes 8):

  • ¾ cup ricotta
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • lemon zest
  • juice from ½  lemon

Here's How:

1.1 Divide the yeast dough into 8 equal pieces. Then roll out each piece of dough into a circle and make 3 incisions in the dough.

1.2 Combine the ingredients for the lemon ricotta filling and spoon some of it in the middle of each dough circle.

1.3 Wrap the wings created by the cuts around the ricotta filling, lightly pressing on the ends to keep everything in place.

1.4 Cover the stuffed dough roses and let them rise for 10 minutes before brushing them with the egg wash. Now put them in the oven at 350°F for 20 minutes until they're golden brown.

2. Fruity Nutty Bowties

For the filling (makes 6):

  • ⅓ cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts

Here's How:

2.1 Divide the yeast dough into 6 equal pieces and separate some of the dough from each piece. You're going to use those later for the ribbon. Roll out each large piece of dough into an oval shape and press it together in the middle with two fingers to form a bow.

2.2 Mix all the ingredients for the filling and add a teaspoon of the filling on either side of the spot where you pinched the dough.

2.3 Cover the filling with the dough above the filling and then with the dough below the filling.

2.4 Press the dough on the sides and fold them over the filling into the middle and press it there.

2.5 Twist the strip of dough that you cut off earlier for the ribbon, fold it up, and turn it in.

2.6 Place the twisted ribbon around the middle of the bow.

2.7 Cover the bowties and let them rise for 10 minutes, brush the egg wash over them, and bake them in the oven for 20 minutes at 350°F until they're golden brown.

3. Ham & Cheese Buns

For the filling (makes 6):

  • diced ham
  • shredded mozzarella

Here's How:

3.1 Divide the yeast dough into 6 equal pieces and roll out each one into a square. Sprinkle some ham and cheese on one corner of each square and cut the dough squares as shown in the video.

3.2 Fold the largest piece of dough over the filling and press the edges down.

3.3 Now alternate folding down the strips of dough so you get a lattice pattern and press the ends of the strips to the underside of the squares.

3.4 Cover the buns and let them rise for 10 minutes. Brush the egg wash over the buns and bake them at 350°F for 20 minutes until golden brown.

4. Apple Cinnamon Leaves

For the filling (makes 10):

  • 4 small apples, peeled & diced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Here's How:

4.1 Divide the yeast dough into 10 equal pieces and roll out each piece into an oval shape. Mix the ingredients for the filling and spread it on each piece of dough.

4.2 Fold the rest of the dough over the filling and press it down. Then press the dough with the filling a little flat.

4.3 Fold the two tips together and press them together gently so you get the shape of a leaf.

4.4 Cut the dough with scissors from both sides.

4.5 Cover the buns and let them rise for 10 minutes. Brush the egg wash over the dough and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes until golden brown.

5. Bunny Rolls

For the filling (makes 6):

  • 6 mini hot dogs or cocktail weenies
  • 18 black peppercorns

Here's How:

5.1 Divide the yeast dough into 6 equal pieces and roll each one out into a long roll.

5.2 Knot the rolls as shown in the video and push a mini hot dog through each one.

5.3 Form the dough with your hands so it looks like a bunny and press peppercorns into the face for the eyes and nose.

5.4 Cover the bunnies and let them rise for 10 minutes. Brush the egg wash over the dough and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes until golden brown.

6. Lovebirds

You'll Need (for 8):

  • raisin bits for the eyes

Here's How:

6.1 Divide the yeast dough into 18 equal parts and roll out each one into rolls. Then knot two rolls together as shown in the video for each bun.

6.2 Press the lower ends flat with a fork, use your hands to form the other two ends into small beaks, press raisins in the dough for the eyes, and cut open the beaks with scissors.

6.3 Cover the birds and let them rise for 10 minutes. Brush the egg wash over the dough and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes until golden brown.

7. Apricot Sunflowers

For the filling (makes 8):

  • 8 tsp apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds

Here's How:

7.1 Divide the yeast dough into 8 equal pieces and use your hand to slightly flatten each piece of dough. Press a greased, small glass into each piece of dough and make 1/4-inch incisions around the edges.

7.2 Remove the glass and press the ends of the flower petals together.

7.3 Cover the flowers and let them rise for 10 minutes. Spoon a teaspoon of jam in the middle, brush the egg wash over the petals and sprinkle ground almonds over them, and bake at 350°F for 15 minutes until golden brown.

8. Stuffed Ham & Cheese Pouches

For the filling (makes 6):

  • diced ham
  • shredded mozzarella

Here's How:

8.1 Divide the yeast dough into 8 equal pieces and roll out each one into a circle. Spread some ham and cheese in the center of each piece of dough.

8.2 Fold the dough up around the filling and then turn it in carefully.

8.3 Twirl the overlapping dough apart and place it on the outside of the dough ball.

8.4 Turn the dough ball around and press the dough together at the bottom. Turn the ball of dough upside down again and cover it. 

8.5 Let the stuffed pouches rise for 10 minutes, brush the egg wash over the dough, and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes until golden brown.

The proof is in the pudding: If you know how to make yeast dough, the possibilities are endless! Whether it's sweet or savory, there's something here for everyone. Dough not sleep on these epic ways to use yeast dough!

Get the instructions for the 7 Awesome Bread Dough Hacks featured in the bonus video.

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