Sweet Dough

After flipping through my King Arthur Flour cookbook last week, I decided to try their sweet dough recipe and make two variations. The dough ended up not as sweet as I expected (although the recipe allows up to 1/2 cup more sugar than I used – just be prepared for the rising to probably take longer if you add that much), but after an initial pout about it not being super sweet, I thought it actually went really well with the pineapple filling I made. The orange cream cheese filling I made for the other half of the dough was mostly absorbed into the bread, and I didn’t think was strong enough a flavor to be exciting once that happened. I’m just noticing, though, that the recipe says to refrigerate it before using, which I did not do, so maybe if it starts off chilled it holds up better. You could also make zillions of other kinds of fillings, or even just form the dough into pretty shapes with no filling.

This dough starts off with a sponge. To make it, just stir your sugar, yeast, and flour into warm water and let it sit 10 to 15 minutes until it’s begun foaming and expanding.

As you’re reading the recipe and realize that the next step is going to require softened butter, it’s the perfect time to cram a stick down your back pocket to warm up while the sponge proofs.

Class Kitchen, boys and girls!

To make the dough, stir the remaining water, salt, butter and sugar into the sponge. I added 3 teaspoons of vanilla, and just put them in the measuring cup before adding water to reach the cup and a half of water you’re supposed to add in this step. Add 4 1/2 cups of the flour, stir until the dough is starting to stick together, and then turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead, adding some of the remaining cup of flour if needed. After 3 or 4 minutes of kneading, let the dough rest while you wash, dry, and grease the mixing bowl. Knead for another several minutes until the dough is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky, and then shape it into a ball and put it back in the bowl. Rotate your dough ball so that it gets a thin layer of grease on all sides, cover, and let it rise until doubled, at least an hour.  During this rise, you can make any fillings you’re going to use.

Big ol' ball.

After the dough has doubled, punch it down and then divide it in half. At this point, it’s time to shape.

For the orange rolls, I rolled the dough out to roughly 10X14″ and spread it with orange filling,

rolled it up,

and sliced into rolls.

For the pineapple bread, I rolled the dough out to roughly 10X18″ and then marked it off into thirds, lengthwise.

I cut lines in the outer two sections perpendicular to the dividing lines. You want an even number of lines, so that the fringey bits you create are the same on each side. Entirely remove the four corner pieces. Spread the filling down the middle section.

Fold the two end flaps in, and then, starting at one side, draw the fringey bits in to the middle at an angle, alternating sides.

When you get to the far side, just tuck the ends of the diagonal pieces under the end of the bread.

Carefully transfer that to a lightly greased baking sheet. Both the braid and the rolls (and any other shape you try with this dough) then need to rise a second time until doubled, an hour to an hour and a half.

Once risen, bake 35-40 minutes until golden and hollow sounding when tapped.

Hopefully if you chill the filling first, it won't bake down to such wimpy lines.


I’ll be submitting these to YeastSpotting. (Check it out if you like baking!)

Simple Sweet Dough

From The Original King Arthur Flour Cookbook.


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 1/2-5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

To make the sponge, stir the sugar, yeast, and flour into the water and let sit 10-15 minutes, until foaming and expanding.

Stir the remaining water, salt, butter and sugar into the sponge. If you want, use up to 3 teaspoons of flavoring, pouring it into the measuring cup before measuring out the water to maintain 1 1/2 cups of liquid.

Add 4 1/2 cups of flour, and stir until the dough has started mostly sticking together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3-4 minutes. Let dough rest and clean, dry, and grease your mixing bowl. Resume kneading for several more minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, and then shape into a ball. Place the ball in the bowl, and roll so that the top is lightly greased. Cover, and let rise until doubled, at least an hour.

Knock down the dough, divide, fill and shape as desired. Let rise until doubled (1 – 1 1/2 hours), then bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Pineapple Filling

Also from KA. This recipe will fill one loaf, aka half the amount of dough made above.

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple (fruit and juice)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Blend the sugar with the cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add the lemon juice, pineapple, and pineapple juice, and stir until the cornstarch has dissolved completely. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and clears. This takes kind of forever.

Orange Cream Cheese Filling


  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 an egg (inconvenient, I know, but stir up an egg in a cup and spoon out half. This should be about 2 tablespoons.)
  • 1/2 tablespoon orange extract, or any other flavor you’re into

Mix all ingredients together until very smooth. Refrigerate until chilled.


About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
This entry was posted in Bread, Breakfast, Dessert and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sweet Dough

  1. danielle says:

    I don’t understand. Why isn’t there any chocolate in this recipe?

    • sparecake says:

      hehe, nor in the next few recipes, if you don’t count white chocolate! (And lets be honest, it really shouldn’t count.)
      I have just been eating chocolate chips from the bag to reach my minimum daily tolerance.

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