If you have not yet experienced the pleasure of taking a gloopy dough and slapping the hell out of it, let me tell you- you are missing out! The other day I came across a video of Richard Bertinet making sweet dough. There is nothing that I don't love about this video. I love how Richard Bertinet says that you have to see the dough "chenhje" (change, in a French accent,) until you see that the dough is "full of life". I love how he describes the way you are supposed to mix the dough in your bowl- "let your left arm be your motor, and your right, your dough hook!" I loved it so much I decided to make the dough, and fill it with a cheese, egg and sugar mixture- a la cheese danishes.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 oz fresh (cake) yeast or 1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (preferably Red Star or Saf; not rapid-rise)
1 lb 2 oz bread flour (about 3 3/4 cups)
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
a flexible plastic bowl scraper
If using fresh yeast, heat milk until just warm. If using dry yeast, heat milk to 120 to 130°F.
Rub yeast into flour in a large bowl, then rub in butter. Stir in sugar and salt. Fold in milk and eggs with bowl scraper, rotating bowl, until liquid is absorbed and a wet, sticky dough forms. (Dough will be wetter than most you’ve encountered.) Scrape dough out onto an unfloured surface. (Dough will be a sticky mess. Don’t be tempted to add more flour. By working the dough through a process of repeatedly stretching and folding it over onto itself, trapping air, dough will become cohesive and supple.).
Slide your fingers underneath both sides of dough with your thumbs on top. Lift dough up (to about chest level) with your thumbs toward you, letting dough hang slightly. In a continuous motion, swing dough down, slapping bottom of dough onto surface, then stretch dough up and back over itself in an arc to trap in air. Repeat lifting, slapping, and stretching, scraping surface with flat side of bowl scraper as needed, until dough is supple, cohesive, and starts to bounce slightly off of surface without sticking, about 8 minutes.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured clean surface. Form into a ball by folding each edge, in turn, into center of dough and pressing down well with your thumb, rotating ball as you go. Turn ball over and transfer to a lightly floured bowl and cover with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth). Let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour.