This one is a no-brainer: it's a recipe from America's Test Kitchen (foolproof), it's easy (thankyouverymuch), and it is perfect for any sweet dough application, like sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, hot cross buns, or Entenmann's-like danish. Oh, the deliciousness.
This basic recipe makes enough dough for three Entenmann's-sized danishes. My favorites are cream cheese and cinnamon (additional recipes to follow).
But here's where it all begins...
Basic Sweet Dough
3/4 c. buttermilk (or clabbered milk), warm
6 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled until just warm
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp.) yeast
1 tsp. salt
Whisk together the buttermilk, butter, and eggs.
In a large bowl, whisk together 4 cups of flour, the sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the buttermilk mixture and mix until the dough comes together. (I use a stand mixer for this, but if you don't have one, you can always do it by hand--it'll just mean more kneading)
Let your stand mixer mix the dough on medium-low for 10 minutes, or knead by hand for 10-15 minutes, adding flour as needed.
Knead the dough by hand on a floured counter top until it's smooth and elastic--about 1 minute. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
How you proceed depends on what you're making next; I divide it into three even portions when I'm making danishes/coffee cakes, but use the whole recipe of dough to make a 9x13 pan of sticky buns or cinnamon rolls.