Buttery Yeast Dough: an Almond Tart Sunday treat!

When SWEETTABLESCAPES saw this article in the last Martha Stewart magazine, we knew that we would soon try this appetizing recipe. The sheer sight of “make ahead” in a title, always gets us super excited. Don’t you love when you know that you have some piece of deliciousness waiting in the fridge or freezer in case you need a last minute treat or simply to ease your work load on the big day? Well, we do,  and so does the whole family who gets first dibs on our test run!

As we speak, I have the Sage Bread version of this dough in my freezer, all ready to go in a couple of weeks when I entertain a few friends. I have a feeling they will LOVE it.

But for today, we just made the almond tart. The smell in the kitchen is to die for and the tart coming out of the oven is a sight for sore eyes!! and a yummy mouthful!!

IMG_8923The article offers 5 variations on this dough: Sweet Morning Buns, Herb and Cheese Rolls, Almond and Stollen Fruit Tarts and Sage Braid.

We prepared the recipe twice to make the Sage Braids, here: (post to follow shortly)

IMG_8906and the tarts.

Buttery Yeast Dough

  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hours 25 mins
  • Yield: Makes 2 pounds, 6 ounces

You’ll need:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 6 pieces, plus more for plastic wrap


  1. Whisk together both flours and salt. IMG_8876In the bowl of a mixer, combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5 minutes.IMG_8877
  2. Add eggs, zest, and flour mixture to yeast mixture.IMG_8878IMG_8880IMG_8881IMG_8880 Beat on medium-high speed with a dough hook until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 5 minutes.IMG_8883
  3. Beat in butter, one piece at a time; IMG_8884IMG_8885continue beating until fully combined and dough is silky but still sticky, about 5 minutes more. IMG_8887IMG_8886Cover with buttered plastic wrap; let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.IMG_8889IMG_8890
  4. Chill 1 hour. Punch down dough. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour or overnight.


Herb Variation: Reduce sugar to 3 tablespoons. Add 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme in step 2.

Cook’s Note

You can prepare all of the recipes that use this dough ahead: Place formed breads in baking pan(s); cover tightly with buttered plastic wrap, then foil; and freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to use, thaw, then let rise as directed.

Making the tarts:

Stollen Fruit Tart or Almond Tart:

For almond tarts, replace the dried-fruit mixture with 2/3 cup sliced blanched almonds and skip step 1.

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Makes two 10-inch tarts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup cognac
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 ounces marzipan
  • 1 large egg
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pans and plastic wrap
  • Buttery Yeast Dough
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting


  1. Combine dried fruit, orange juice, cognac, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring; reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Let cool, 15 minutes.
  2. Cut marzipan into chunks. In a food processor, puree marzipan, egg, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Butter two 10-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. Divide dough in half. Roll out one half (keep other half refrigerated) on a lightly floured surface to an 11-inch circle. IMG_8919Fit into bottom and up sides of a prepared pan. Fill with half of marzipan, then half of fruit mixture (or almonds for almond tart). Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Drape with buttered plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.IMG_8920(Note: it took much longer for the dough to double in size, even in my oven set on “proof” – great feature by the way!)
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Bake tarts, rotating pans once, until golden brown, about 20 minutes (15 minutes for almond tart). Let cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.IMG_8924IMG_8925
PS: After preparing the tart dough, I realized I did not have any marzipan left and did not feel like running to the store. My family is not a huge fan of dried fruits either, so I just made 2 almond tarts.  I replaced the marzipan mixture with  5 ounces of ground almond, 4 ounces of granulated sugar and one large egg all mixed together. (Note: that is enough for 2 tarts) Then I sprinkled the filling with slivered almonds as per recipe. The result was fragrant, puffed up and utterly delicious. The texture is very similar to a brioche and the added almond make this a really tasty and not overly sweet dessert.      IMG_8922IMG_8926

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