I always test my yeast prior adding it to the flour and other ingredients, even though dry yeast is marked with the expiration date and should be active until that date, I always want to make sure it is 100% active. When working with fresh yeast this process is necessary.
Take 300 ml milk and warm it to approximately 90-100F/32-37C/, it should be warmer than your body temperature but not hot. Hot milk will kill the yeast. Pour heated milk into a bowl, container what ever you have on hand. Add a pinch of sugar to the milk, stir, add the yeast and stir the yeast into the milk. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for several minutes. When the yeast has become bubbly or foamy on the top, your yeast is active and ready to be used.
In the bowl mix flour, salt, sugar. Make a well in the center and pour melted and cooled butter+oil, egg, egg yolks, yeast mixture and vanilla extract into the center. Using your stand mixer/KitchenAid Artisan 5-qt. Stand Mixer/ with the hook attachment, /or you can also use a hand mixer with the hook attachments/, work the dough until it separates from the sides of the bowl and smooth. This will take several minutes You are looking for the texture that is not too stiff nor too soft. If needed add some lukewarm milk to achieve the right consistency.
Prepare another bowl, lightly oil the inside and place the sweet bread dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place. I like to use oven. Bring 3 cups water to boil, pour boiling water into a shallow dish and place it on the bottom rack in your oven. Put the bowl with yeast down on the rack above. Proof for 1 hour 15 minutes
Once the dough doubled in volume you can invert it onto a well floured board and cut the dough into 4 individual pieces. Knead each piece individually till you have a nicely formed loaf of dough. Cover the loafs with kitchen towel.
You are ready to prepare delicious sweet bread treats.
Work with one loaf at a time.
-recipe can be halved with no problem/this is what I use most of the time/
-you can substitute some of the flour for whole wheat pastry flour if you’d like
-using an extra egg yolk adds to the richness of the dough