Since your recipe is to die for, I wouldn't worry about the yeast, but I have found you a recipe that doesn't use cream cheese. It has Russian roots and was listed online by Natashaskitchen.
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (not hot)
1 cup warm milk (1% or 2% milk will work)
4 cups CANADIAN all-purpose flour
¾ tbsp active dry yeast
Black current preserves
Preheat Oven to 360°F
Melt your butter over low heat. Once it's melted, transfer it to the bowl of your electric mixer. You want it to be warm, not hot.
In the bowl of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment on medium speed, combine 2 sticks of melted butter & 1 cup warm milk.
In a medium bowl, mix together the 4 cups flour and ¾ tbsp yeast, than add 4 cups flour, about ½ cup at a time, and mix until it is an even consistency and no longer sticking to the walls of the bowl, scraping down the bowl as necessary. It only takes 3-5 minutes to get the flour mixed well. The dough should be soft and won't stick to your hands.
Divide the dough into five even portions and cover them loosely on the counter with some plastic wrap until you are ready to use them.
On a smooth non-stick surface, roll a portion of the dough out into about a 11-inch circle. No need to flour the surface if it's a good, smooth cutting board.
Sprinkle the top of the dough with sugar and cut 6 strips through the center to make 12 triangles.
Add about a marble size amount of your favorite preserves to the center of the wide part of the triangles. Anyways, start rolling your rugelach toward the center. Push down the edges slightly after the first roll so the jam is less likely to sneak out.
Place the rolled rogaliki onto the prepared baking sheet with the end part facing down. Space them about ½ - inches apart.
Let them rise in a warm oven (100 degrees for 30-45 minutes). Or let them rise in a warm room till they are about 50% larger (could take as long as 2 hours or more at room temp).
Bake at 360° F for 20 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a bowl while they are still hot and sprinkle each layer generously with powdered sugar.
I hope this helps. Also, yeast is different today. With some of the instant yeasts, you just dump it in with the dry ingredients. Just make sure you buy the correct type of yeast according to how it's used in your recipe. The yeast package will explain how to incorporate it into your recipe. Happy Baking!