Guess what?! You voted rolls!
What, you didn’t vote? I held an impromptu little poll yesterday asking if you would rather have chicken or rolls today. And you voted rolls!
Don’t worry, there’s still enough chicken to go around. We’ll get there! But first, behold my new favorite roll recipe of all time.
No real surprise, the recipe came from Great Grandma. She totally redeemed herself after the prune episode yesterday, if I do say so myself. These rolls are like croissants but WAY less time consuming. And dare I say, just as tasty? Okay fine. We all know that nothing beats a warm chocolate croissant eaten on the streets of Paris but I can promise you these crescent rolls are right up there.
These crescent rolls contain layer upon layer of flaky, buttery dough with just a hint of sweetness, and are absolutely perfect for any Thanksgiving bread basket. They’re prepared in the same manner as croissants but unlike their flaky French cousins (great tutorial on how to make croissants here!), this dough doesn’t have to rest in the refrigerator overnight and is a lot more forgiving.
If making bread of any kind intimidates you, this is the roll for you! Double promise.
Now don’t freak out, but to make these lovelies you need to laminate your dough. That really just means you smother your dough with a half stick of softened butter. The pros might tell you to lay a piece of plastic wrap down on the dough before rolling out to “smooth” the butter all over the dough, but I just used my fingers and smeared the butter all over the place. It felt wonderful.
Then, you fold both sides of the dough in towards center so it looks like a book! A buttery book indeed.
Then, fold the dough in half, stick in the fridge for 30 minutes and repeat that process again (just the folding and the rolling—not the buttering). Do this three times and you’ll have the flakiest of flaky crescent rolls on your Thanksgiving table.
After an hour’s rise and a short bake in the oven, these guys are ready to be slathered with (more) butter and eaten alongside some delicious roast turkey and cranberry sauce.
I was so impressed at how easy this old faded recipe was and how well they turned out! So much better than the crescent rolls in the tube at the grocery store. Although, I did used to really love opening that tube and watching the dough “explode” when I was a kid. I got so much satisfaction placing those soft mounds of billowy pre-sliced dough onto a greased baking sheet and watching them puff up all shiny and golden in the oven.
….these are so much better!!!!
If you want to make them the night before Thanksgiving to save time, you can prepare the dough (laminate three times per recipe instructions) and stick it in the fridge overnight wrapped in plastic wrap. On Thanksgiving morning, all you have do slice the dough into crescents, let rise an hour and bake!
Flaky French Crescent Rolls
makes about 20 rolls
1 (1/4th oz) package dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (about 100 degrees) + 1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup milk, scalded and cooled slightly (should be about 100 degrees too—not too hot, not too cold. To scald milk, heat on medium high heat until bubbles form around the edges of pot. Be careful–milk can easily burn!)
1 egg, beaten with a fork
1 tbsp shortening
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
6 tbsp butter, softened
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp warm water for egg wash
Combine the yeast and the warm water/sugar in a glass measuring cup or small bowl. Mix with your finger until combined (no yeast clumps) and let sit for about five minutes until foamy and creamy.
Meanwhile, combine the beaten egg, the milk, the shortening, the sugar and the salt in a large bowl. Add the flour and the yeast and mix for about six minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. If using a Kitchen Aid, use your paddle or dough hook attachment and mix on medium high speed until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. It will seem sticky at first, but keep mixing (or kneading by hand) and it will become smooth.
Place dough ball in a greased bowl, cover with a dishcloth or plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove dough from fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle that’s about 1/4th inch thick. Spread your softened butter all over dough, leaving an inch around the sides of the rectangle, being careful not to break through dough with butter.
Fold one half of the rectangle towards the center and fold the other half over as well on top of the first layer so you have three dough layers (see above photo). Fold in half one more time, cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
Roll out dough again to a long rectangle (being careful of the butter—roll gently) and fold dough again into thirds like a book. Place back in fridge for 30 more minutes. Repeat this process two more times.
At this point, you can either proceed with the directions or you can wrap your dough tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
To proceed, roll dough out to 1/8th inch thick. Slice into triangles like above photo. Roll each triangle up, starting with wide end and tuck the “tail” underneath the roll. Place rolls on a lined baking sheet, cover with a dishcloth or more plastic wrap and let rise 1-1.5 hours until double in size.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Combine egg yolk and warm water and brush on each roll. Bake rolls for 12 minutes until golden brown.
about 3 hours