Monday, March 30, 2009

Crescent Rolls

A few days ago I commented on Living Easy that I'd been using a recipe for bread dough to replace store-bought crescent rolls (the kind in the tube). Both Lisa and one of her readers requested the recipe.

Credit for it goes to Bev at Mennonite Girls Can Cook, who posted it in her recipe for Ham and Cheese Pinwheels. I tried those first, and have been using the recipe ever since. I'm on my third batch, and have used it for crescent rolls, regular round dinner rolls, cloverleaf rolls, cinnamon rolls and even pizza crust. Bev told me in an email message that she's kept the dough for 2-3 days in her refrigerator. I've kept it for 6 days with good results. I just make sure it stays covered so that it doesn't dry out.

The dough does not bake up as flaky as the store bought crescents, but the rolls are just as sweet and buttery, and in my opinion, more healthy. I do not use margarine, so I make mine with real butter; the choice is up to you. I'm finding that I consistently use about 7-1/2 cups of flour; your results may vary as well. I also find that I get better results at 350° for 15-18 minutes, but that's just my oven; your bake time may be different.

1/4 of the dough will make 12 crescent rolls, 8 dinner rolls or two thin pizza crusts.

I'm posting the recipe here for ease, but please be sure to check out the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog. There's no doubt that Bev and the other ladies there really can cook!

Refrigerator Rolls

2 cups warm milk or water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine (or butter), softened
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. instant yeast
2 eggs beaten
About 6 cups flour - can include 1 or 2 cups whole wheat flour

Place 4 cups flour into bowl of stand mixer. Add sugar, salt, yeast and margarine.

Beat eggs and add to bowl.

Add milk or water (I often use half milk and half water) and let mix until dough is sticky. -Add remaining flour until dough forms a medium soft ball and then and leave mixer run or knead for about 5 minutes.

Place in greased bowl. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

To make crescent rolls – roll dough into a circle and cut into wedges with a pizza cutter. Roll each wedge up from the wide end to the narrow end tucking the point under the roll when you place it on a greased baking pan (I use a pizza stone to bake mine).

For cloverleaf rolls, grease muffin cups and make small (1 inch) balls, placing 3 in each muffin cup.

Bake these at 375°F. for about 10 minutes to start with; continue baking until golden brown.


Leanne said...

Ah you're a star. I have a recipe for cinnamon twists which needs crescent rolls, but of course we can't get them in NI.

Annie Jones said...

Hope it works for you!

Bluepaintred said...

I bet that out of all the people on the interwebs I am your least favorite. Every time I comment here it is becuase I need help :o(

I want you to know though, that I DO read you, every single post you write here, and they DO help me. Im just really lazy, and trying to cut back online a bit, so while I read a billion blogs, I have only commented a handful of times in the last few months!


I made the dough. For some reason my machines base does not spin ( the mixer) when I have the little dough hooks in instead of the beaters so after a bit I gave up and mixed it by hand. My dough tripled in size overnight - hilarity when the kids woke up and went to the fridge to get milk I tell ya-

After school I am going to be making the ham and cheese pinwheels - I figure that doing it after school will give them plenty of time to rise before cooking them for supper?

Ahnyway. when I go to make the pinwheeles, or the clovers or the crescent rolls ( I plan on making all three, on three different days, out of this batch of dough) do I need to punch down the dough or anything? I've never successfully made anything that contains yeast. In fact, this is the first time Ive managed to get something to actually RISE!, so now that I have my dough all huge and big in the fridge Im scared I will mess it up when it comes to rolling it out!

Do I just, separate it into four, flour my surface so it doesn't stick, and start rolling it? Should I let it warm to room temperature or work with it cold?

GAH! Im hopeless!

Annie Jones said...

Blue: You are not my least favorite. That would be (insert blogger name here).

I've made three or four batches of this dough so far, and every time it rises quickly in the fridge like yours did. But after punching it down and taking some of it out to bake, the rest of it does not rise again...or at least not much.

You can use a little flour to roll the dough if you like, but I actually use a little oil or pan spray when I roll dough. It's a trick I learned in the instructions that came with my Bosch mixer. That way, you aren't adding any additional flour to make the dough more stiff and dry.

The dough is already stiff from being in the fridge, so I try to let it sit for 5-10 minutes before I roll it out or form it in to rolls. Then, after I've formed the rolls, I let them rise for about 10-15 minutes before baking.

They need to either be covered with a towel to rise in a warm area in your kitchen, or if your microwave is large enough for your pan (mine is), you can heat a cup of water for a minute or so, take the cup of water out, then put the pan of rolls in the microwave and just let them sit there with the door closed until you're ready to bake them.

Or, you can heat your oven just a little (maybe just to 100°F) then turn it off and let the rolls rise there. If you do, just turn the heat up when you're ready to bake, but keep an eye on the rolls. Your bake time will not be the same since the rolls will bake a little as the oven heats up.

They won't rise much until they go into the oven, then they will rise quite a bit.

Don't be afraid of yeast doughs. They take a little practice, but they are worth it and before long, you'll be doing just fine with them. (And by the way, I was onto your joke yesterday. These rolls are the only buns in your oven! LOL!)

Let me know if you have other questions.

If anyone else out there has more tips on handling this dough, feel free to comment!