Homemade bread is a comfort food I enjoy baking. Special memories of my childhood include eating Sunday dinner at grandma’s house. We all loved her homemade rolls. My copy of grandma’s recipe written on a slip of paper for me is a treasured keepsake. I’ve made dozens of roll recipes in my lifetime, but only a few remain as favorites. Our daughter asked me to bring homemade rolls this past Thanksgiving, and I considered making grandma’s rolls, but opted for these buttery croissants instead. After dinner, she told me the rolls were the best I’d ever made. This recipe requires you to make the dough at least 4 hours in advance so the butter has plenty of time to chill. It’s a convenient recipe to make ahead and saves time the day you choose to make the rolls. The recipe comes from Colorado Cache Cookbook, a hospitality gift from a college friend’s sister who lived with us in Colorado for 3 months while she was taking classes for a graduate degree. The pages are spattered with flour and smudged with butter, leaving clues that the recipe’s a favorite!
Easy Croissant Rolls
- 2 packages dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 cup chilled butter
- 5 cups flour (I use a mix of 1/4 - 1/2 whole wheat flour and the rest unbleached all purpose flour. Sometimes I use 1/3-1/2 bread flour if I have it on hand)
- 1 egg beaten with 1 T water
- In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water to soften.
- Stir in 1 cup flour, evaporated milk, egg, sugar, melted butter and salt.
- Beat to make a smooth batter and set aside.
- Cut the chilled butter into the remaining flour until butter particles are the size of dried kidney beans.
- Pour yeast batter over top and carefully turn the mixture over with a spatula to blend just until all the flour is moistened.
- Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled,at least 4 hours and up to 4 days. (batter will taste too yeasty after that and bread will have an unpleasant fermented taste)
- Remove dough to floured board and press into a compact ball. Knead about 6 turns to release air bubbles and divide dough into 4 equal parts.
- Shape one part at a time leaving remaining dough wrapped in plastic wrap in refrigerator.
- To shape, roll one quarter dough on floured board into circle 17 inches in diameter.
- With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut circle into 8 (or 16) pie-shaped wedges.
- For each croissant, loosely roll wedges toward point. Shape each roll into a crescent and place on ungreased cookie sheet with the point down.
- Allow at least 1 1/2 inches space around each croissant.
- Cover lightly and let rise at room temperature in a draft-free place. Do not speed the rising of the rolls by placing them in a warm spot.
- When almost doubled in bulk, brush with egg and water mixture.
- Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 12-15 min.
Note: These rolls freeze well.
In addition to dinner rolls, crescent roll dough offers many possibilities as a foundation for quick and easy desserts, main dish, or appetizers. This dough has been a go to recipe for our household for several decades. When I make a recipe calling for crescent roll dough, I usually opt to make this dough over buying packaged dough.
Easy Croissant Dough was used in a yummy dessert recipe using pumpkin found here. Because I doubled the recipe when making Pumpkin Crescents for a tea, leftover dough was used for a snack for husband by spreading the dough with cream cheese and topping it with chopped ham before rolling up the dough. Thin slices of packaged ham works well also.
I’ll be making this recipe for dinner rolls on Christmas because I can quickly roll them up to bake on Christmas morning to have them fresh for dinner after church. We like to add chopped rosemary to the dough which adds to the flavor and fragrance of the fresh rolls.
I pray you have a blessed Christmas celebrating Emmanuel!