Homemade Crescent Rolls

Homemade Crescent Rolls

Homemade Crescent Rolls

Even those these look like traditional croissants, I call them crescent rolls, instead. I grew up with a father who was a baker. I have made traditional croissants. Yeast dough rolled out- then topped with a sheet of butter. Rolled, folded, chilled. Repeated many times to create those wonderful, flaky layers. These rolls have a lot of the same qualities, but in a less time-consuming method. Not quite what you get in true croissants, but very tender and flaky. The secret is butter cut into flour- the same way you incorporate fat into biscuits or pie crust. Then a yeast/milk mixture is stirred in and a batter is created. It is chilled overnight and when rolled out, the  dough is brushed with more butter and shaped into the crescent shape of traditional croissants. Really easy, compared to the original, and a pretty good roll, too. Since the recipe makes a lot, I often freeze some for later. Directions for freezing are at the bottom of the recipe.

Crescent Rolls

1 package active dry yeast
1 c. very warm water
¾ c. evaporated milk
1 t. salt
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
5 c. flour
4 T. melted butter, cooled
1 c. firm butter
Additional melted butter for brushing
1 egg beaten with 1 T. water

Dissolve yeast in water. Stir in milk, salt, sugar, egg and one cup of flour. Beat into a smooth batter and stir in melted butter. Set aside. With pastry blender cut firm butter into remaining flour until particles are the size of small peas. Stir in milk mixture gently, until all flour in moistened. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead a few strokes. Divide into fourths and roll each into a circle. Divide circle into 8 pieces and brush with melted butter. Starting at wide end roll up loosely and place on greased baking sheet with point tucked under. Allow 2-3 inched between rolls and curve slightly into an arc, if desired. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours or until nearly doubled. Brush with egg wash just before baking. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 35 minutes or until golden. Brush again with butter. Makes 32.

These are great served as is, or drizzled with a little powdered sugar glaze.

Note: You can add up to 2 cups of whole wheat flour in place of 2 cups of the white flour for whole wheat croissants. You can also brush the dough with fruit preserves instead of butter before rolling up, or you can sprinkle with chopped chocolate or cinnamon sugar and roll up.

Freezing directions:  just roll them up and place on a baking sheet. Place in freezer until solid. Remove to a freezer bag or container and return to freezer. To use, place frozen rolls on a greased baking sheet and cover. allow to thaw and rise until doubled in size and proceed at with the baking directions. I just do this the night before and bake them in the morning.

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