Friday, June 1, 2012

Easy Crescent Rolls

* 1 cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
* 1 package active dry yeast
* 1 small can evaporated milk
* 1/3 cup sugar
* 2 eggs, divided
* 1 1/2 tsp salt
* 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
* 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
* 1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
* 1 tbsp cold water

1. Combine the warm water and yeast in a one quart bowl. Stir to dissolve the yeast.  Add evaporated milk, sugar, 1 egg, salt and one cup of the flour.  Wisk these ingredients to create a smooth batter.  Blend in the melted butter. 

2. Put your steel blade into your food processor.  Measure 3 cups of the flour and cold butter into the work bowl.  Process on and off about 20 times using the pulse button. The butter should be pebble sized.  Pour this mixture into a bowl, and add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour.  Stir to combine.

3. Pour the yeast mixture over the flour mixture.  Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula only until all the flour is moistened.  Cover tightly and refrigerate until throroughly chilled - at least 4 hours, and up to 3 days.

4. After chilling,  turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead about 6 times. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.  Work with only one part at a time, and place the remaining pieces in the fridge, covered.

5. Roll each part on a well floured surface into a circle about 17 inches in diameter.  Cut into 8 wedges (a pizza cutter works really well for this!).  Roll up each wedge, starting at the wide end and rolling towards the point.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Curce the ends of each roll to form crescent shapes.

6. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled (typically 1-1 1/2 hours).

7. Heat oven to 325 F. Beat the last egg with the cold water.  Brush the mixture over each roll.  Bake until golden, 20 - 25 minutes.  Serve warm! 

I used the egg wash with the first batch, but I didn't do the egg wash on subsequent rolls before cooking, and they still turned out fantastic.  It was so nice to be able to divide this recipe and make fresh rolls a few days in a row.  I don't know what we would have done with 32 rolls at once, but 8 at a time was perfect for our family. 

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