Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Crescent Rolls

I've tried this old family recipe with fresh milk and it just doesn't taste as good. I have no idea why. But I do not argue with results. So the dried milk stays. Every other improving tweak toward whole, fresh and local has been an improvement to my palate: honey for sugar, olive oil for melted shortening. I usually make half a batch of whole wheat and half a batch of white. Our family prefers the white but I almost like the wheat ones better, especially after the big Thanksgiving feast with a little blue cheese spread beneath a moist bit of turkey and dollop of Cranberry Orange relish.

2/3 cup dried milk
2 cups lukewarm water
½ cup honey
2 Tablespoons dry yeast
in the just barely warm milk.  When yeast becomes active, add
2 eggs, well-beaten
and enough
to make a medium batter. Beat and let sit until bubbles begin to form.  Beat in
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
and the rest of
7 cups whole wheat flour (or white) 
and knead until smooth and elastic. The secret of this dough is the use only enough flour to be able to handle it, almost sticky.

Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until double in bulk, then punch down well. Let rise again.

When it has again doubled in bulk and is light and airy, divide into easily handled balls. Let rest 15 minutes.

Now the fun part!  Forming the rolls. There is no wrong way and no wrong shape, but it just seems unAmerican in this house to make anything but crescents.  Here's how:

  • roll small balls out on oiled countertop with a rolling pin
  • cut into twelfths with a pizza cutter or sharp knife
  • starting from the fat end of resulting triangles, begin rolling in toward the point
  • make sure the thin point is securely underneath the resulting roll
  • curve ends of the roll in to make a crescent

Let the rolls rise on greased pans until light.

Bake at 375° 12-18 minutes.  Brush the tops of the rolls lightly with olive oil while still hot.

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