Monday, November 14, 2011

Bread Machine Recipe 1 of 4: Butter Crescent Rolls

You will not believe how e*a*s*y this recipe is.  My five year old almost has it down pat.  It takes about SEVEN minutes of minimal labor on your part.  If you love soft, dense rolls, this is the recipe for you!

As long as I can remember, my mom has made these rolls.  She got the recipe from her sister, who got it from a fellow USAF wife in the 70's.  Then, several years ago my aunt came up with a way to make it in the bread machine - thus removing any of the labor that goes along with it. 

Ingredient List:
  • 1/2 Cup of water
  • 1/2 Cup of milk (use whatever % you have on hand - I've even used skim)
  • 1 stick butter, cut into eight equal pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 4 C flour (you can use regular flour - I use High Altitude unbleached flour)
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast (I use Fleischmann's BreadMachine yeast, in a jar)/or 1 packet of RapidRise yeast

About 1 hour 45 minutes before you need the rolls (because they are out-of-this-world-good fresh out of the oven), you can start the dough in the bread machine.

First, get a 2-Cup size glass measuring cup - or use a large glass bowl if you don't have one.  Just don't use a single cup glass measuring cup because it will overflow.  Measure the water in your measuring cup, then add the milk.  Take the eight tablespoons of butter and place them in the cup as well.  Microwave the water/milk/butter mixture for 1 min 20 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds and then pour into the bread machine pan.

Don't ditch the measuring cup yet!  Crack the egg into the buttery cup and mix with a fork for a few seconds and then pour into the pan.

Then pour in the salt, sugar, and flour.

Then add in the yeast.  I buy it by the jar because I make rolls about 3 - 4 times a month.  I should cut back.  But then life would lose all meaning.

Select the dough cycle (the timer should read 1 hour 20 minutes) and start 'er up!  Check the dough about two minutes after you start the machine, because it is notorious for mixing everything underneath, and leaving this heavy flour layer on top.  Scrape the sides and make sure everything is mixing evenly.  The dough should look like this when the machine gets rolling...

When the machine reaches the end of the dough cycle, go ahead and unplug it. Here comes the hard part.
Dust your counter top with flour, lift out the pan and dump.  (now wipe your brow...)

I use a small shaker, filled with flour, to dust the counter and the dough.
Take the dough and divide it in half.  Roll the dough out into a large circle.  It can be just a tad sticky, so keep the flour handy.  Cut the circle in half, and then half again.  Then cut three wedges in each quarter.  I've found that using a pizza wheel makes this job super-fast and easy - the dough won't stick to the wheel either.  I also use it directly on the counter top (which my mother does not approve of), and it has never left a mark.  I also have nineties-era crap Formica counter tops, so I don't really care...

Roll the dough from the wide edge towards the center and place on a ungreased baking sheet.  I do a dozen at a time.  There is no second rising time, so the rolls are ready to pop in the oven as soon as you are done rolling (told you this was easy!).

Bake at 400 F for 8 - 10 minutes.  I prefer my rolls soft and underdone, so I bake mine at 390 F for 9 minutes.  Every oven is different, so experiment and find out what works for you.  I immediately place them on a cooling rack, and place the next twelve rolls (which were already rolled and left waiting in the counter) on the same warm baking sheet and put the next batch in the oven.  I don't try to bake both dozen at once - they never turn out as well for me, even if I switch the pans around halfway... 

And there you have it!  They keep well in the fridge, and you can also make ahead and freeze.  My mom makes a batch, freezes them, and then pulls a roll out here and there and microwaves it to heat it up.


You can add herbs to the dough mixture when you add the flour.  I often add a little dried dill, oregano, basil or a dash of sage - just use what you like!

A breakfast variation might be to mix a mash of butter, brown or white sugar and cinnamon.  Spread it into a thin layer on a peice of waxed paper and freeze it for a half hour.  When you roll out the dough, cut the frozen butter mixture into little peices and sprinkle onto the dough and then roll up the cresent rolls.  I just thought of this, so I haven't tried it yet, but gosh that sounds good.  Hmmmm....

Happy baking!!!

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