Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The rolls you'll want to make for Thanksgiving this year. cont'd

Hi! If you're just joining me, I'm talking about yeast crescents. Basically, making them and eating them. If you missed the first part, it's here.

Here's how the dough looked when I got up this morning. That's how it should look.

Next you're going to be rolling out the dough so you want a large floured surface so it doesn't stick.

(Just a side note. See those tomatoes in the background? Those came from my aunt's garden. They were picked green right before the first freeze we had a couple of weeks back. I really had my doubts that they would ripen, they were just so hard and green. But what do you know, they're actually ripening. In fact, some of them are rotting. I'm hoping I can get to them before they're a total waste.)

Just plop the dough ball onto the floured surface. It will start to shrink a little when you handle it because the risen dough has lots of air in it and when you start to mess with it, that air comes out. 

Now divide the ball into two balls. 

Take one of the dough balls and begin to roll out into a large circle. I'm sorry a lot of these pictures are blurry. I had 3 cups of coffee this morning so I'm a little shaky.

Here's the dough all rolled out into a nice, big circle. You want to shoot for 12-15 inches across, but it's not important enough to get out a ruler. Just make it look like a large pizza crust.

Now, speaking of pizza, this next part is kind of fun. In fact, if you have kids around, and you're not a control freak, you can let them help with the next couple of steps. Take a pizza cutter and cut the circle into 12 pieces. 

This is what it should look like when you're done cutting. Of course, if your kids helped you out, it may not look like this, but it's no big deal because each one of those pieces will make a roll and they can be any size. Technically, this recipe makes 2 dozen rolls, but you may end up with more or less than a dozen and that's perfectly fine.

Now we're going to make crescents. Take one of the triangle pieces and spread out the top two corners a little and then roll it toward the small end.

Hey, look, a crescent!

Now you can curve the ends around so you'll have more room on the pan.

And here they are, ready to bake. You know, I've never made a batch this small before. In fact, tomorrow, when I make these for our Thanksgiving dinner, I'll be making 8 dozen. There's a sea of bowls and pans and there's flour and melted butter everywhere. It's quite a sight.

Set your oven to 375 degrees and while it's preheating, cover the rolls with a tea towel or plastic wrap and set it somewhere warm to rise again. If you wanted to freeze these for later, you could do that now.*

I put them on top of my stove because the warmth from the oven preheating was just enough heat to help them rise. I left them there for about an hour and a half. Are you're wondering why there are twice as many rolls now as in the previous picture? Remember when I separated the dough into two balls? I forgot about the other ball. Now there are 2 dozen rolls instead of 1.

When I took the towel off to check on them, they looked like this. Aren't they just so cute and chubby?!?

You can butter them before putting them in the oven or you can wait and butter them afterwards, OR you can butter them before and after. In fact, that's what I would suggest. Then put them in the oven and set your timer for 12 minutes. If you're not sure how your oven performs, check on them at 10 minutes and then every few minutes after that until you get the brownness you want.

After 12 minutes in the oven, this is what mine looked like. I used my little oven on top and apparently, it doesn't cook very evenly, but that's no problem because in our family we have two teams - team doughy and team done. So there's something for everyone on this pan.  I can't believe I just made a reference to the Twilight series. I'm not even a fan, but it's all anyone can talk about right now.

Don't forget to butter them again. This is just my opinion, but where bread is concerned, I don't think you can over butter.

Now would you look at that. That's perfection, right there. In fact, if you don't feel like you have enough things to be thankful for, make these rolls at once and you'll have one more thing to add to your list. ;)

Happy Thanksgiving!

*Put the pan in the freezer just like it is and leave it in there long enough to flash freeze them, then you can put them in a ziploc bag and they won't stick to each other. When you get ready to thaw them, just lay them out on a pan like they were and set them somewhere to rise.

Here's the recipe in case you just want to copy it:

Yeast Crescents

1 package dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour

Put warm milk in a small bowl and sprinkle yeast and sugar on top. Let rest for about 30 minutes. It should be foamy if the yeast is good. Pour milk mixture into a large bowl and beat together. Mix in eggs, butter and salt. Add half of the flour and mix well. Add remaining flour and mix until smooth. Cover bowl and let stand overnight at room temperature. The next morning, divide the dough in half and roll each into a 9 to 15 inch circle. Cut each circle into twelve equal wedges (a pizza cutter works great for this) and roll up beginning at the wide end. Shape them into crescents and place on a greased baking sheet and let stand until ready to bake. (Rolls can sit for up to 6 hours at this point.) Bake in a preheated, 375 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with butter if desired. Yield: 2 dozen

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