1 Mix
2 Proof
Sure, there are three
steps, but the first step is
easy and the last two
steps don't require any
work at all!
Artisan Breads 1..2..3..
Make artisan breads in 3 easy steps.  Its fast, fun, and easy, any way you slice it!
“Baking is a relaxed art.  There is
no step in the bread making
process that cannot, in some
way, be delayed or moved ahead
just a bit to make it more
convenient to fit into a busy
schedule.”  -Bernard Clayton Jr.
in The Breads of France
Recipes
3 Bake
Tips and Techniques

April 30, 2012

The Best Crescents

















For years I avoided making crescent rolls from scratch because they just
didn’t taste as good as other homemade breads.  That stuff from the
refrigerated can always seemed a bit better.  What was the secret to great
crescent rolls?  I would play around with the ingredients, making the rolls
richer and richer, but ever larger amounts of eggs, shortening and sugar
didn’t do the trick for me.  

I searched online for recipes and consulted the usually reliable Cook’s
Illustrated’s Baking Illustrated, which also advocated a very enriched
dough.  One thing both Cook’s Illustrated and most online recipes
recommended was a period of refrigeration for the dough, something which
I already have been doing with most of my breads.
After much more experimentation producing bland rolls, I finally came up
with what I think is a big winner.  Instead of using a very enriched dough, I
mix up a lean but very soft dough with a buttermilk tang,  then brush butter
on the outside of the dough when making the rolls.  Leaving the fat on the
outside helps keep the crumb soft and light and makes for a slightly crisp
crust.   Even my daughters (my toughest baking critics) prefer them to rolls
from a can – finally!

The only downside to these rolls is that they lose a bit of their freshness on
the second day.  Fortunately a  brief reheating in the toaster oven freshens
them back up nicely.  Described below are recipes for two versions of my
crescent rolls, a classic version, and a trendier, multigrain version.  Take
that, Pillsbury doughboy!

























Classic Crescent Rolls
























In a large bowl, stir together the flours, potato flakes, yeast, salt, buttermilk
powder and sugar.  Stir in the water until well mixed then stir vigorously
another 15-30 seconds.  Cover and allow to stand at room temperature for
2 hours then  refrigerate, OR refrigerate immediately and wait at least 12
hours to use dough.

Turn the oven to 375 F and remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Fold
the dough a few times and divide in half (if making a double batch).  Form
each half into a ball then place on a well floured surface and roll out into a
14 inch circle.  Brush the circle heavily with melted butter then allow to
stand for 5 minutes to let the butter firm back up.  Cut the circle into 12
wedges.  Stretch each wedge a bit then roll up from the wide end into a
crescent shape and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  
Once all twelve rolls are on the parchment paper, brush each liberally with
the rest of the melted butter.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to
rest at room temperature while the oven finishes warming up.

Bake the rolls for 20-24 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool.  Serve
warm.


                      Brushed with butter and oven ready





















Multigrain Crescent Rolls



























In a large bowl, stir together the flours, potato flakes, yeast, salt, buttermilk
powder, sugar, and flax and/or sesame seeds.  Stir in the water until well
mixed then stir vigorously another 15-30 seconds.  Cover and allow to
stand at room temperature for 2 hours then  refrigerate, OR refrigerate
immediately and wait at least 12 hours to use dough.

Turn the oven to 375 F and remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Fold
the dough a few times and divide in half (if making a double batch).  Form
each half into a ball then place on a well floured surface and roll out into a
14 inch circle.  Brush the circle heavily with melted butter then allow to
stand for 5 minutes to let the butter firm back up.  Cut the circle into 12
wedges.  Stretch each wedge a bit then roll up from the wide end into a
crescent shape and place on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  
Once all twelve rolls are on the parchment paper, brush each liberally with
the rest of the melted butter.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to
rest at room temperature while the oven finishes warming up.

Bake the rolls for 20-24 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool.  Serve
warm.


     
             Multigrain Crescents (left) and Classic Crescents (right)

















Double Batch
(24 rolls)
Ingredient
Single Batch
(12 rolls)
5 1/2 cups, 770 g
All-purpose flour,
92%
2 3/4 cups, 385 g
1/2 cup, 65 g
Whole wheat flour,
8%
1/4 cup, 33 g
1 cup, 63 g
Instant Mashed
potatoes, 8%
1/2 cup, 32 g
1 Tbsp, 9 g
Active dry yeast, 1%
1/2 Tbsp, 5 g
1 Tbsp, 14 g
Kosher salt, 2%
1/2 Tbsp, 7 g
1/2 cup, 75 g
Buttermilk powder,
9%
1/4 cup, 38 g
1/4 cup, 50 g
Sugar, 6%
2 Tbsp, 25 g
3 cups, 711 g
Water, warmed to
105-115 F, 85%
1 1/2 cups, 356 g
12 Tbsp (1 1/2
sticks), 338 g
Butter, melted, 40%
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick),
169 g
Double Batch
(24 rolls)
Ingredient
Single Batch
(12 rolls)
4 cups, 560 g
All-purpose flour,
68%
2 cups, 280 g
1 1/2 cups, 195 g
Whole wheat flour,
24%
3/4 cup, 98 g
1/2 cup, 63 g
Pumpernickel flour,
8%
1/4 cup, 32 g
1 cup, 63 g
Instant mashed
potato flakes, 8%
1/2 cup, 32 g
1 Tbsp, 9 g
Active dry yeast, 1%
1/2 Tbsp, 5 g
1 Tbsp, 14 g
Kosher salt, 2%
1/2 Tbsp, 7 g
1/2 cup, 75 g
Buttermilk powder,
9%
1/4 cup, 38 g
1/4 cup, 50 g
Sugar, 6%
2 Tbsp, 25 g
1/2 cup, 70 g
Flax and/or sesame
seeds, 9%
1/4 cup, 35 g
3 cups, 711 g
Water, warmed to
105-115 F, 87%
1 1/2 cups, 356 g
12 Tbsp (1 1/2
sticks), 338 g
Butter, melted, 41%
6 Tbsp, (3/4 stick),
169 g