How is a Crescent Roll different from a croissant? The croissant also is a buttery, crescent shaped roll but is made from puff pastry dough and has multiple delicate layers which creates a very light and flaky roll. A fresh croissant is an unbeatable pleasure, but a Crescent Roll is right there too and unlike the croissant, quite simpleto make. A few weeks ago, for Thanksgiving, I made eight dozen. What seemed ridiculous when rolling them out was later brilliant when I saw my nephews running through the kitchen snitching warm rolls before dinner. I understood, as I too had snitched one or two hot out of the oven.
It's not too early to be thinking about holiday menus. If you don't know how to make crescent rolls don't be shy about making these the first time for a holiday event. This recipe can be mixed up quickly by hand, rolls out effortlessly, is not finicky about the rising time and produces an soft, just buttery enough, elegant roll.
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt, Celtic Sea Salt preferable
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 package active dry yeast
4 cups APflour
Butter a large bowl with a bit of the butter (set aside) and then melt the butter in a large pan. Add the sugar, salt and milk and stir well, heating to a temperature between 105° F to 115° F. Without a thermometer, heat until the liquid feels tepid when a drop is placed on the wrist. Add the eggs, yeast and flour and stir with a large spoon. (A mixer is not necessary.) Turn the dough into the large, buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, cut the dough into fourths right in the bowl. Lightly flour the work surface. Working with one section at a time, shape each quarter into a smooth disc. Flatten, sprinkle lightly with flour and roll into a 10-inch circle. Cut into 12 wedges. Roll each wedge from the wide end to the point, stretching the wide end slightly as you go to form a nicely shaped crescent. Place each crescent on a parchment lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a dampened dishtowel and let rise 2 to 3 hours.
(I've had equal success letting them rise longer so they may be baked and served directly from the oven.)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden. Serve warm.
Makes 4 dozen.