Easy Crescent Rolls (BBB July 2022)

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BBB: Let's Keep Baking summary: recipe for Easy Crescent Rolls – egg-free, thank you very much; I used commercial yeast(!); information about Bread Baking Babes;

BBB Crescent Rolls

Make weeknight dinner a success with the home-baked goodness of […] Crescent Rolls

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Easy Crescent Rolls

This month, Kelly decided we needed (ha, I almost typed “kneaded”) more butter in our diets. She decided to make laminated dough. But, because it’s summer, she also wanted to make our life easier by choosing an easy laminated dough recipe. Yay, Kelly!

Way back when I was still in middle school and my family was still living in Ohio, my mom would occasionally buy Pillsbury Crescent rolls for Sunday dinner or her Thanksgiving gathering. They were always the best. I mean, they came from everyone’s favorite dough boy so what do you expect? Always good.
 
– Tieghan, Half Baked Harvest | Easier Extra Flaky Homemade Crescent Rolls

I too tasted Pillsbury Crescent rolls, way back in the last century, when I was still in elementary school. I don’t remember where though. However, it’s highly unlikely that it was at our house. Mum would never have bought such a thing. Although… in those days, companies used to deliver complimentary packets of the latest craze into everyone’s mailbox. I know that’s how it was that we tried poptarts (and, after tasting them, never understood why anyone would buy them…).

What I do remember is that the commercial crescent rolls looked beautiful, but they smelled funny. My nose is wrinkling even now remembering that odd smell. It wasn’t that the rolls were bad. They just smelled (and tasted) weird.

They most definitely were not the bakery butter buns Mum bought for hamburgers. Nor were they Mum’s insanely good homemade bread. And no wonder, looking at the ingredients list for these perplexingly popular commercial crescent rolls:

[A] pack of refrigerated crescent rolls dough makes eight rolls. Keep a can on hand for an easy dinner side. Simply bake according to package directions for golden brown crescent rolls ready in 9-12 minutes. […]
Ingredients Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), Water, Vegetable Shortening (soybean and palm oil, hydrogenated palm oil, fractionated palm oil, water, mono and diglycerides, TBHQ and citric acid [preservatives], beta carotene [for color]), Sugar, Baking Powder (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium aluminum phosphate). Contains 2% or less of: Soybean Oil, Vital Wheat Gluten, Dextrose, Salt, Monoglycerides, Potassium Chloride, Annatto Extract (for color).
 
– Pillsbury.com | Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls (pillsbury.com/products/crescents/original)

Happily, Kelly gave us a recipe that calls for normal ingredients (ie: zero TBHQ, dextrose, palm oil, etc. etc.) Please read on to learn what I did to the BBBabes’ July 2022 recipe:

BBB Easy Crescent Rolls diary:

9 June 2022, 12:39 In a message to the BBBabes, Kelly said “Lamination has always been my Achilles heel.” Laminated dough is my Achilles heel as well! I is also T’s absolute favourite kind of bread. Eeeek! Pressure??!

But. I’m glad Kelly chose it for July, which is looking to be a less busy month here than the previous three.

24 June 2022 at 11:58 The heat is starting to set in here. It hasn’t been quite as revolting as weather out west, but revolting enough.

On Wednesday it was 35C and humid. To add insult to injury, I had to drive on a busy highway for about an hour and a half (stop/start traffic for several kilometers); the AC on our car broke about a year ago, and we decided it wasn’t necessary to fix it because we rarely drive in the summer. :stomp:

As I recall from making BBB croissants with a block of cold butter, it wasn’t so terribly difficult. But if the butter is soft already, it seems likely to be much easier to do the lamination. I hope.

12:11 Being the freak I am, I just converted all the cup/spoon measurements to grams. (I hope I didn’t make a mistake.) I must say I’m a little surprised that these crescent rolls call for an egg.

I might feel compelled to leave the egg out. And/or substitute with flaxseed and water. What am I saying, “might”? Considering the price and availability of cage-free, free-run, antibiotics-free eggs, I’m pretty much determined to leave out the egg.

26 June 2022 at 13:44 Kelly told us that she looked at various crescent roll recipes and how interesting that it’s only the Pillsbury copycat recipe that DOESN’T call for an egg. This clinches it. I’m definitely not going to add an egg either. I’ll use the flaxseed substitution. I’ll pretend that it’s because I’m trying to mimic the Pillsbury crescent rolls. :lalala:

It has been decades since I tasted a Pillsbury crescent roll – but I recall their slightly odd, almost off, flavour as if it were yesterday. And. No wonder after looking at the ingredients list on the Pillsbury website.

They don’t even include butter! They substitute with “Vegetable Shortening (soybean and palm oil, hydrogenated palm oil, fractionated palm oil, water, mono and diglycerides, TBHQ and citric acid [preservatives], beta carotene [for color])”!!

No butter?! Are they mad?

Now, maybe, if they had chosen duck fat, I wouldn’t object so much. I don’t think I’d even object vociferously if they had chosen olive oil or even the less flavourful sunflower oil. But hydrogenated and fractionated palm oil?? No thank you. :stomp:

5 July 2022, 16:03 Oops! How can it be July already?! But, of course, I should have known. It’s quite warm in the kitchen; the butter isn’t hard….

And speaking of butter, I’ve gone into the warrens again:

If you’ve ever made (or even just watched a video on how to make) croissants, you should know what I mean when I say that standard croissant making is a labor of love! Well not this method! After a ton of testing (and a lot of snacking!), I’ve boiled down croissant making to the bare minimum steps and chilling times. This recipe is a lot easier to make then regular croissants, and it comes together in less than half the time! […] This recipe calls for butter that’s been cubed and frozen. Working the cubed butter into the dough directly helps get the laminating process started. Frozen butter is important to make sure the butter stays firm during the whole process!
 
– Mimi, Eats Delightful | Easy and Quick Croissant Recipe
The higher fat content [in European-style Butter] is ideal for butter-forward baking like biscuits, pie crust, laminated doughs like puff pastry or rough puff, and the like, or for things like caramel. It is also the perfect thing to gloss out a sauce.
 
– Stacey Ballis, myrecipes, Which Type of Butter Is Best for Your Recipe
“Butter softened to room temperature” is not listed just for fun. Recipe authors aren’t trying to make your life difficult when calling for room temperature ingredients. In fact, there’s legitimate science involved. […] [R]oom temperature ingredients bond together very easily since they’re warmer […] Cold ingredients do not emulsify together. Period. […] Room temperature butter is cool to the touch and about 65°F (18°C), which might be colder than your kitchen. If your cakes are dense, you’re probably softening the butter too much. […] To test the butter, poke it with your finger. Your finger should make an indent without sinking or sliding down into the butter. The butter should not be shiny or greasy. It will be cool to touch, not warm.
 
– Sally, Sally’s Baking Addiction | Here’s What Room Temperature Butter Really Means
Full disclosure: I never actually take the temperature of my butter. But if you’re new to baking and still trying to get a hang of it, go ahead and stick a thermometer in the middle of the stick of butter as you get accustomed to what it should look and feel like.
 
– Leslie Kiszka, Stress Baking | What Room Temperature Butter Means (and Why It’s Important)
Butter is at Room Temperature:
• When pressed it should give slightly but it should still hold its shape.
• Butter should be flexible, you should be able to bend it without breaking or cracking.
• Room temperature butter is about 65-67F.
 
– Hani, Haniela’s | Room Temperature Butter Demystified

10 July 2022, 09:16 We just noticed that the horrible furry black fiend managed to climb onto the table where there was lace umbrella hat on top of what was left (a lot) of a rectangular carrot cake (the decadent version of Rhyll’s recipe, of course) covered with so-much-cream-cheese-icing-it-would-make-you-puke. We had only had one small slice each of the cake the evening before. As usual, the cake was DELICIOUS.

At some point in the dead of night, the FBF first poked a hole through the lace, and then demolished a large corner of the icing – none of the cake though. (He did not get sick.) What a brat!

Would you like a really cute black cat? He’s very friendly and not at all finicky about what he eats. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind having to sit for hours and hours and hours at Pearson Airport waiting for his flight that may or may not leave/arrive on time….

11 July 2022, 13:33 This morning, we had to drive (eeek!!) to the north of the city to take T’s suddenly dead computer to the shop. (Darn these night-time power outages.) The shop has assured him that they will try to recover his data (fingers crossed!).

On the way home, we suddenly realized we would go right by a Turkish supermarket that we’ve wanted to go to for ages. There were stunningly beautiful beaten copper coffee urns, bowls, and hookahs on the top shelves. Inside the store was aisle after aisle of preserves, olive oils, spices, breads, coffee (Turkish, of course), juices, olives, etc. etc. etc.

We’re so excited! We got pomegranate molasses that has NO sugar!! It’s made with 100% pomegranates. We also got some beautiful looking sour cherry jam, cherry juice, pomegranate juice, and hot hot hot pickled peppers. But the really thrilling purchase is the dowel for making filo dough! Whoohoooooo!

Turkish Store Haul
sugar free pomegranate molasses
dowel for making filo dough

(I know. We could just use our regular rolling pin, but the dowel was not expensive and it called and called to us. How could we say no?)

12 July 2022, 14:42 I should NEVER tell T that I’m going to leave out the egg from a bread recipe. If he hadn’t known that egg would be involved, he wouldn’t have had any disappointment on his face at all. I should just have left it at: I’m going to make crescent rolls.

The basic ratio is one tablespoon of flax seeds and three tablespoons of water to replace one egg. You’ll need to grind the flax seeds into a fine powder using a coffee or spice grinder (or use 2 1/2 teaspoons pre-ground), and then you simply whisk in the water until it becomes gelatinous. Cory Ramy on the [NYTimes] Bitten blog also chilled the mixture before using it. Add flax “eggs” to the recipe exactly as you would regular eggs.
 
– Emma Christensen, Kitchn | Egg Substitutes in Baking? Try Flax Seed!
Hmmm, that sounds like quite a lot of water. I know that an egg’s volume is roughly 1/4 cup. […] I’m going to make an executive decision to use just 2 Tbsp water + flax seed to replace each egg. Because I’m an expert… and I never fail when I make these rash executive decisions…. :lalala: {cough} :lalala:
 
– me, Ring! Ring! (BBB April 2019)

14 July 2022, 10:40 mixing the dough… whoa, I’m really not used to the smell of commercial yeast anymore! It smells like apple juice. (I confess that I’m not wild about apple juice….)

12:53 I have now buttered the dough and done two rollings and foldings. I did NOT put the dough in the freezer between times. As if we have room in our little freezer that is attached to the fridge…. Instead, the dough is in the fridge for half an hour at a time.

Things taking longer so that the dough gets a chance to develop seems better anyway. The idea of things going so quickly indicates – to me, anyway – that the final result will be flavour-free.

16:48 Shaped! That wasn’t even remotely difficult! Yay.

BBB Crescent Rolls

18:42 Baked! The crescents smell fantastic. And they look so cute. I cannot wait for tomorrow’s breakfast!

BBB Crescent Rolls

21:31 Even though we had a HUGE dinner: lentils, cauliflower with tahini sauce, radishes, cherry tomatoes, stir-fried radish greens, charcoal grilled pork shoulder, perfect rice (a large mound), and a garnish of several herbs (including “Empress of India” nasturtiums) from the garden, I had to try one of the crescent rolls with honey for dessert. It. Was. Delicious.

Is it time for breakfast yet??

BBB Crescent Rolls

Yesterday morning, we warmed crescent rolls and then took them out to the front porch to eat the beautifully crisp on the outside but soft on the inside crescents with butter, goats cheese OR aged English cheddar, red currant jelly and big bowls of café au lait. (Ooops!! Silly us. We should have tried the sour cherry jam!)

That’s the life!!

BBB Crescent Rolls
BBB Crescent Rolls

Were the crescent rolls as good as actual croissants? Not quite. They didn’t have the distinct layers that croissants have, and the outside wasn’t shatteringly crisp. (I don’t think the kitchen was too warm when I was proofing the shaped rolls….)

But these crescent rolls were really really really good.

BBB Crescent Roll

Thank you, Kelly! This recipe is a keeper!

Here is the July 2022 BBB recipe that we were given. And here is what I did to it:

Easy Crescent Rolls
based on Tieghan’s (Half-Baked Harvest) recipe for “Easier Extra Flaky Homemade Crescent Rolls”

[E]xtra flaky is the best. When they’re extra flaky, that means extra buttery, a combo that can never be beat.
– Tieghan, Half-Baked Harvest

makes 16-18 crescent rolls (I made 17….)

Dough

  • 60 grams water, room temperature
  • 7 grams active dry yeast
  • to replace the – ewwww – egg:
       » 10 grams flax seeds, ground finely
       » 30 grams yoghurt whey
  • flour
       » 365 grams unbleached (no additives) all-purpose flour
       » 10 grams wheat germ
  • 2 grams sugar
  • 177 grams 2% milk from the fridge
  • 6 grams hot water (to warm up the milk)
  • 14 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 grams salt + 10 grams water
  • 112 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • milk, for brushing before baking
    1. mixing In the morning of the day you will be baking the crescent rolls, put yeast and water into a small bowl and whisk well. Set aside for a few moments.
    2. egg replacement In another smallish bowl, whisk together yoghurt whey and finely ground flaxseed. Set aside for a few moments.
    3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, wheat germ, and sugar. Pour in the yeasted water, milk, hot water, and egg replacement. Using a dough whisk (or wooden spoon), mix together until it forms a rough dough.
    4. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave it in a non-drafty area of the kitchen for about 20 minutes.
    5. Adding the butter and salt: Put 14 grams softened butter on top of the dough. Pour 10 grams of water and 6 grams salt overtop. Use one of your hands to squoosh the salt into the dough; use the other hand to steady the bowl – this way you always have a clean hand. At first the dough might be a bit messy and seem like it’s coming apart. Persevere. Suddenly, it will seem more like dough than a horrible separated glop. Keep folding it over onto itself until it is relatively smooth. Cover with a plate and leave to rest for about 30 minutes.
    6. Laminating: Lightly flour the board and gently turn out the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll it into a large rectangle about half a centimeter thick. Gently spread the rest of the softened butter on top of the dough, leaving about a 2 centimeter margin around the edges. Fold the dough into thirds like a letter: create three layers by folding one side of the rectangle towards the center, then fold the other side over on top of the first layer. Move the folded dough onto a parchment covered baking sheet, cover with a clean tea towel and put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes. (The BBB recipe suggests putting it in the freezer for 7-10 minutes. Our freezer is tiny. There is no way there is room for a tray of dough.)
    7. After the fridge rest, scatter a small amount of flour onto the board, and re-roll the dough into a long rectangle; fold dough again into thirds like a letter. Put it back in fridge for about 20 minutes. Repeat this process at least two more times. (I kind of lost track; I think I did this step 5 times, and on the last two times, I folded the letter shaped dough into half to create 6 layers instead of 3.)
    8. Shaping: After very lightly flouring the board one more time, roll the dough out into a large rectangle. about half a centimeter thick. Lift the rectangle off the board to make sure it’s not sticking. Using a pizza wheel, cut the dough in half lengthwise. Cut each half into triangles.
    9. Using both hands, roll up each triangle starting from the base and going towards the point. Curve the rolled dough into a crescent shape. Repeat with all the triangles. Place the shaped crescents well apart on two parchment covered cookie sheets. Cover with a tea towel and leave at room temperature (no drafts) to rise for 30 to 60 minutes. Kelly says,
      Not too warm or the butter will melt and there will be fewer layers.
    10. While the rolls are rising, put a rack on the second from the top shelf of the oven (the BBB recipe suggests putting the rack in the “middle of the oven”) and turn the oven to 425ºF.
    11. baking: Make sure the oven is hot before proceeding. The rolls are ready to bake when after gently pressing against the side of a crescent, the indentation slowly springs back. (It took about an hour in our kitchen) Just before baking, brush each crescent with milk. Put the trays into the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 400ºF. Bake the rolls for about 15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. (It took about 25 minutes in our oven.)
    12. When they are done, remove to cool on a wire rack (use a spatula or tongs to move them – they’re hot hot hot).

    Serve warm with butter and honey or jam. Or serve them with dinner: soup, or goulash, or grilled meat, or….

    Notes:

    Baking Temperature and Time: Please remember that our oven is different from yours, so the baking time and temperature may need to be different.
    Most domestic ovens, whether gas, electric, fan assisted or solid fuel, will bake bread quite adequately. But, not surprisingly, some are better than others. […] [T]he temperature in the oven may have to fall by as much as 30°C before the thermostat calls for renewed heat, so the item being baked is subjected to a constantly oscillating temperature. […] The knobs and dials on domestic ovens are notoriously unreliable. Even where they indicate a precipe temperature rather than a rough guide or a regulo number, you should regard the setting as approximate. […] [A]ll that is really required is to know what setting gives a cool, moderate or hot oven. […] [I]f you understand roughly what heat a loaf requires (e.g. pretty hot for a big, wet, rye sourdough, moderate for an enriched sweet bread), you won’t go far wrong
     
    – Andrew Whitley, Bread Matters, Chapter three: Taking Control

     

    Last night, instead of making naan on the barbecue, we decided to serve warm crescents with butter not-chicken (made with leftover barbecued pork shoulder instead of chicken), green beans, market radishes, and herbs from the garden.

    BBB Crescent Rolls

    Oh. My.

    Crescent rolls are PERFECT with butter not-chicken!!

    We have lots of butter not-chicken left over for another night. We put the rest of the crescent rolls in the freezer (I managed to find room) so they’ll be nice and fresh.

    Bread Baking Babes BBB: Let's Keep BakingPan de Cristal (Glass Bread)

    Kelly is hosting July 2022’s Bread Baking Babes’ project. She wrote:

    for our bake I chose an easier style laminated crescent roll to try out, since they are so delicious and versatile, but I haven’t had a chance to make it yet. Lamination has always been my Achilles heel.
     
    – Kelly, in messages to BBBabes

    We know you’ll want to cover up your Achilles heel and make easy crescent rolls too! To receive a Bread Baking Buddy Badge to display on your site: make the crescents in the next couple of weeks and post about them (we love to see how your bread turns out AND hear what you think about it – what you didn’t like and/or what you liked) before the 29 July 2022. If you do not have a blog, no problem; you can also post your picture(s) to Flickr (or any other photo sharing site) and record your thoughts about the bread there. Please remember to contact the Kitchen of the Month to say that your post is up.

    Please note that it’s not enough to post about your bread in the Facebook group. Because of the ephemeral nature of Facebook’s posts, your FB post may be lost in the shuffle. Please make sure to directly contact the kitchen of the month if you want to be included in the BBBuddy roundup.

    For complete details about this month’s recipe, the BBB and how to become a BBBuddy, please read:

    Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ July 2022 crescent rolls:

     

    Just as I was about to hit “publish”, I got distracted by the intoxicating aroma of just-baked plum pie (no photographic evidence yet – the picture is still in the camera), and the thrilling report from T that the filo dowel is the perfect implement for rolling pastry. This is such happy news!

    This entry was posted in baking, BBBabes, bread - yeasted & unyeasted, bread recipe, food & drink, posts with recipes on by .

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    6 responses to “Easy Crescent Rolls (BBB July 2022)

    1. Karen (Karen's Kitchen Stories)

      I’m so glad you liked these! So little drama and they turned out so beautifully!! Yay! We loved them too and I’ve probably eaten about three a day!

      edit 18 July 2022, 08:26: Me too, Karen! Me too! I admit that I was a little surprised that they came together so easily for me. (If I hadn’t found room in the freezer to put half of the crescent rolls, I would have been eating 3 a day too.) – Elizabeth

      Reply
    2. Cathy (Bread Experience)

      Your crescents look beautiful! Of course you had to have one (or three) with dinner. I agree, they are really really good!

      edit 18 July 2022, 08:29: Thank you, Cathy! The recipe is definitely a keeper. Next time, I’ll try making them with wild yeast though. I bet they’re even better that way. – Elizabeth

      Reply
    3. Katie Zeller (Thyme for Cooking)

      What a great haul you made from the Turkish store. Well done!
      I’m still looking for mustard.
      Your crescent rolls look lovely – and so much easier (less stressful)

      edit 18 July 2022, 08:34: We’re so thrilled about the things from the Turkish store! We cannot believe that all pomegranate molasses isn’t sugar-free. The 100% pomegranate version is so much better than the sugared versions we see in the regular supermarket.
       
      So sorry to hear that mustard is still so scarce for you. Here’s hoping that Alberta’s crop will be good this year so your mustard will be replenished. (Last year’s wild fires out west decimated the mustard crops.)
       
      I was surprised at how UNstressful these crescents were. I wasn’t surprised at how many we ate though. :-) :-)
       
      – Elizabeth

      Reply
    4. Kelly (A Messy Kitchen)

      Wowie, are you really going to try making filo?? Great post as always. Our FBF’s have eaten many projects that I have neglected to cover! You would think I would learn my lesson. Glad your rolls turned out so cute even with your egg phobia. ;) I just had my last one out of the freezer last night. I split and toast them and you can hear the butter sizzling when they are about to pop up. Super crisp edges that way!

      edit 18 July 2022, 18:56: Me? Make filo? I’m afeared. I’m afeared. But T has reported that he is going to try to make filo. He is going get a better feel for the dowel by making pasta tomorrow (for various kinds of ravioli: mushroom; sausage and Swiss chard; nettles). Ooooh!! Kelly, you are brilliant! We will split and toast the rest of our crescent rolls so that the edges will be crispy. – Elizabeth

      Reply
      1. Kelly (A Messy Kitchen)

        Okay, I have a wonderful Turkish baklava recipe I bookmarked years ago and loved the technique it showed. I will link it separately in case a link makes the comment go to spam.

        edit 19 July 2022, 18:00: This is fantastic, Kelly! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. (We’ll have to wait though. While it’s nowhere near what nightmares are occurring in Europe now, it’s close to being poisonously hot here: It’s 28C in our house that has no AC.) – Elizabeth

        Reply
        1. Kelly (A Messy Kitchen)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OAyo9qRVwM
          Turkish Baklava, DOUGH FROM SCRATCH – Fatemahisokay

          edit 19 July 2022, 18:06: Interesting… my strict spam checker didn’t let me edit this comment a moment ago. I’ll try again: That video is terrific. I can’t wait until it’s cooler in the house. J’adore baklava! – Elizabeth

          Reply

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