Another bread baking success story. Warm, flaky and soft rolls; laced with herb and butter to perfection.
One late afternoon when we sat tight at home, just lazing around with no intention to go out, the daughter got up and started pacing the floors. Then she declared that she is in that frame of mind that desires some good, soft bread, ” just like we have at our neighborhood family owned Italian restaurant”. That statement was kind of lost in the air. We were not going out so she saw no rays of hope here. No warm bread rolls smeared with butter. After a while and some more restless pacing she cuddled up to me and said, “Mommy, you do not bake breads anymore…you really should you know”.
And it continued, long enough to make me want to have some rolls too.
Or maybe even more than that.
After all it was not yet five o’ clock and there is therapy in bread making. I cannot say how or why it calms me down, but it always does. Kneading a soft bouncy dough makes gives me that feeling that everything is alright; “all is well”.
Another journey was about to begin. Crescent Dinner Rolls. Just like the ones in Venezia’s Cafe, warm, fragrant as they come nestled closely in a lined basket with pouches of soft whipped butter.
Bread baking might be therapy for me, but I am not an expert yet. If I find a base recipe, I can knead to make changes to personalize. So I started looking with the two girls leaning on my shoulders. “I want this one”, T said, pointing to one Google image. P did not agree to that. That did not look quite as good. We spent about 15 minutes and we finally agreed on two recipes. Now it was to me to merge them together.
The use of garlic and herbs and the last toss with herb oil is something I wanted to do for extra flavors. It is an optional step, but if you are having these rolls as an appetizer along with some soup or salad, the special burst of flavor works really well.
I did not get a chance to photograph while I was rolling/shaping and baking them. So here is a visual to “how to” the folds and the rolling. Hope it helps.
The rolls do not look like much of a crescent as I forgot to turn the tips/ends of the rolls towards the inside to make the correct shape. So if do want to be perfect, bend the ends of the roll a tiny bit to make them rightly shaped.
Garlic and Herb Crescent Rolls
Ingredients: (Yields 18-20 rolls)
- 3.5 cups all-purpose flour (leveled), plus more for work surface
- 1/8 cup warm water (about 105F)
- 2.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted + 4-6 tablespoons more for tossing and layering the rolls with and brushing them
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder, adjust amount to taste
- 1.5 teaspoon dried crushed oregano/or rosemary or a mix of Italian herbs
- 1/8 cup sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 1.5 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped herbs
- coarse/sea salt to garnish if you want
Place the warm water in a small bowl; sprinkle with yeast, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the water is not too hot, or else it will kill the yeast.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk, butter, garlic powder, herbs, sugar, salt, and the egg. Once the yeast mix gets foamy, whisk in the yeast mixture with the milk sugar mix.
Stir in 3 cups flour into the bowl, 1 cup at a time, while mixing with a wooden spoon until you have a soft dough. Sprinkle in the rest half cup of flour and turn dough out onto a flour dusted surface; knead until bouncy, smooth and elastic, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Oil/butter the inside of a bowl and place dough in bowl. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow it stand in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, about 1.5 hours.
When the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl, and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle that’s about 1/4th inch thick. Brush on some softened butter all over dough, leaving about a 3/4 inch around the sides of the rectangle.
Hold the top and the bottom corner of one end of the rectangle and fold one half of the rectangle towards the center and then fold over the other half over as well on top of the first layer (like you would close a book) so you have three dough layers. Brush some more softened butter on the top layer of the dough and then fold in half one more time (the third fold in the photograph above); cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for about 20 minutes or until the dough tightens and is easy to work with.
Roll out dough again to a long rectangle (being careful of the butter—roll gently) and fold dough again into thirds like a book. Make the third fold and place it back in fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
Take the dough of the fridge and roll dough out to 1/8th inch thick. Slice into triangles, like narrow pizza slices. Roll each triangle up, starting with wide end and tuck the “tail” underneath the roll. Place rolls on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 – 1.5 hours until the rolls have doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the to of the rolls with melted butter and bake for about 15-18 minutes. Let the rolls cook for about 15 minutes once they are out of the oven.
In the mean time whisk a tablespoon of melted butter and olive oil. Warm it slightly and stir in the fresh chopped herbs (or dried if you want). Drizzle over the warm rolls, of you may place the rolls in a large bowl, drizzle the herb oil over the rolls and toss them well. Sprinkle coarse salt if you wish.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking/Resting Time: 3.5 hours
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Serves/Yields: 20 rolls
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