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Making Crescent Rolls in South Africa

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January 21, 2016 / American / By
Katie Schenk

 

In the United States, you get something called crescent rolls. They’re sort of like croissants though not as flaky. Interestingly, these babies are usually sold in refrigerated paper tubes. The dough is rolled into these tubes and to open them, you pull on the outer paper and the can sort of explodes open. You roll out the dough and then do what you want with it.

If you needed crescent rolls in your life, you could easily substitute croissants and be done with it. And those you can get anywhere.

But, you don’t need crescent rolls because you want croissant-substitutes that you can bake at home. You want crescents so you can wrap them around hot dogs or create your own pizza rolls – that sort of thing.

And, I’ve never found crescent rolls for sale in refrigerated cans anywhere else. This is a complete and utter travesty as they're ever so useful for creating meals, snacks, and yes, just having a roll on the side of your dinner plate.

For me, it’s one of the toughest ingredients to live without. I need crescent rolls to make my mom’s ravioli (which is a story onto itself), not to mention dozens of other recipes I really want to create for my kids.

I have to make my own. And that’s far more difficult than you might think. It’s time-consuming – and because of the altitude of Joburg, I need to make adjustments – which I continually forget to notate for the next time. Still, sometimes it must be done.

It’s best to start with a kitchen that looks something like this.

 

Sadly, I am always in the kitchen, so it tends to look a little more like this most of the time.

There are variations, of course, but tend to pull out just about everything possible when cooking. So, I usually need to begin a new project with a thorough clean.

Fortunately, my pantry is usually well stocked for any emergency, so I never need to run out to get anything to make crescent rolls, meaning I can leave them to rise while I pop off to the shops to grab whatever fillers or ingredients I need to complete a meal. (And, I am always popping off to the shops for something, no matter how well stocked my kitchen is.)

Yesterday, after cleaning my kitchen, it was time to create the crescent dough… making the adjustments necessary to deal with the altitude and trying not to think about how long it would take before I would be tucking into my mom’s Crescent Ravioli.

 

After rising and punching down the dough, I decided there was actually enough to make a jumbo portion of ravioli and a few crescent rolls. And just so you know, these make excellent additions to school lunches, and if they’re separated before freezing they do pretty well in the freezer already baked.

This was the result of my crescent roll endeavours, though hardly the end of my day, but we’ll get to that.

If you want to make your own crescent rolls and don’t happen to be near North America, this is the recipe you can use. And no… it’s not adjusted for altitude I still need to do that every time.

Make-It-Yourself Crescent Rolls

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons Instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup Water, warm
  • 1½ tablespoons Sugar, divided
  • 3½ cups Cake flour (plain flour will do in a pinch, but I always have cake flour on hand)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ¾ cup Milk, warmed
  • 2 each Eggs
  • 6 tablespoons Butter, softened and divided

Preparation

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with ½ tablespoon sugar. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, the remaining sugar, and the salt. Add the dissolved yeast with the water. Mix using a spoon, then add the milk and eggs and mix well. Finally, add 4 tablespoons of the butter and knead this into a soft, smooth dough. A little extra kneading doesn’t hurt. Roll into a ball, place into a clean mixing bowl and cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Set bowl in a warm area to rise for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.

When the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Punch the dough down and divide into 2 balls. Roll each of these out into large rounds with a rolling pin. Slice each of these into wedges; you’ll get about 8-16 triangles from each ball, depending on how large you want them.

Roll these into crescents, wrapping from the large edge opposite the point towards that point. Place on a baking sheet/tray and top with the remaining butter. Allow to rise slightly before placing in the oven. Bake for about 14-15 minutes until golden and puffed. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Crescent Rolls

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Wow, these look yummy!
Dinh
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