Saturday, December 01, 2007

Golden Crescents

The first big holiday meal that I ever cooked was Thanksgiving 1980. Most of the dishes I prepared I had already made at some point. This was just the first time that I had ever made them all at once. I had never before spent so many hours in the kitchen. At one point, while the turkey was in the oven and the rolls were rising, I went for a walk. I had to get out of the house!

A quarter of a century later, spending all day in the kitchen preparing a big meal is routine. Now I enjoy the hours of planning, shopping and cooking. I’ve finally mastered the elaborate dance necessary to have everything finish cooking more or less at the same time. No longer do I dissolve into tears when a dish finishes too soon or too late.

But back to that first Thanksgiving. I was so exhausted by the time the meal was ready that I put the rolls into the oven and forgot about them. The meal was well underway when I realized that they were MIA. Fortunately, I was able to save the day with the second batch. I remember that they came out warm and delicious. For some reason, I never made those rolls again. Perhaps because of their association with that trying day.

This year, A and I joined forces for a Wooden Spoon Thanksgiving. It was an opportunity for us to pull out all of the stops and show off our talents. Everything homemade. In honor of the occasion, I dug out the recipe for the Golden Crescents.

The recipe calls for “part soft butter”. I used half butter and half shortening and when the rolls came out of the oven, I brushed them with melted butter. I have yet to figure out a way to successfully to brush anything with soft butter. I was surprised to see that the recipe called for the batter to be beaten, apparently with an electric mixer. I had been taught that using an electric mixer will destroy the yeast. I used my trusty wooden spoon instead and just mixed really, really fast. I was also perplexed that there was no kneading involved. I have to admit I sneaked a few strokes in. Nonetheless, the resulting texture was light as if the dough had been kneaded.

A helpful hint: when cutting the rounds, use a pizza cutter instead of a knife. Perhaps it’s my technique, but whenever I have used a knife to cut dough, the dough stretches rather than cuts.

Memory served me well. The rolls were delicious. This recipe will definitely be made more often!

Verdict: Yum! This one’s a keeper!

Golden Crescents
(source: Betty Crocker Cookbook)

2 packages active dry yeast
¾ cup warm water (105° to 115°)
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
½ cup shortening (part soft butter)
4 cups all-purpose flour
Soft butter or margarine

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and 2 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in remaining flour until smooth. Scrape dough from side of bowl. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 1 ½ hours.

Divide dough in half; roll each half into 12-inch circle. Spread with butter; cut into 16 wedges. Roll up each wedge, beginning at rounded edge. Place rolls, with point under, on greased baking sheet. Cover; let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Heat oven to 400°. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush rolls with butter.

32 rolls

Compost: eggshells

1 comment:

Shelly said...

Wow, I love homemade breads! I will have to try your recipe. Thanks for posting it.