Tag Archives: yeast

Homemade Crescent Rolls

Crescent Rolls 2

Looking for the perfect rolls to serve with your Easter ham? Or more importantly, to use the next day to make ham sandwiches?

Look no further: these rolls are amazing. They are soft and tender, but also hold up to slicing and using as a sandwich bun.

Leftovers are always the best part of a big holiday dinner. I love cooking once and then repurposing dinner for the next few days. And rolls are the perfect food to make ahead of time, freeze, and then reheat in the oven just before serving.

To help elongate the crescent rolls and keep them from being too thick in the center, I cut a slit in the wide edge, separate the slit slightly, and then roll the dough into a crescent shape.

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This gives longer ends that are easier to curve into a rounded crescent.

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Happy Easter!

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Homemade Crescent Rolls

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2 cups whole milk
½ cup + 1 Tbs sugar, divided
1/3 cup (5 1/3 Tbs) butter
2 tsp kosher salt
2 pkg active dry yeast (or 4 ½ tsp)
2/3 cup warm water
8-9 cups all-purpose flour
3 beaten eggs
Melted butter (about 4 Tbs)

Combine milk, ½ cup sugar, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until butter melts. Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm.

While the milk mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 Tbs sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping sides of bowl constantly. Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes. Add beaten eggs.

Stir in as much remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough. This dough should be very soft–it will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will still stick to your finger when you touch it. Place the bowl in a warm place and cover with a clean towel; allow to rise 1 hour.

Grease large baking sheets, or line with parchment paper or silicon mats.

Punch down dough. Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto surface. Divide in half.

Roll each dough half into a circle and cut into 12 wedges. Cut a ½” slit in the wide end of the wedge, separate slightly and roll  into crescent shapes and place on prepared pans.

Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes. When dough has about 15-20 minutes to go, preheat oven to 375°F.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden-brown. When done, remove from oven. Brush lightly with melted butter.

Yield: 24 rolls

**To prebake for serving another day: Bake rolls on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until rolls just barely begin to brown. Remove from oven. Cool. Place in Ziploc freezer bags. Freeze.

On serving day: Place frozen rolls on a baking sheet, bake for about 7-10 minutes, or until hot and golden brown. Brush tops with butter.

Adapted from Our Best Bites



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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Bread

Homemade bread is a lot easier than you might think and is well worth the effort. This is a simple recipe for a Cinnamon Swirl Bread. Eggs, milk, and sugar in the dough make this a wonderfully rich bread that is perfect for toasting.

For a real treat, slice it and use for making French Toast.

If you like raisins, add them to the cinnamon filling for a delicious Cinnamon Raisin Bread.

For a fancier presentation, you can also make 3 longer, narrower dough rolls and braid the rolls and then drizzle the baked braided loaf with a powdered sugar/milk glaze.

This recipe makes three regular loaves or two braided loaves.


Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Cinnamon Bread

1 Tbs yeast
¼ cup warm (but not hot) water
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 tsp salt
2 cups milk, scalded**
7 – 7½ cups flour
2 eggs
3 Tbs butter, softened
3 Tbs cinnamon
6 Tbs sugar
3 tsp water

Mix yeast with ¼ cup water. Set aside. Place ½ cup sugar, ½ cup butter and salt in a large mixing bowl; pour scalded milk over the mixture. Stir until butter is melted. Use a dough hook to mix in 3 cups of flour. Add eggs and continue mixing. Add the softened yeast and mix until smooth. Add enough remaining flour until you have a soft, kneadable dough. Knead dough into a smooth ball.

Place dough in an oiled bowl; turn dough over to coat both sides. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled.

Mix 3 Tbs cinnamon and 6 Tbs sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 3 rectangles. Spread 1 Tbs butter on each rectangle and sprinkle each with 3 Tbs cinnamon/sugar mixture. Sprinkle 1 tsp of water over the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Roll into loaves; seal ends and place in greased bread pans. Cover and let rise one hour.

Bake at 375°F for 35 minutes. If the tops start to get too brown, cover loosely with foil. Remove from pans, brush tops with butter, and cool on rack.

Makes 3 medium loaves

**TO SCALD MILK: Heat milk in pan over medium heat until small bubbles form around edge of pan and milk just begins to boil. Or microwave until milk just begins to boil.

OPTIONAL: Sprinkle dough with ¼ cup raisins before rolling.

BRAIDED CINNAMON BREAD: After dough rises first time, divide into 2 pieces. From each piece make 3 long, narrow rectangles. Spread with butter, cinnamon, sugar; sprinkle with water. Roll each rectangle and seal ends and edge. Braid the three loaves (keep seam sides down), pinching both ends to seal. Bake on a greased baking sheet at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if it is browning too quickly. Glaze with a powdered sugar/milk icing. Makes 2 braided loaves.



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Pumpkin Shaped Dinner Rolls

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Looking for a fun roll to go with your Thanksgiving feast? These pumpkin shaped rolls are also made with pumpkin, but are a savory roll that goes perfectly with all of your Thanksgiving dinner favorites.

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If you can roll a hunk of dough into a ball and have a pair of sharp scissors, you have all the skills you need to make these cute little pumpkins.

You can make these rolls with either whole wheat or white flour. I usually use a combination of about half of each.

To make the pumpkin shapes: Place balls of dough on a greased baking sheet (or use a silicon baking sheet). Use kitchen shears (or other clean sharp scissors) to make about 5 cuts around the edge of the dough; cuts should be about ½” deep.

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Brush or spray dough with oil, cover with a towel and let rise until doubled. For a shiny finish, brush rolls with an egg white wash (room temperature egg white mixed with 1 Tbs water) before baking.

After rolls have baked, use a toothpick or a skewer to poke a small hole in the center of each roll. Press a long sliver of a pecan into the hole to make the stem.

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If you are not into pumpkin shapes, you can always make them into more traditional crescents or knots. Instructions on making these shapes can be found HERE.

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I like to serve these with honey butter: Mix 1 stick of very soft butter  with 1-2 Tbs honey. These rolls can also be made ahead of time and frozen, then baked again just before serving.

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Pumpkin Shaped Dinner Rolls

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1 ¼ cups warm water
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 Tbs honey
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs molasses
4 cups whole wheat or white flour
¼ cup wheat gluten
¼ cup sugar
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice **
2 tsp salt
1  Tbs instant yeast***
about 1- 1 ½ cups additional flour
Egg wash: 1 egg white, mixed with 1 Tbs water
Pecans, for stem garnish

Mix water, egg, pumpkin, honey, olive oil and molasses in a large mixing bowl. Add flour, gluten, sugar, spices, salt and yeast. Mix until thoroughly combined. Add additional flour, if needed, a little at a time, until dough just begins to form a ball. Knead for 5-6 minutes, or until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl and springs back slightly when touched.

Shape dough into about 24 balls. Dough balls should be bigger than a golf ball, but slightly smaller than a tennis ball. Place on lightly greased baking sheets, or use a silicone mat. Use kitchen shears (or other sharp scissors) to make 5-6 cuts around the edge of the dough; snip completely through dough to a depth of about ½”. Spray or brush with oil and cover with towel. Let rise for 30-60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

Brush rolls with an egg wash: 1 egg white (room temp) mixed with 1 Tbs water. Bake at 375°F for about 15 minutes. After rolls have baked, use a toothpick or a skewer to poke a small hole in the center of each roll. Press a long pecan sliver  into the hole to make the stem.

Pumpkin Pie Spice substitute: 1 tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp each allspice, ginger, and cloves.
***If you are using regular, and not instant, yeast, let dough rise once in a covered bowl until doubled, and then shape into rolls and rise again. (Instant yeast only needs one rise period)

If desired, serve with Honey Butter: 1 stick softened butter mixed with 1-2 Tbs honey.

To make and freeze: Shape rolls and place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Let rise as usual. Bake rolls for 10-12 minutes, or until rolls just barely begin to brown, but are cooked in the center. Rolls should look slightly underdone (not completely brown). Remove from oven. Do not put pecans into center of rolls. Cool completely. Place in Ziploc freezer bags. Freeze.

On serving day: Place frozen rolls on a baking sheet, bake at 350°F for about 7-10 minutes, or until hot and golden brown. If rolls are thawed, bake for 5-6 minutes, or until browned. Add pecans for stems after baking.

Yield: about 2 dozen rolls


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Lime Glazed Raspberry Sweet Rolls

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Starting with a traditional cinnamon roll dough, these rolls use raspberry jam as a filling and are iced with a lime glaze.

I used this Homemade Raspberry Jam for the filling.

This recipe makes a lot: 36-40 large rolls. You can scale the recipe back if you don’t want as many OR Rolls can be frozen either after or before cooking.

To freeze before cooking: Prepare dough. Fill and roll dough into log. Slice into rounds and place each round on a foil lined baking sheet, not touching. Freeze until solid and then place in Ziploc bags and return to freezer. Place frozen rolls in prepared pan and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2-3 hours). Bake and frost as directed.

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Lime Glazed Raspberry Sweet Rolls

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2 ½ cups buttermilk*
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
zest from 1 lime
2 tsp salt
9 – 9 ½ cups flour, divided
1 ½ Tbs instant yeast
1 cup raspberry jam

Place buttermilk, butter and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter is melted. Pour into a large mixing bowl (stand mixer) and let mixture cool for 15-20 minutes. Mix in eggs, lime zest and salt. Add 4 cups of flour and the yeast and mix until smooth. Add additional 5 cups of flour and knead until smooth. Add additional flour, if necessary, to make a soft dough that barely pulls away from the edge of the bowl. Dough will be slightly sticky. Cover dough with plastic wrap touching the dough and refrigerate for 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter rimmed baking sheets or 9”x13” pans.

Divide dough into two halves. On a lightly buttered surface, pat each dough half into a rectangle about 12”x18”. Spread with raspberry jam. Starting from long edge, form a roll. Pinch edge to seal. Use a knife to lightly score dough into 18-20 sections about 1” apart. Place a strand of dental floss under the dough log and cross over the top of the dough at the scored marking. Pull dental floss to cut through dough. Place in prepared pan. Cover with a thin towel and allow rolls to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes.

Bake at 350ºF for 18-20 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes. Spread warm rolls with lime glaze.

Makes 36-40 rolls

*Buttermilk substitute: Scald 2 cups of milk (bring to boiling point) and then stir in ½ cup plain yogurt

Lime Glaze

4 Tbs melted butter
3 Tbs heavy cream
2 Tbs lime juice
2 tsp lime zest (zest from 1 lime)
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar

Use a whisk to mix all glaze ingredients.


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Waffle Week: Overnight Yeast Raised Waffles

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Waffles made with yeast are a great alternative to traditional waffles. They have a slightly tangy flavor and are much lighter than many regular waffle recipes. Yeast raised waffles do require some forethought, as the batter needs to be made the night before, and left to proof on the countertop overnight. Be sure to use a big bowl as the batter will rise significantly.

Some of my kids did not enjoy these waffles as much, but I really liked them. They thought the yeast flavor was a little too pronounced. In typical completely inconsistent fashion, however, they did really enjoy the Sourdough Waffles that I made, which also sit overnight and have a tangy (but less-yeasty) taste. (RECIPE TOMORROW)

For Waffle Tips & Strategies, click HERE.


Overnight Yeast Raised Waffles

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2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs sugar
1 ½ tsp instant yeast or rapid rise yeast
1 tsp salt
1 ¾ cups warm whole milk (110°F)
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk the flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a large bowl, then gradually whisk in the warm milk and melted butter until smooth.  Whisk in the eggs and vanilla until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours.

Heat the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instruction. Spread the appropriate amount of batter (I use a scant 2 cups in mine) onto the waffle iron and cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. **Use less batter than you normally do: this batter rises significantly while cooking.

Remove waffles from waffle maker and place on a wire rack (not a plate). Serve immediately or keep warm in a warm oven (very low heat).

Makes about 3 large Belgian waffles (12 small squares)

To freeze: Cool waffles on a wire rack. Place in Ziploc bags and freeze. Reheat individual frozen waffles in a toaster (for crispier edges) or microwave (for a soft waffle).

Recipe from Cooks Illustrated


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Homemade Indian Naan

0401010 087-1Indian Naan is a perfect accompaniment to curries, or marinated grilled meats. It can be made pretty quickly if you use instant yeast, which does not require proofing or an initial rise of the dough. And there is no second rise with a flat bread like naan. Naan can be cooked either in the oven on a baking stone or baking sheet, or cooked on the stove in a hot pan, like a cast iron skillet. I prefer to use a baking stone, as the oven temperature needs to be very high, which can make a baking sheet warp.

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Naan is traditionally cooked on the sides of a tandoor oven, but you can have good results at home in a very hot oven. The dough is a simple yeast bread mixture with yogurt added to help give it elasticity. You can also add some fresh minced garlic for a garlic naan.

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Roll out individual pieces into an oblong shape. I love that naan does not require perfect circles! Little J likes to roll them out for me, and then keep them moist under a kitchen towel. I usually reroll them a little bit thinner just before I put them into the oven.100110 008-1

If you are using a baking stone, place it in a cold oven and let the oven preheat to 500°F for 15-20 minutes. Throw carefully place your rolled naan pieces onto the hot baking stone. My baking stone will hold 4 small pieces of naan at a time.

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Switch the oven to “Broil” and cook for 2-3 minutes. On the first side, they should start to bubble in places. Flip and cook the other side for about 2 minutes.

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Brush naan with melted butter as they come out of the oven. Serve hot with Butter Chicken, or other curries or grilled meats. Also good for dipping in hummus or Tzatziki.

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¾ cup milk (or ¾ warm water + ½ cup powdered milk)
2/3 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
½ cup olive oil
2 Tbs honey
1 egg, at room temperature
4 ½ – 5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs instant yeast
2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
¼ – ½ cup butter, melted

Scald milk (bring to a boil, then remove from heat and cool to about 110°F). OR: Use very warm water instead of milk and add ½ cup powdered milk to the dry ingredients. Combine warm milk or water with yogurt, olive oil, honey and egg. Mix in flour, salt and yeast (and powdered milk, if using). Knead into a smooth ball, adding more flour if necessary. Knead in garlic, if desired. Cover and let dough rest 10 minutes.

While dough is resting: If you have a baking stone**, place it in a cold oven on an upper-middle rack (not the top rack position). Preheat oven to 500°F for 15-20 minutes.

Roll small pieces of dough into an oblong or long teardrop shape. Place 2-4 pieces of dough on the hot baking stone. Switch oven to Broil. Broil naan for 2-3 minutes, or until dough just begins to bubble or puff; turn naan over and broil an additional 2 minutes.

Brush cooked naan with melted butter. Cover with a kitchen towel while cooking additional bread. Serve warm.

**NO BAKING STONE: Cook on a baking sheet, but DO NOT leave baking sheet in preheating oven. OR: Brush uncooked naan with melted butter and cook in a hot cast iron or non-stick skillet. Cook 1-2 minutes. Brush other side with butter and turn. Cook until blistered and cooked through. Naan can also be cooked directly on an outdoor grill (oil grates first).

Makes 16-20 naan, depending on size (I make smaller sizes for kid-sized portions)



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