By Laurie Schneider
Hello Thanksgiving revelers, it’s me, the Kitchen Warrior. I have a winning Potato Crescent Roll recipe for your Thanksgiving feast(s). But I must caution you, if you are intersted in making/serving an everyday “crescent roll” for Thanksgiving which is predictably good, quick, and expected, I suggest that you stop reading this post, find the dough boy in the refrigerated section, and carry on about your day.
BUT, if you are more interested in making your sister jealous, getting your mother-in-law’s approval [never a given, but this could certainly help], and creating a bit of a “frenzy” (if your audience is focused on your spectacular rolls, they may not be so focused on your wine consumption), then this is for you: Potato Crescent Rolls, from scratch.
This is not as easy as it sounds, and I have no problem admitting this. I’ve made my fair share of cinnamon rolls, but this recipe was my first real attempt at non-bread machine yeast bread. And (bonus!) I got to use the kneading function on my new food processor. Here’s what ensued when testing out this recipe:
- I found the perfect recipe, and made my list.
- I checked my pantry items, and it appears I just need the potatoes, and shortening. I don’t make a habit of baking with shortening, but I was afraid to improvise with butter the first time making this recipe.
- After a trip to the store I summon my inner Iron Chef.
- Peel, cut, boil, drain, mash, cool potatoes. Easy peasy!
- Mix active dry yeast packet with 1 1/2 cups warm (110 degree) water.
- Add potatoes, eggs, salt, sugar, shortening, and 3 cups of the flour.
- Next, add additional 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Huh. I get about 1 1/2 cups out of my canister, and realize, I’m out of flour…I determine it’s probably not THAT big of a deal.
- I think this because there is no room in the processor for an ounce more of flour (goupy dough is actually seeping out of the processor in areas I didn’t know it could). So I knead it for the outlined 8 minutes, then oil a nice large bowl, and put the “dough” into the bowl to rise for the next 8 hours.
- I re-read the instructions, and the dough is supposed to be in the shape of a large ball, and stiff but managable. Mine is just a blob. Now I panic. Is it too late to save? Baking is a science, and I don’t know if you can re-knead dough without creating too much gluten, etc….
- So back to the store (flour in my hair, dough on my pants) to get more flour. At this point it feels a little like putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound, but it’s my last chance. Plus, I’m pretty sure my Insinkerator cannot handle absorping this “attempt”.
- I run home, add two cups of flour to the dough, and knead again to make it look like the instructions say it should. I wait 8 hours. I pull the dough out, and it has doubled in size! I followed the remaining instructions, and SUCCESS!
Morals of the story:
1. Check your pantry items and amounts before starting this recipe.
2. Don’t use an 11 cup food processor for this particular recipe, use your stand mixer.
3. Make your dough enough in advance so you have time to:
–clean your kitchen
–lower your blood pressure
-find that can of “dough boy” just in case your Insinkerator eats your rolls
Potato Crescent Rolls:Prep Time: 30 Min Cook Time: 30 Min Ready In: 9 Hrs 40 Min Servings: Yields 32 rolls
–Place potatoes in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool, and mash.
–In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
–When yeast is ready, mix in 1 cup mashed potatoes, sugar, shortening, eggs, salt, and 3 cups flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough has become stiff but still pliable. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, and up to 5 days.
—Deflate the dough, and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, and form into rounds. Roll out each round to a 12 inch circle. Brush generously with melted butter, and cut each circle into 16 wedges. Roll wedges up tightly, starting with the large end. Place on lightly greased baking sheets with the points underneath, and the ends bent to form a crescent shape. Cover, and let rise for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
—Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Laurie Schneider has been a foodie all of her life. When her demands for a better Gerber’s meal went unmet as a toddler, thus started her long and interesting journey in the kitchen. You can follow Laurie’s adventures in the kitchen at Fork and the Cork.