For those of you who kindly follow may blog, you know that the past 6 months have been very busy with a lot of out-of-town trips to look after my aunt. I came home just before Christmas, after being delayed a day because of the east coast blizzards. For Christmas, I ended up making a huge pile of mashed potatoes, and I really wanted to do something with those leftovers. And it had to be somewhat healthy, in light of all the sugar and fat that made an appearance around here.
Enter King Arthur Flour’s Sesame Crescent Rolls. Only I was too tired and too busy to make 36 rolls, so I made bread, instead. I divided the dough in two and put half in an 8 by 4-inch pan, and the other half in a 9 by 5-inch pan. When I make this again, and I will because it was fantastic, I’m going to divide the dough into three small loaves – the bread baked in the large loaf pan lost its structure, although it was still delicious. Everybody loved this, and my husband has asked me to make it again, which is always a good sign. On top of all that, the bread has sesame seeds, cracked wheat, and whole wheat, so it fell in the “healthy” category, as well.
What I changed: I added a full cup of mashed potatoes, 2 tablespoons dried milk powder, and ended up adding almost two extra cups of whole wheat flour (I had a LOT of dough). Just before baking, I painted the loaves with egg wash, and sprinkled them with sesame seeds.
Sesame Crescent Rolls
PLEASE NOTE: I’m still experimenting with the loaves, so I can’t vouch 100% for the results, but the recipe does make great rolls!
1/2 cup cracked wheat, softened
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 Tablespoon instant dry milk powder
1 cup warm water (110°F)
1/3 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup mashed potatoes, room temperature
1 cup warm potato water (110°F)
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 to 4 cups King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour
slightly beaten egg white
To soften cracked wheat: Cover with hot water in a small bowl and allow to stand until softened, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Drain if necessary.
Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine butter or margarine, honey, salt, mashed potatoes, potato water (water in which potato has cooked) and eggs. Stir in yeast and cracked wheat. Mix in unbleached all-purpose flour and beat for 2 to 3 minutes by machine, about 150 strokes by hand. Add whole wheat flour to form a dough stiff enough to knead.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead till smooth and elastic. Shape and bake rolls immediately, or refrigerate the dough up to 6 days, covered with plastic wrap, punching down as necessary.
To shape and bake: If the dough has been refrigerated, let it come to room temperature. If it hasn’t, let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down.
To make loaves: divide dough into three greased 8 by 4-inch pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough crests about an inch over the edge of the pan.
Divide the dough into six portions. Roll each portion into a 9-inch round, about 1/2-inch thick. Brush rounds with slightly beaten egg white, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut each round into 6 pie-shaped wedges. Roll up each wedge, beginning at the wide end, and then curve ends in to form a crescent-shaped roll. Place the rolls on a greased baking sheet. Brush them with more beaten egg white, and sprinkle with additional sesame seeds.
Set the pan in a warm spot and let the rolls rise till doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until well browned. Makes 36 rolls.