I am hard pressed to think of anything more homey or comforting than warm, homemade, rolls on the table. These are very simple to make, and a great recipe to try if you are new to yeast dough. I like to make these in my stand mixer, but you could also do these by hand.

You can make these into round rolls if you wish. Roll the dough into evenly sized dough balls, and follow the directions as you would for the crescent rolls.

I recommend using a thermometer to measure the temperature of the milk and water. If the liquid is too cold, the yeast will not activate, and if it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. I put the liquids into a glass measuring cup and microwave it for one minute. Take the temperature, then microwave in 20 second intervals until you reach the desired temperature.

Serve with a generous slathering of soft Cranberry Orange Butter, which just makes everything just a little more special. I like to serve it warm dinner rolls, but it is also amazing on pancakes, waffles, biscuits and toast. The tart cranberry is sweetened up with honey and the cinnamon and orange warm up the flavors. Taste to make sure you have enough salt.

Crescent Rolls with Cranberry Orange Butter

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 16 rolls

Serving Size: 1 roll

Crescent Rolls with Cranberry Orange Butter

Ingredients

    For cranberry orange butter:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • zest of one orange
  • For rolls:
  • 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (120° to 130°F)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (120° to 130°F)
  • 1 egg
  • melted butter (optional)
  • sea salt flakes (optional)

Directions

To prepare cranberry orange butter:

Whip butter and honey using electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add remaining ingredients and fold until combined. Transfer to bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before serving.

To prepare rolls:

In bowl of electric mixer, add 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix until well combined. Add warm water, milk and egg. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, scraping bowl. Increase speed to medium and mix for 1 more minute. Scrape bowl. Add more flour 1/4 cup at time until dough is pulling away from sides of mixer. Switch to dough hook and knead on low speed for 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth and springs back when touched. You can also do this step by hand.

Butter large bowl. Place dough in bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size. You will know that it is ready when you insert your finger into dough and the indentation stays in place.

Turn dough out onto floured surface. Punch dough down and cut in half. Roll into 12-inch circle. Spread with softened butter. Cut into 16 wedges. Starting on the long edge, roll the dough up into a crescent shape.

Place on buttered baking sheet. If desired, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with salt flakes. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375° and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

To make ahead, prepare recipe as instructed. Let the rolls cool completely. Wrap rolls tightly in plastic wrap and place in a plastic freezer bag. To reheat, wrap in foil and bake at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes).

 

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Use softened butter for cookies and cakes.

Bringing butter to room temperature helps it incorporate better with other ingredients.

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