Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
30 Mins
Total Time:
2 Hours 35 Mins
Chilling Time:
8 Hours
Yield:
16

Sure, you could make crescent rolls from store-bought, refrigerated dough, but for holidays and other special occasions, surprise everyone with buttery, pillowy homemade rolls. The key to the recipe is making a porridge with the cornmeal (in Step 1), which allows you to add more moisture to the dough without ending up with an overly sticky mess.

How to Make It

Step 1

Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium, stirring occasionally. Gradually add 2⁄3 cup of the cornmeal, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low, and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens to a porridge-like consistency, about 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Let cool 10 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, combine yeast, water, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Step 3

Place eggs, salt, and remaining 1⁄3 cup sugar in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; stir to combine. Add cornmeal mixture, yeast mixture, and 1⁄2 cup of the melted butter; beat on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, and, with mixer running, gradually add flour, beating until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 6 minutes. (Dough will be lumpy.) Transfer to a lightly floured surface, and knead until dough is smooth, 3 to 4 minutes. Place dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill 8 hours or up to overnight.

Step 4

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a ball. Roll dough ball into a 13-inch circle; cut into 8 wedges. Brush excess flour from wedges. Roll or stretch each wedge into a 9-inch-long triangle. Starting from wide end, roll up each triangle, and place, point side down, 3 inches apart on 2 parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Curve ends to form crescents. Repeat with remaining dough half. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (80°F to 85°F) until doubled in volume, 1 hour to 1 1⁄2 hours.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Brush with remaining 1⁄4 cup butter, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1⁄2 tablespoons cornmeal. Serve warm.