Southern Hotel Crescent Dinner Rolls

Southern Hotel Crescent Rolls


Fear Conquered: Lord's Prayer

"Our Father."

It's a Sunday afternoon and I'm alone in the house. Boyfriend Javelin is working his mandatory weekend shift (long and boring story) and I'm melting butter for crescent rolls.

"Who art in heaven."

I pop the butter into a dish and nuke for 25 seconds in the microwave. While the butter melts, I dissolve yeast in warm milk. And repeat: "Our Father, who art in heaven."

I know you're up there. I know you're listening to me. You are my father, you are my God. Please hear my prayer.

The microwave dings and I check the butter. Melted. I swirl it around just to be sure. Melted.

Melted Butter in Dish with Spout

While the yeast blooms, I measure the flour, counting cups. I grab my favorite wooden spoon and stare at the yeast, waiting. "Hallowed be thy name."

You are holy and you deserve all praise and glory. You are great and powerful. You know all things and you control all things. May I always praise you.

2 Cups of Flour Added to Yeast Mixture

I add two cups of flour and salt to the yeast and milk. I stir it together vigorously.

"Your kingdom come. Your will be done."

Thank you for giving me these rolls to make. And thank you for giving me the skills to make them. Thank you for helping me.

Still stirring, I add more flour and a splash of melted butter. And stir again.

May your kingdom come. I can't see it but I know I am part of it and please keep me in it. Please. May your will be done and not mine. I hate my stubbornness. Please, help me.

More flour. More butter. More stirring. The dough is starting to look like dough.

Keep me focused on your will, not mine. Help me to trust you. You are all-powerful. You know what I need and what you want for me. Your will be done, not mine.

The dough starts to thicken and I scrape the sides of the bowl with the spoon. It's hard to stir now. It's more like folding and mashing.

"Give me each day my daily bread."

Give me what I need to serve you, Lord. You give me so much. You give me food and water. You give me a home and love. You give me warmth and tasks to serve you. Thank you for everything. Thank you for giving me so much. And please help me to use it to serve you.

I add the last of the flour and butter. The dough is very sticky now, clinging to the wooden spoon with every motion. I mix roughly until the last of the butter and flour have been accepted by the dough.

Remained Flour Mixed into Dough with Dough Hook

"Forgive me my trespasses."

I sprinkle flour over the counter. I scrape the dough out of the bowl and off the spoon. My fingers stick mercilessly to the dough. I rub them together and now both hands are sticky.

"Forgive me my trespasses…"

I have done so many things against you, Lord. I've been self-absorbed and self-centered. I've lusted. I've been prideful and hated. I've doubted you and done my own thing. I've chased after things I shouldn't have. I've failed to love. I've failed to give. I've failed to trust in you and live by faith. I've been puffed up and arrogant.

I flour my hands and sprinkle flour over the dough. Then I knead. As vigorously as I can, slamming the heel of my palm into the sticky mass. Over and over and over.

Please forgive me, Lord. I know you died for me. I know you are the Lamb of God. I know you washed me from all sin. You set me free. Lord, please, forgive me. I don't deserve it. I'm a worm of a man. I deserve nothing but punishment. But please, by your promise, forgive me. I trust in you. Forgive me.

I'm still kneading. The dough is less sticky now, less of mess. It's starting to take shape.

"Forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me."

I haven't forgiven as I should. I hold grudges and I won't let go. Help me to forgive, Lord. You forgave me so much. Help me to truly forgive and love as you love me.

My wrists are starting to get tired of the kneading. The dough is springing back with every shove of my palm. And it's starting to look smooth and elastic.

"Lead me not into temptation…"

I pick up the dough and slap it back against the counter. And repeat again. And once more.

Don't harden my heart or let me believe a lie, Lord. Help me not to trust in myself. Please, keep me in you. You are my shepherd. Send your Spirit to guide me.

Dough Covered with Oiled Plastic Wrap

I give the dough a few more shoves of my palm. Then I transfer it back to the bowl. I oil a piece of plastic wrap and stretch it over the bowl.

"Deliver me from evil, Lord."

You are my fortress. Keep me safe. Keep me close to you. Hide me behind you. Shield me with your wings. Deliver me, God.

I pop the bowl into the cold oven and flip on the oven light. Nothing left to do but wait. And clean up.

Thank you so much, God. And please, Lord, help me not to think I can talk my way into your grace. Help me to trust in you and to stop babbling. Please.

Southern Hotel Crescent Rolls

The dough for these rolls is so easy to make, you can do it entirely by hand in about 20 minutes (maybe less if you get good). There's nothing fussy or challenging about the dough - no special techniques required. The hardest part is remembering to make the dough the day before you need it so it has a chance to chill in the fridge.

And about the Lord's Prayer. I hesitated to share this version of the post because Jesus himself has some very strong words to say about those who go around making a show of prayer. He encourages just the opposite - go into a private room, close the door and then say your prayers. So why am I sharing this?

For twenty-some years, I said the Lord's Prayer every Sunday. And I didn't give it much thought. I knew I was praying to God, I knew I was asking for my daily bread and I knew I needed forgiveness. But I always said it so fast, I never really prayed the prayer so much as I said the prayer.

So a little while back, I started pondering what the words meant. And as you can see, I've taken it to an entirely new extreme. Instead of praying the prayer, I now obsess over every stanza, over every word. Instead of praying and trusting God to hear me, I babble and insert all kind of words to explain myself to him. And slowly, as I add more words and phrases each day, I start to trust in the effectiveness of my own words - instead of trusting God to know what I need and to provide it.

And honestly, it took this post for me to realize it. I've been trapped in a loop of words, desperately trying to focus on what I was saying so that I could MEAN what I said. And if I didn't feel I meant it, I would add more words. And the trap just became all the more sticky. Go back and read again if you don't believe me - watch me babble!

Baked Crescent Rolls

I don't need to do anything fussy with these rolls and the same is true for prayer. Fussing over words isn't what counts. God hears the simple words from the sincere heart. He know exactly what is in my heart. I don't need to convince him. And adding more words isn't going to make my heart more sincere.

So please, don't be a silly wordsmith like me. Stick with simple and sincere. Pray it, believe it, live it.


Photo Tutorial

Fat Free Milk Added to Water
You will need 2 cups of warm skim milk. I heat mine using the microwave. The milk should be approximately 110F.

Yeast Dissolved
Dissolve 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast in the warm milk with your fingers. Let the yeast rest for 5 minutes until it blooms.

Melted Butter in Dish with Spout
Melt 1/2 cup (8 Tablespoons) of unsalted butter.

2 Cups of Flour Added to Yeast Mixture
Add 2 cups of unbleached, all-purpose flour, 1 large egg and 2 teaspoons kosher salt to the yeast/milk mixture. Mix until well combined and mostly smooth.

Remained Flour Mixed into Dough with Dough Hook
Alternately add the remaining 4 cups of flour and melted butter, starting and ending with the flour. The dough will be sticky after working in the remainder of the flour.

Dough Kneaded by Stand Mixer for 5 Minutes
Knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup of additional flour as needed. You can knead the dough by hand or using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed.

Dough Covered with Oiled Plastic Wrap
Gather the dough into a ball and cover with oiled plastic wrap.

Dough Doubled in Size
Let the dough raise in a warm place for approximately 1 hour until doubled.

Dough Punched Down and Folded in 3rds
Punch down the dough, fold in thirds and gather into a ball.

Dough Covered with Oiled Plastic Wrap
Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours (up to 36 hours).

Dough After 12 Hours in Refrigerator
Periodically during the chill cycle, punch down and regather the dough into a ball.

Melted Butter for Dipping
To make the crescent shapes, melt 4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter.

Forming Crescent Rolls
Divide the chilled dough into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, form the quarter into a ball and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Brush the circle of dough with melted butter, then divide the dough into 8 wedges and roll up each wedge into a roll, starting with the wide end.

Crescent Rolls Brushed with Egg Wash
Place each roll on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with egg wash.

Crescent Rolls Raised and Ready for Baking
Allow rolls to rise for 20 minutes.

Baked Crescent Rolls
Bake rolls for 18 minutes at 425F.

Southern Hotel Crescent Rolls
Serve immediately.


Southern Hotel Crescent Dinner Rolls

    by Javelin Warrior
     Prep Time: 14 hrs
     Cook Time: 18 min

Ingredients (36 crescent rolls)
    • 2 cups milk, warmed (105℉ - 115℉)
    • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup (12 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
    • 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
    • 1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and reserved for brushing
    Egg Wash
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 Tablespoons milk
    1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk with your fingers; allow the mixture to rest 5 minutes until the yeast begins to bloom
    2. Add the egg, sugar, 2 cups flour and salt to the yeast mixture; mix until well combined and mostly smooth
    3. Alternately mix melted butter and flour into the dough, starting and ending with the flour. Once all flour and butter is incorporated, knead the dough for 5 minutes on a generously floured surface
    4. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with oiled plastic wrap and let proof in a warm location until doubled (about 1 hour); punch down the dough, fold the dough in thirds, then form the dough into a ball and tightly cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap; chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours (up to 36 hours), punching down dough occasionally
    5. Preheat the oven to 425℉ and line two baking sheets with parchment paper; for the egg wash, thoroughly beat together the egg and milk with a fork and set aside
    6. Divide the chilled dough into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, form the dough into a smooth ball; roll out the dough into a circle 1/4-inch thick and brush the circle with melted butter. Slice the circle into 8 even wedges and roll up each slice, starting from the wide end. Repeat with the remaining three quarters of the dough
    7. Transfer the crescent rolls to the prepared baking sheets and brush with egg wash; let the rolls rise for 20 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes; serve immediately
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    Hungry for Tips?
    • Crescent vs. Croissant: Despite a similar shape, these are NOT croissants! True croissants are made with a very specific butter-layered dough (similar in some ways to puff pastry) and are favored for their flaky final structure. These crescent rolls are fluffy (not flakey) and soft (not crispy). They're a delicious dinner roll - but not a replacement for true croissants.
    • Other Versions: The crescent shape is only one of many variations on these rolls. Although crescents are beautiful, my favorite version is the clover-leaf pull-apart. The clover-leafs take a bit more time to make but they're the ultimate in fluffy goodness. If you're pressed your time, you can even bake these off as 24 large dinner rolls in a lasagna pan.

      Southern Hotel Rolls, Closeup
    • Chill Time: There's real science behind chilling the dough overnight: 1) the dough develops a much more complex flavor, 2) the dough becomes easier to work with, and 3) the flour softens considerably, resulting in a better textured roll. So while you could skip the overnight chill, I don't recommend it. Just don't forget to punch down the dough after a couple hours into the chill otherwise the yeast will exhaust itself. And then be sure to also keep the punched-down dough tightly wrapped so it doesn't dry out.

      Dough After 12 Hours in Refrigerator
    • Presentation: The trickiest part of making perfect crescent rolls is preventing the pointed "tail" from popping up when the rolls bake (I still get a popped tail or two on occasion). The best way to avoid this is to ensure the tip of the tail is visible on the underside of the crescent after rolling. That way, as the rolls rise, the tip will remain anchored and won't pop up during baking.

      Forming Crescent Rolls
    • Egg Wash: The egg wash is purely for presentation - it helps give the rolls a lovely golden finish with a bit of a sheen. If you're pressed for time or you're not fussy about presentation, skip the egg wash.

      Egg Wash

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    1. Can they be filled with something like jam?

    2. Kayle (The Cooking Actress)November 20, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      I love this post, and how much time and thought you put into the Lord's prayer (and these gorgeous delicious rolls!)

    3. Man, these would go perfectly with the array of soups that am currently going through. I will share these now.

    4. I'm so glad you enjoyed, Bintu, and thanks so much for sharing!

    5. They are beautiful! Great job. Have to be better than the store bought pop-open cans. Ha!


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