[Eds: Janelle, queen of the dough, is back as a guest blogger today!]

If you google “Homemade cinnamon crescent roll recipe” all you get for the first couple of pages are recipes using the Pillsbury crescent roll dough with a few extra ingredients from your own kitchen like cream cheese or icing or more cream cheese. I have nothing against cream cheese or icing, but I definitely have something against the Pillsbury company and their anemic-looking dough boy. That little dude just seems to sum up all that is wrong with the average North American’s eating habits. I am in the middle of watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and reading many old school cookbooks I found at the library, so it is not really surprising that I am going to do a complete 180 and flip dough boy the bird.

As far as I can tell from a little research on the ol’ internet, crescent rolls might have originated from the American East coast where they had a difficult time pronouncing “croissant”. I found myself shrieking in alarm when some people on cooking websites considered croissants and crescent rolls the same species. My head started to spin and I needed to grab onto the side of the counter. Thankfully, I recovered. Listen people, a croissant is made from laminated dough – a sandwich of butter and yeasty dough. A crescent roll is just a sweet dough rolled up in the shape of a croissant. Same shape, totally different taste and texture.

While Auntie D. visited over the Easter holiday, I complained to her about store bought crescent rolls and my desire to put myself as far away from the refrigerated dough as possible. Off the cookbook shelf comes the Tassajara Bread Book. I’ll just make them myself using the most anti-Pillsbury cookbook one can find! And I quote:

“Bread makes itself, by your kindness, with your help, with imagination running through you, with dough under hand, you are breadmaking itself, which is why breadmaking is so fulfilling and rewarding. A recipe doesn’t belong to anyone. Given to me, I give it to you. Only a guide, only a skeletal framework. You must fill in the flesh according to your nature and desire. Your life, your love will bring these words into creation. This cannot be taught. You already know. So please cook, love, feel, create.”

My mom tells me I should have been a child of the ’60s. It’s true.

So, lets make some homemade cinnamon crescent rolls. Today when I looked out my window, I saw this:

Roads were closed, power was out at my neighbour’s house and it seemed the perfect day to bake.

Taken from The Tassajara Bread Book:

#19 Yeasted Breakfast Bread Dough

Part 1 – Sponge
1 c water (warmed)
1 tbsp active yeast
2 tbsp honey or molasses
1/3 c dry milk
1 egg
1 1/2 c flour

Make the sponge by dissolving the yeast in the warm water, then mixing in the honey and dry milk until dissolved. Beat in the egg. Add the flour and stir briskly. It will be quite thick. Beat about 100 times (or use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment) until the batter is very smooth. Cover with a damp towel and leave in a warmish place for 45-70 minutes.

Part 2
3 tbsp butter, shortening or oil
1 tsp salt
2 – 2 1/2 c. flour (white or whole wheat)

Pour on oil and sprinkle the salt, folding the sponge. Try not to tear through the sponge because this will decreased the elasticity of the dough. Sprinkle dry ingredients on the surface of the dough about one cup at a time. You can choose to scrape the dough out to knead on the counter, or use a stand mixer. I used a stand mixer because I was in a hurry. I let the dough knead on the lowest setting for 5-10 minutes with the dough hook until it was very smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise about 1 hour. Punch down. Let the dough rise for a second time if you can afford it. Punch down.

Divide the dough into four sections. I rolled out one section at a time into a circle and cut the dough into 8 “pizza slices” . I made a paste out of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. After stretching each triangle out a little, I spread some of the paste on each triangle, sprinkled a few raisins and rolled them up, pinching the dough some they would not unroll while baking. I didn’t let them rise before baking – again,I was in a hurry. Unexpected company in a blizzard! They were ready after about 15 min in a 350F oven.

These little guys are waiting to be rolled up . . .

If I would have rolled out bigger triangles, I would have had plumper crescents with more layers. I think I had this problem when I made croissants a couple of months ago . . .

Voila – home made crescent rolls.

They tasted yummy as this is a great dough recipe. However, I wished that they were actually the usual cinnamon buns. The crescent rolls dry out much easier due to their “anatomy” and I like the texture and moistness of regular cinnamon buns all snuggled together in the pan.

Take that, dough boy.

via snowy Saskatchewan,

J

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