It is almost a cliché to say that we live in a culture of instant gratification. Everything needs to be done yesterday. Movies are available on demand. Information is accessible anywhere, any time of the day. Food is ready in the time it takes to drive between two windows.
But not all food.
Sometimes it’s nice to slow things down.
They say that patience is a virtue. And good things come to those who wait.
They were right.
This recipe is based on the divine Flaky French Crescent Rolls from Eat Live Run.
- 7g dried yeast (or just under a tablespoon)
- ½ cup warm water (slightly warmer than skin temperature)
- ½ tsp caster sugar + 3 tsp for the dough
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 egg (70g)
- 25g softened butter + 125g softened butter to laminate the dough
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 ½ cup plain flour
- 120g shredded cheddar cheese
- 80g shredded ham
- 1 egg yolk & 1 tbsp warm water for egg wash
Place the yeast, ½ tsp caster sugar, and warm water in a small container and set aside for 10 minutes in a warm spot to let the yeast activate. It should foam and bubble.
Place the milk, egg, 25g of butter, remaining caster sugar, salt, plain flour, and the activated yeast mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, mix on a medium speed for at least 6 minutes, until the dough is smooth and clears the side of the bowl. If you’re preparing these rolls on a particularly warm or humid day, you may need to add a little more flour.
Place the dough in a large greased bowl, and place in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes.
Once rested, transfer the dough to a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle that is about 1 to 1 ½ cm thick. Take the 125g of softened butter and gentle smear over the surface of the dough. Carefully fold the top third of the rectangle towards the centre. Then fold the bottom third towards the centre to cover the top third, resulting in three layers of dough. Fold the dough in half. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and return to the fridge to rest for a further 30 minutes.
Once rested a second time, transfer back to a floured surface and gently roll out into a rectangle. Repeat the folding technique, wrap the dough and return to the fridge to rest again for 30 minutes. Repeat this process twice more, so that the dough has been folded four times.
Now I have given this recipe the title of “Breakfast Rolls”. There is no way on earth that you’ll find me rising at the crack of anything to prepare these rolls in time for breakfast. So at this stage, once the dough has been folded a fourth time, double wrap it in plastic wrap and return to the fridge to rest overnight. You can assemble and bake the rolls in the morning. If you’re eating these rolls with dinner, continue on.
Preheat your oven to 200°C.
Once the dough has been rested for the final time, roll it out onto a floured surface into a rectangle, to about a ½ cm thick. Cut the dough into large triangles. At the widest end of each triangle, pile a small amount of cheese and ham. Fold the end over itself and continue to roll to the end. Tuck the point of the triangle underneath, and curve the ends of the dough roll around slightly. Place on a tray covered with baking paper. Assemble the remaining dough triangles into rolls.
Cover the rolls lightly with a clean tea towel, and set aside to rise for an hour.
Once risen, combine the egg yolk and warm water in a small jug, and lightly brush each roll with the egg wash. Bake in your hot oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden and crisp.