Crescent Rolls

1/4 cup water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup warm milk, not boiling
1 egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted or softened
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
8 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1 egg, beaten and or melted butter, for brushing
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or large glass bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and sugar. Mix until combined. Let the mixture sit for about five minutes until it smells like bread and is foamy.
- Once the yeast has proofed and is foamy, add the warm milk, egg, butter, salt and flour. Using a dough hook, knead the dough on medium-high speed for about five minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. It will seem sticky at first, but keep mixing (or kneading by hand) and it will become smooth.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured work surface. Knead the dough into a smooth ball. Grease the bowl that you mixed the dough in and set the dough back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove dough from fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a large rectangle that's about 1/4th inch thick. Spread the softened butter all over dough, leaving an inch around the sides of the rectangle, being careful not to break through dough with butter.
- Fold one half of the rectangle towards the center and fold the other half over as well on top of the first layer so you have three dough layers, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 10 minutes.
- Roll out dough again to a long rectangle (being careful of the butter-roll gently) and fold dough again into thirds like a book. Place back in freezer for 10 more minutes. Repeat this process two more times for a total of three folds (and 30 minutes in the freezer)
- After the three folds, you can either proceed with the directions or you can wrap your dough tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight or up to three days.
- To proceed, using a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut the dough in half lengthwise, and then cut the dough into triangles. Using both hands, roll the crescent up. Place on a baking sheet about 2-3 inches apart, cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Before baking, brush each crescent with the beaten egg wash.
- Bake rolls for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. If desired brush with melted butter. Serve warm.