On days like Minnesota todays, the light at the end of the wintery tunnel appears to be snowed in. One foot of snow and still going. Izzy is going stir crazy, pulling socks out of the laundry and gnawing on hollow toes. I jumped off my front step this morning, slipped on the permafrost ice layer underneath the deceptive powder, and fell flat on my back on ice-slicked cobblestones, where I laid for a minute before Izzy came to lick my face and check for vitals—a fallen snow angel. March really is more a verb than a noun for us up in here the Midwest north.
Brie-Stuffed Crescent Rolls
Adapted from Baking Illustrated
3/4 cup whole milk
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into sixteen pieces at room temperature
1 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon table salt
1) Heat milk and butter and sugar in the microwave (or over stove) to 110 degrees. Beat eggs into the lukewarm milk mixture, whisking to combine.
2) Combine flour and yeast in a standing mixer. Add salt. Add the milk and egg mixture in a steady stream, mix at a low speed until satiny webs form. Mix vigorously until dough is smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes on medium speed.
3) Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Continue kneading by hand until it is smooth.
4) Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside until it has doubled in size, about 3 hours.
5) Line a rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap.
6) Turn dough onto a well-floured surface, roll into a big rectangle. Transfer the dough rectangle onto the plastic wrap and cover. Let rest overnight in the refrigerator.
7) Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn dough rectangle onto a lightly floured surface and roll and shape like in the pictures.
Roll edges up, beginning at the wide end, to form crescents, tucking a square of brie cheese in the middle.
7) Place rolls on prepared sheets, leaving 2-inches between them and arranging them with tips tucked underneath. Cover rolls with a kitchen towel and let rise until they have doubled in size, or in the refrigerator overnight.
8) If you have chosen the refrigerator option, be sure to let them come to room temperature before you bake. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Brush the crescent rolls with an egg white wash, and pour hot steaming water into a hot baking pan on the bottom rack for the steam effect. Close the over door and immediately turn the temp down to 350 degrees.
9) Bake rolls in center of oven until they are golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove, transfer to a wire rack to cool for five minutes, and then serve immediately with jam or some other such spread.
KP and I brought these to our friendship dinner at the lovely home of Sue and PG Arnold. In my rush to make it to dinner on time, I decided to crowd the rolls onto the baking pan instead of using two pans and spreading them two inches apart. What I ended up with was a plate that looked like a dense occupation by a snail army. Tasted great, though.