Filled crescent rolls, from scratch

Forget the refrigerated crescent rolls in a tube–Dan Leader’s filled crescent rolls are nearly as easy as smacking a cardboard tube on the countertop.  Plus, the from-scratch version contains no trans-fats (unlike supermarket refrigerated rolls).  Found in Leader’s new book, Simply Great Breads:  Sweet and Savory Yeasted Treats, the recipe on page 58 calls for a yeasted pre-ferment and both cream cheese and butter, resulting in a crisp crust and flaky-tender interior without the complications of laminated croissant dough.

The author fills the rolls with ham and cheese, but I left out the ham and upgraded the cheese, using a raw-milk Gruyere cousin from the Jura region of France (from St. James Cheese Company).  I think this dough is a good candidate for a variety of savory and sweet fillings, as the dough is smooth and elastic, very easy to roll.  Once baked, the rolls are tender yet sturdy enough not to fall apart around a stuffing of crawfish or meat-pie filling or a nugget of sausage.

I baked my way through Leader’s previous book, Local Breads, back in ’08 and ’09, so I was happy to find his newest book at the public library.  It’s a slim volume, though it is packed with photographs, clearly detailed instructions, and solid recipes for breakfast breads, flatbreads, and sweet breads.  Definitely worth a look if you’re in need of baking inspiration…

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