I dream of soft, fluffy rolls fresh from the oven that I can tear open with my fingers, watch as the smoke dissipates right before my eyes, slather with a dab of vegan butter and raspberry jelly, and then take a huge bite of…now doesn’t that sound like heaven?
And after making these crescent rolls I definitely was in heaven. Because not only are they are easy to make and impossibly elegant to look at, they are, of course, 100 percent vegan.
As flaky as these rolls are, don’t mistake them for their richer French cousins, the incredibly delicious croissants, which contain far more fat and are more puff-pastry-like in the way they’re made. These are regular rolls that shaped like crescents and they are not just great for breakfast but great at just about any time of day.
Go ahead and try them next time you have some time on your hands. And if you make them the previous day, just pop them into an oven for a few minutes to freshen them up. This recipe makes 16 and since it’s usually just Desi and I who get to eat them all, I keep them in the refrigerator for days in an airtight plastic bag.
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 package)
1/4 cup warm water (not hot. You don’t want to kill the yeast)
Mix the yeast and water together in a bowl and let stand for at least five minutes until the yeast is all frothy and bubbly.
Add to this:
1 1/4 cup soymilk
5 tbsp canola or other flavorless vegetable oil
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Mix by hand or on low speed in the stand mixer for no more than a minutes. Now gradually add :
3 to 4 cups of all-purpose flour, until you have a dough that’s moist but not sticky.
Knead for 10 minutes by hand or on medium-low speed on the stand mixer until you have a dough that’s smooth and elastic.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, turn over once to coat the top with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot until the dough has doubled, around 1 1/2 hours.
Now punch the dough down and divide into two equal parts. Shape each into a smooth ball and then roll each out to a diameter of about 10-12 inches. If the dough is too resistant, let it relax for a couple of minutes, then try again.
With a pizza cutter, cut eight wedges, as you would a pizza.
Take one wedge, brush the top with a little oil, and then, using your fingers, roll from the broader edge toward the tip, forming a crescent shape. Once you’ve formed the roll, tuck the ends downward to form the crescent.shape.
Shape all 16 wedges into crescents, placing them at least an inch or two apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Brush the tops of the rolls with some oil or with a mixture of soymilk and oil, and allow them to stand, covered loosely with a napkin, until they’ve doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Bake the rolls in a preheated 425-degree oven about 15-20 minutes or until the rolls are golden-brown.
Serve fresh or preheat in the oven if serving leftover rolls.