I love crescent rolls and I can never resist a chance to bake them up. I have had a white flour version on this blog for a few years now and that’s pretty much the recipe I’ve always followed. But this time I wanted to try something different: I wanted to try healthy. Ergo, these Whole-Wheat Crescent Rolls.
One of the best things about crescent rolls is just how pretty they are– and they become so with just a tad of work which suits me just fine. When I set out to make whole-wheat crescent rolls, one of the challenges was to make them light and fluffy as crescent rolls should be– not dense as wholegrain breads tend to be.
To get to that goal without adding any white flour I did two things: I used whole-wheat durum flour which tends to be lighter than regular whole-wheat flour. This is the flour used in Indian kitchens to make chapatis and you can find it pretty much at any Indian grocery store and at Whole Foods and online at Amazon. I also added a couple of tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to improve the bread’s structure and rise. If you do not have the vital wheat gluten, replace a cup of the flour with bread flour.
Take the time to make these on the weekend and I promise your family — and their health– will love you for it. I know I will be making these again and again.
- 2¼ tsp or 1 package active dry yeast
- 3-4 cups whole wheat durum flour (atta)
- 2 tbsp vital wheat gluten (if you’re not using this, replace 1 cup of the whole wheat flour with bread flour)
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1¼ cup soymilk
- 2 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Place the yeast and water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and let the yeast “flower,” about 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl except the flour and vital wheat gluten, and mix by hand or on low speed if using a mixer for about a minute.
- Gradually add the vital what gluten, if using, and then the flour. Add the fourth cup slowly, a tablespoon at a time. How much flour is needed will depend a lot on the weather in your part of the world at the time you’re baking. A dryer climate means you will need less flour, a damp day with lots of humidity in the air will mean you will need more. At the end of 10 minutes of kneading you want a smooth, elastic ball of dough.
- 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 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.
- 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. 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 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 2 more hours.
- Bake the rolls in a preheated 425-degree oven about 15-20 minutes or until the rolls are golden-brown. Cool on a rack.