I used to make these braids a while ago but just forgot about them. In fact, my family was thrilled when it arrived to the table. They too remembered those days from long ago. My only issue with why I don't make them as often is buying the crescent dough in the cans. To me it's insanely expensive. This coming from a woman who spends $20 a pound for great salami. It's not the price it's the markup. It blows me away that a company can charge $4 a can when it's bread dough. I guess it's the principal of the thing…LOL
Honestly, it never occurred to me to try and make it myself. I figured it was some deep secret recipe and the market was taken and you just BUY your dough. I was wrong. YEP, I said it…WRONG. In my desire to make Carol's yummy braid I did a search and found a recipe on allrecipe.com that had 5 stars and excellent reviews. I proceeded to print, make and eat a very good homemade version of the crescent roll dough from a can.
It was easy, felt very similar to the original and tasted like the dough in a can. The flavor is what got me…it was that same "crescent dough" flavor that is so familiar with this product. I can only assume that the flavor is from the Crisco.
I will make this recipe again in the future. A few notes before I share the recipe. It makes a lot. 9 cups of flour should be your first clue…it should have been mine…LOL I easily could have divided the dough into fourths and froze 3 for future uses. You can also make up the dough, make the crescent shaped rolls, freeze and have them for a later meal. I found the original recipe to be a little bit weak in the salt department, so I have changed the amount of salt added to the recipe (shown in red). I also changed Carol's recipe just a scosh (that's a little) because my family would not like the dill blend for the spread and I did not have sharp cheddar on hand. Her recipe inspired me to begin, but based on what I had and what my family likes, it has been changed to fit our palette.
Recipe: Crescent Roll Dough
2 cups milk
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1 cup sugar (2 T. in yeast/water and the remaining sugar used in the creaming process)
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon of salt
6 eggs, beaten
9 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
Heat milk to 110 degrees .
Add yeast and 2 T. of sugar; stir until dissolved.
Let set for 3-5 minutes until frothy on top.
In large mixing bowl ( I used my kitchenaid) , cream sugar, shortening and salt. Add eggs; mix well.
Alternate the flour and milk until all combined.
Knead ( I used my Kitchenaid to do the kneading) until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
Place dough in greased bowl; cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
Divide dough into 4 parts. Roll each into a circle and brush with melted butter.
Cut each circle into 16 pie-shaped pieces.
Roll each piece into a crescent, starting at wide end.
|I used the remaining dough and rolled them into the standard crescent shape and baked them. My family loved the rolls.|
To bake, place on greased baking sheet and cover; let rise until doubled.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.
Recipe: Chicken Broccoli Braid
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breasts
1 cup chopped broccoli florets
1/4 cup of chopped red onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup ranch dressing (recipe below)
8-10 slices of Jack or Cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 of the dough from above
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 375°F . I used my round pizza stone. You can have that pre heating in the oven while you are preparing your braid.
Prepare your filling. Cook and chop your chicken into small pieces. Steam your broccoli. Chop your red onion and bell pepper. Combine the chicken, broccoli, onion and bell pepper into a small bowl.
Make your ranch dressing (recipe below) and set aside.
Take your dough and roll into a rectangle on a slightly floured surface. If you use a piece of parchment paper then you can just slide the braid onto your cookie sheet or stoneware. I measured my stoneware and rolled the dough according to what would fit. NOTE: I noticed the dough doubles when cooked, keep this in mind when rolling out your dough. If you want a thick crust, roll dough to 1/4 inch. If you want a thinner crust roll the dough as thin as you can.
I used a pizza cutter to cut the slices on the side of my rectangle of dough. I spaced the slices about every 1.5 inches apart.
|My son said that I needed to be less stingy with the cheese..I thought this was a lot, but it would have been cheesier with a lot more and that is what they want next time.|
To Braid: Start on one end and pull the end up over the beginning of the braid (on your left). Take the left side and the right side and fold over each other in a criss-cross pattern. USE water if your dough is not staying in place. Just dab a little bit where the dough touches and it should stay. As you near the end, trim off any extra dough that might be too "thick" and fold the right end to look pretty.
Take the egg white and beat until frothy. Using a pastry brush, spread the egg white on the top of the braid. This gives it a nice golden and shiny crust.
Transfer the braid to the cookie sheet or stoneware and bake for 20-25 minutes. Watch the top so that it does not get too dark…you can use a piece of foil towards the end so that you are sure to not over brown the top.
Recipe: Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp. garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. onion salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
Combine all of the ingredients together and store in refrigerator. Taste to make sure the spices are how you and your family like your ranch. You may need to add a bit more garlic or salt.