Home vegan Poppy Seed Crescent Rolls

Poppy Seed Crescent Rolls

by Mihl

I usually  knead my bread with my hands. Although a handheld mixer or a food processor would do the job just fine,  I don’t like to use the food processor because it is a mess to clean. And our cheap handheld mixer usually sounds like he’s about to explode any minute.

If you knead your bread by hand, the rule of thumb is to knead your bread for ten minutes. When you knead the dough you aim for three things: mixing the ingredients properly, developing gluten, and starting the fermentation process. If you don’t feel like kneading your dough for ten minutes, there is another way you can achieve proper gluten development. The gluten development process starts once flour and water get mixed. If you mix water and flour only briefly and then stop mixing, the gluten will continue to develop. (The no-knead method is based on this.)

The French technique of autolyse calls for mixing water and flour only briefly and then letting the dough rest for 20 minutes to an hour. After that time the remaining ingredients are added. If you follow this technique you will realize that it requires much less kneading than the traditional ten minute method.

You can also use pre-ferments to improve gluten strength. Pre-ferments work like the autolyse method and the also add lots of flavour to the bread. Whenever I have the time, I like to use a combination of pre-fermentation and a knead and rest method. The pre-ferment is mixed with the remaining ingredients and kneaded for 2 minutes. Then the dough should rest for 15 minutes. After that time, the dough will have changed from loose and sticky to smooth, almost like it would be after 10 minutes of kneading.

Poppy Seed Crescent Rolls (makes 12 rolls)

Pre-ferment:
200 g all-purpose flour
150 g water
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

Crescent dough:
Pre-ferment
300 g flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
150 ml water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 g salt

poppy seeds for sprinkling

To make the pre-ferment, combine flour, water, and yeast in a bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are combined properly, about a minute. Cover and let the dough rest for 3.5 hours in a place that is not too warm (about 19°C/66°F).

Add remaining ingredients to the pre-ferment and knead the dough for 2 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes and knead for another minute. Cover the dough at let rest until doubled in size, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F).

Roll the dough into a rectangle of 38 to 33 cm (15 x 13 inch). If the dough is too elastic to shape it, let it rest for 1-2 minutes to relax the gluten and then start rolling again.

Cut the rectangle in half so that you get two 16.5 x 38 cm (6.5 x 15 inch) rectangles and cut those into 6 triangles. Roll them into crescents and place on two baking sheets. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

Brush with water and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely.

14 comments

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14 comments

Emmy February 22, 2011 - 12:14

These are beautiful….. ok now it really is time for lunch!

Mo February 22, 2011 - 03:39

Yummy! I love poppy seeds and those rolls look perfect.

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day February 17, 2011 - 18:10

Those are beautiful! You are such a talented baker.

It’s funny, I found out by accident what you are saying here.. due to my own laziness!

JoLynn-dreaminitvegan February 16, 2011 - 20:33

Amazing! I have never attempted to make homemade crescent rolls and here you go and they look beautiful! Topped with poppyseeds(which I love).

Jessica February 16, 2011 - 14:42

It’s so interesting to understand the science behind cooking. What a great result – those rolls look beautiful!

Conscious Kitchen February 16, 2011 - 07:00

Look delicious! I may try and adapt these for use with my sourdough starter.. I haven’t been brave enough to branch out from loaves yet.

Josiane February 16, 2011 - 05:50

I’ll have to make these crescent rolls: it will be a great – and delicious! – way to try the tips you’ve kindly shared here. Thank you, both for the tips and the recipe.

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) February 16, 2011 - 02:46

Interesting method! I love poppy seeds on bread. :)

Tiffany February 15, 2011 - 21:28

Thanks for sharing your bread-making tips and recipe. The crescent rolls look great!

Sarah S. February 15, 2011 - 19:53

You do make lovely breads! Thanks for the wonderful tips.

Andrea February 15, 2011 - 17:12

Gorgeous rolls. I do a lot of unkneaded bread but am starting to return to the pre-ferment method I used to use when I made naturally fermented bread. Your tips are great advice.

veganlisa February 15, 2011 - 13:35

Those crescent rolls look beautiful mihl! Thank you for the no-knead method review. I love it when taking the easy way is the better way.

mihl February 15, 2011 - 13:39

This is more a less knead method than a no-knead method. I cannot get myself to not knead at all.

Sarah (Flavoropolis) February 15, 2011 - 11:07

These are some cool tricks! I hadn’t heard about either of these methods, they’re very good to know. I’m with you on not wanting to clean the food processor, and I often don’t feel like kneading for 10 minutes either.
I try not to bake a lot with wheat flour, but I do have my moments of weakness and/or cooking for others, so I’ll remember these tricks next time.
The rolls look beautiful!

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