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Friday, November 25, 2011


My friend, Ann Smith, promptly replied to my shout out for a yeast roll recipe where the dough might travel well.  She suggested a recipe she found in a 1989 Bon Appetit magazine and said she had traveled with it without problems - because you chilled it overnight and you could just load the chilled dough into an ice chest for travel.  That sounded good to me.

It's always quite daring (or maybe ill-advised) to try a new recipe for a huge family I planned to make a batch prior to travel.  However, I got overwhelmed with all I needed to do and it just did not happen.  I decided to just trust that Ann was a good cook, knew what she was talking about, and I just traveled with the ingredients and made the double batch of dough when I arrived at my sister's house Wednesday late afternoon. 

The dough was soft and tender and yeasty so I felt very positive when I went to bed that night.  My only concern was that I'd never made anything with a refrigerated dough (overnight rising) and I am not a good roller.  I didn't need to worry - upon checking the next morning, it had doubled in size and was ready to be punched down and prepared for rising. This recipe (doubled) required rolling out 8 ten-inch circles and cutting each one into 12 triangles.  What I learned is that I had just cause to be concerned with all that rolling and my apparent inability to make 12 even triangles.  Who knew THAT would be so hard!

I ended up with a tray of small crescents and two trays of large crescents...and at some point I just got tired of crescents (after the third full tray) and decided to make a pan of rolls that I could roll into a ball and plunk into the pan!  Totalled about 85 rolls with my larger pan rolls taking more dough than the crescents.

Except for the one crisis of burning the bottom of one tray of rolls (dang that pissed me off) because I was unfamiliar with my sister's oven and its idiosyncrasies, they turned out beautiful and, most importantly, delicious.  They were rich tasting, light and airy, browned beautifully, and everyone ate at least two.  Even the tray that had burned bottoms had people pulling the over-browned (not really black burned - just too dark) bottoms off and eating the perfectly done tops.

Here's the recipe.  I do think it will be our family's new holiday tradition for rolls.  They were that good!

From Bon Apetit Magazine, 1989 (per Ann Smith)


 3/4 cup butter, divided

 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream (bring to room temperature - my note)

 1/2 cup sugar

 2 (1/4-oz.) envelopes active dry yeast

 1/2 cup warm water (100 degrees F to 110 degrees F)

 4 cups all-purpose flour

 1 teaspoon salt

 2 large eggs, beaten


 1. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and sugar. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl; cool to 100 degrees F to 110 degrees F.

 2. Combine yeast and warm water (100 degrees F to 110 degrees F) in a 1-cup glass measuring cup; let stand 5 minutes.

 3. Whisk together flour and salt in a bowl. Whisk eggs into sour cream mixture. Stir yeast mixture into sour cream mixture. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring well. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.

 4. Punch dough down, and divide into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 10-inch circle on a floured surface. Microwave remaining 1/4 cup butter at HIGH 1 minute or until melted. Brush dough with melted butter. Cut each circle into 12 wedges; roll up each wedge, beginning at wide end. Place on greased baking sheets, point sides down.

 5. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees F), free from drafts, 45 minutes or until almost doubled in bulk.

 6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake rolls at 375 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.


Dough for Sour Cream Crescent Rolls may be baked in other shapes such as cloverleaf and pan rolls.

Makes 4 dozen rolls
I didn't take photos of the mixing process... I was so tired from the 6 hour drive taking 7 1/2 hours due to intense holiday traffic that I was lucky to get the dough made.  Plus, when you are working in someone else's kitchen, it's just not as easy as being at home in a familiar environment.  I didn't even think about photos until the next day when I was making rolls!

It was a gloriously beautiful day in Central Texas.  We ate casually, on paper plates, out on my sister's beautiful back patio and the temperature was pleasant, the food abundant, the thanks for all we were blessed with perfectly evident in the smiling faces of our children and their parents and grandparents.  It was all a Thanksgiving should be. 

We've had fancy Thanksgiving dinners with fine china, the good silver, and crystal glasses on linen cloths...but outdoors, buffet style, long tables everyone could see down, drinking our sodas out of a can from the ice was a good ol' family dinner - I will likely remember it more fondly than the 50+ Thanksgivings I have experienced.  There were a few cooking crisis, easily handled.  Slight delays, a few skinned knees and a bleeding elbow...but what was missing were angry words, drama, irritation, and upset.  I will remember the Thanksgiving where everyone really seemed to be thankful that we were able to gather and we were filled with love for our family.

The buffet table with my Mom - the family matriarch
The kids segregated themselves - they want to talk to their cousins!
My big sister, Cynthia.  I think she had a good day :-)
There were so many people I could not capture them all! 
28 for dinner - 6 more came later for football and snacks!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!




  1. I confess to being a purchaser of canned, you bake crescent rolls but this recipe tempts me to make my own.

  2. These came out gorgeous! :) The buttermilk sounds like a delicious twist.

  3. Yumm! I love the looks of these!


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