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My favorite day of the year is upon us. No, it’s not Christmas. It’s not even my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. It’s Baking Day! My nieces spend the day with me and we bake until we can hardly stand. We usually start with eight dozen crescent rolls (yes, 8 dozen) and then a pumpkin roll and a pecan pie. This year, we’ll add gingerbread turkeys to the rotation. They’ll serve as name cards and appetizers for my mom’s feast.

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Hannah and Olivia have been wearing these little gingerbread aprons and hats since they were 3 and 5. Time to get new aprons. But back to the rolls.

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The recipe comes from an old Pillsbury baking book I got as a wedding present, probably from my sister, who now requests the rolls and is kind enough to share her daughters. Each batch makes 48 crescents, and since Amy was kind enough to send helpers, we send a few dozen rolls to her husband’s family celebration as well.

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First, measure the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.

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Then, heat milk and butter until warm.

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Mix together for a few minutes, then add more flour.

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Turn out onto a flour-dusted board and knead until smooth and elastic.

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Put in an oiled bowl, covered, in a warm place.

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When the dough has doubled in bulk, it’s ready to be punched down. (My iPhone camera’s not fast enough to have caught this step.)

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Divide dough into four quarters.

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IMG_6024Roll each quarter into a circle, brush with butter, and cut into 12 wedges.

IMG_6050Roll the wide end toward the point.

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Pinch the point underneath so it doesn’t rise up during baking and ruin the shape. (We eat these so no one has to suffer the indignity of a misshapen roll.)

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When they rise a bit more, bake at 400℉ until golden, about 10 minutes.

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Brush with more butter and cool on a rack.

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Try not to eat one. I dare you.

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Cheese in a can. Aunt Cherie’s strategy to keep the bakers from sampling too many rolls.

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Isn’t that beautiful?

Here’s the recipe:

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Basic Dinner Rolls

5 3/4 to 6 3/4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 pkg. active dry yeast
1 cup water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
melted butter

In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast; blend well. In small saucepan (or microwave), heat water, milk, and butter until very warm. Add warm liquid and egg to flour mixture. Blend at low speed unit moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in an additional 2 1/2 cups to 3 cups flour until dough pulls cleanly away from sides of bowl.

On floured surface, knead 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups flour until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap and towel. Let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 ℉. Punch down dough several times to remove air bubbles. Divide dough in quarters. Roll each into a 12-inch circle. Lightly butter. Cut each circle into 12 wedges. Beginning at wide net. roll toward the point. Pinch the tip under the roll, place on greased sheet, and curve into crescent. After rising, bake 12 minutes until golden brown. Lightly butter and cool on racks. Repeat with remaining dough.

Enjoy!

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