It’s definitely starting to feel like fall, even though we’re still enjoying shorts and T-shirt temperatures here in the Bay Area. It’s pitch black when I wake up and dark by 7:30 p.m. And fall recipes are everywhere! Though I’m very sad to see summer go – and with it the warm weather and long days – I am excited and eager to cook richer, heartier foods.
In fact, I jumped the gun and made a batch of thick and chunky turkey chili over the weekend. Yes, it was a toasty 77 degrees, but I was in the mood for rib-sticking comfort food. And to accompany it, I baked a batch of these soft, buttery cornmeal crescent rolls – a welcome alternative to dry, crumbly, ho-hum cornbread, in my opinion. Think Parker House rolls with a slight crunch.
Who could resist taking one or two? They’re so darn cute! If you have leftovers, enjoy them for breakfast or eat them plain, like I do.
Recipe adapted from Tammy’s Recipes.
- ¼ cup water
- 1⅛ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup sugar, divided
- ¾ cup milk, scalded and cooled
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2½-3 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons cornmeal, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
- In a large bowl, heat water until warm - about 30 seconds in the microwave should do. Add the yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar. Whisk together until thoroughly combined and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add the remaining sugar, milk, egg, butter, cornmeal, salt and 2 cups flour and stir to combine. Continue adding flour, ¼ cup at a time, until dough comes together to form a shaggy ball; it should be tacky but not sticky. Then knead the dough by hand (or with a dough hook attachment) until it’s smooth and elastic - this will take about 10 minutes (or less if using a stand mixer). Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cornmeal.
- Punch down dough and roll it out to a 16" circle. Spread 1 tablespoon butter over the dough in an even layer all the way to the edges. Then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cornmeal.
- Cut circle into 16 wedges. Starting at the wide end of each wedge, roll up dough toward point. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet with the point tucked under the roll. Curve ends to make a crescent shape. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- When rolls have almost finished rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Gently brush tops of rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon cornmeal.
- Bake rolls until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.