As you may or may not know, I hate to waste food. I’ll turn leftovers into bestovers and gladly eat the same dish day after day until it’s depleted. And I’m definitely not afraid – or ashamed – to pop fare in the freezer, from soups and stews to all sorts of baked goods.
These crescent rolls with mascarpone cheese and pesto are the result of me trying to be thrifty. You see, there was an open container of thick Italian cream in the fridge calling for my attention. (It happens if you make spring vegetable risotto.) So of course I thought to bake bread!
But not just any old loaf. I threw together these cornmeal-flecked crescent rolls flavored with (defrosted but still fresh) garlic scape pesto. They’re soft, buttery and piquant – and pair well with scrambled eggs, salad or spaghetti.
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup bread flour (see notes)
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal, divided
- ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup pesto
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- In a large bowl, heat water until warm - about 20 seconds in the microwave should do. Add the yeast and sugar. Whisk together until thoroughly combined and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat wine and milk until warm - about 30 seconds in the microwave should do. Add to the yeast mixture. Add the rest of the dough ingredients (egg through all-purpose flour) and stir to combine. Add more flour, 1 tablespoon 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.
- After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide in half; set one piece aside.
- Roll one portion of dough into a 12″x9″ rectangle. Spread 2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese over the dough in an even layer all the way to the edges. Spread ¼ cup pesto over the mascarpone cheese.
- Cut dough lengthwise into 3 equal-sized strips. Cut each strip diagonally to make 2 triangles, for a total of 6 triangles.
- Starting at the short end of each triangle, 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. Repeat with second piece of dough. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- When rolls have almost finished rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Gently brush tops of crescent rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon cornmeal.
- Bake rolls until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.