Sunday, 24 June 2012

The mysterious crescent dough

I have mentioned my obsession with Pinterest quite a few times. All I'm saying is, type 'weekend breakfast' in the search, and see what happens. To me, that is what heaven looks like. Time stood still for several hours while I browsed through the results. And I swear, my keyboard was getting sticky from me drooling over all those amazing pictures. I had such a hard time to decide where to begin.

One ingredient that seemed to come up over and over again was Crescent dough. I had never heard of the thing before, but apparently it's something you buy ready made in a can in the US, and it seems to be everybody's favourite dough for everything from Nutella stuffed crescents to Crescent wrapped chicken casserole. So I got very curious, and tried to find out if you can get it over here in the UK. No luck, and nothing even resembling it. Thankfully the interwebs are full of recipes on how to make it yourself, so I just had try it out for this weekend's lazy brunch. I have no way of telling if it turned out the way it is supposed to. Next time I'm over on 'the other' side of the pond, I have to go and get me some of that dough just to try it. 

So this is basically a recipe where you take everything that is unhealthy in a breakfast, and stuff it into a bread. I have baked similar things before from one of Jamie Oliver's cookbooks using regular bread dough. I love the idea of stuffing your breakfast into bread (and yes, I'm allowing myself another cheat here, but I am also going out for a run later...). There is absolutely nothing healthy about this recipe, which is probably why I loved the idea so much. The crescent roll dough recipe is from The Home Cooking Adventure I only made a quarter of the recipe and it turned out to be the perfect amount. I also had to guesstimate the amount of dried yeast as the original uses fresh yeast which I can't seem to find anywhere in grocery stores here. The dough rose nicely, so I think I got the amount of yeast  about right. The bread idea from Baking Time With the Hungry Hypo and The Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife.

Bacon and eggs in Crescent dough (6 servings, at least in theory...)
80ml milk
1 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
140g white flour (I used bread flour)
1/2 egg
pinch of salt
15 g (1 tbsp) butter, softened

6 rashers of bacon or pancetta
2 1/2 egg, scrambled
60g cheddar, grated

Heat up the milk until warm (not hot, see the instructions for your yeast for details), mix sugar and dried yeast and add the milk. Let stand until frothy. Add flour, eggs, salt and butter, and work into a soft dough. Let rise for an hour. 

While the dough is rising, fry the bacon, scramble the eggs and grate the cheese.

When dough is done rising, preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Divide the dough into six parts, roll them into the shape of triangles and place in a star shaped pattern. Add the bacon onto the stars, and add the eggs and cheese to the base of the star. Fold the points of the triangles over to form a round bread. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

One serving contains 210 kcal (11g fat, 17 g carbs and 16 g protein). To be fair, I found one serving to be a rather small breakfast, so I had two servings in one go... I did use rather thin rashers of pancetta, so you might want to redo the nutrition content estimates if you are using more sturdy bacon.

The verdict:
So what was my first impression of the mysterious crescent dough? Let's just say I didn't fall in love with it. It was easy enough to make, and it was very nice to work with, it had a really great texture. But to me it was nothing special, just a basic white flour yeast dough, a bit boring really. Not saying it was bad, just that maybe my expectations were a bit too high after seeing it in all those recipes on Pinterest. I guess the reason people like to use it is mostly out of convenience if you can just get it right out of a tin (although I don't even want to think of all the horrible vegetable fats and preservatives that go into it...) To be fair, I did overcook my bread a bit, so it got a bit dry, and I will definitely give crescent dough another chance some other time. And of course, I need to get my hands on the real deal someday to be able to compare.

Other than that, this is carbs and fat for breakfast, so what's not to love! Haven't had any other cheese than feta for quite a while (not counting the huge ball of mozzarella I had on Friday of course...), so I would have loved this just for the cheddar alone. Add eggs and bacon, and it's brekkie genius. Also much more convenient and less messy to take away than a normal sandwich, in case you are one of those people who eat your brekkie on the go.

By the way, I needed to get an early start and knew I wouldn't have time to go through the whole dough making process in the morning, so I did everything the night before. Prepared the dough, made the bread and then just left it in the fridge over night and popped it in the oven in the morning. Worked perfectly!

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