These are my Mom’s famous rolls. Well actually, this is my attempt to bake my Mom’s famous rolls. She’s been perfecting these rolls for as long as I can remember, and I’ve only just now thought to make them myself.
Furthermore, this is only half of my mom’s recipe. I come from a family of nine and an entire sheet pan of these rolls can easily be devoured in an evening (and they are, usually before they’ve even had a chance to cool). But since it’s just me and my husband at home, that kind of yield seemed a bit unnecessary.
Besides, then I would have been forced to eat 2 dozen rolls all by myself, and while it would have been delicious, I don’t think the top button on my jeans would have appreciated it.
I struggle with yeast breads, and it never ceases to frustrate me. But these rolls are nearly foolproof. There’s no kneading required, and the rising time is remarkably short. But the end result is no less delicious because of it. I find it unusual that the recipe requires a whole tablespoon of yeast and also some baking powder, but like the saying goes— if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. And so I won’t.
I’m not sure how these crescent-like rolls got their name. Perhaps it’s an allusion to their light texture and soft crumb. Or perhaps it’s because just when you think that making rolls is difficult and not worth the effort, these Fairy Rolls will magically swoop in, fill your belly, and make you feel better about yourself.
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Egg wash, as needed
Melt the butter and pour into a large bowl to cool slightly. Combine the water and yeast and allow to sit for five minutes. Add the yeast mixture, egg, and sugar to the butter and whisk together until combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined and comes together into a ball. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Split the ball of dough into two equal pieces and put one half back in the bowl. Roll out the other half on a floured surface to about 12 inches in diameter. Cut into 12 equal triangles. Starting with the fat end, roll up each triangle and place in a buttered baking pan. Repeat with the other half of dough.
Cover the baking pan with a towel and let rise for an additional 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Brush the rolls with egg wash and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
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