There are certain things that are an integral part of a holiday meal in our family. And, although this Thanksgiving will be a little smaller and a lot different because of COVID-19, some things will remain as constant reminders of what’s important.
When I married into the Croy family, my mother-in-law made sure I knew that these rolls were special. When we went home to visit the family in Colorado, these rolls were served in our honor. When they came to Missouri to visit us, Mom Croy would bake dozens in advance of the visit and bring them with her. And, they are served at every holiday meal in our home.
My husband loves these rolls and I, unfortunately, didn’t have the knack or the passion for making homemade yeast breads. Before his Mom passed away, he spent time in her kitchen with her learning how to make this cherished family recipe. Now, these are known as Papa Croy rolls because my husband makes them for his children and grandchildren at every holiday. There have been times he’s made as many as 96 for our clan gathering. This year, we settled on 2 batches.
Family food traditions are important and naming those recipes for the people who made them for us with love is a great way of remembering them when they’re no longer here to celebrate with us.
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup milk, lukewarm
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
Using a stand mixer with a bread paddle:
Mix together the yeast and the 1 tablespoon sugar. Add the milk. (Make sure to check the temp is not over 100 degrees or you will kill the yeast – lukewarm is all you need). Add the remaining sugar, butter, eggs, salt and flour. Make a dough stiff enough to knead. (Important note: the weather and the ingredients make a big difference when determining how much flour you will need to make a stiff dough. Start by adding three cups and gradually add more as needed.)
Let dough rise for 2 hours in a warm place. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough again and then divide in half. Roll each half out into a circle as you would for a pie crust. The dough will be very elastic and you’ll need to work with it to roll it out into a circle. Cut each circle into 8 wedges using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. Starting at the wide end, roll toward the pointed end into a crescent shaped roll. Place rolls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush the rolls with melted butter when you remove them from the oven.