Sesame Crescent Rolls

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Sesame Crescent Rolls

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Published prior to 2008

The snap of sesame and the crunch of cracked wheat gives these rolls super flavor and texture. But what makes this recipe really special is its versatility: you can make the dough and bake it immediately, or you can store the dough in the refrigerator, up to a week, till you're ready to use it. So you can have freshly baked yeast rolls every night, even if you're working all day!

1/2 cup cracked wheat, softened as directed below
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup mashed potatoes, room temperature
1 cup lukewarm water or potato water (110°F)
2 large eggs, beaten
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 cups King Arthur Premium Whole Wheat Flour or White Whole Wheat Flour
slightly beaten egg white
sesame seeds or whole flax seeds

To soften cracked wheat: Cover with hot water in a small bowl and allow to stand until softened, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Drain if necessary.

In a large bowl, combine yeast, butter, honey, salt, mashed potatoes, water or potato water (water in which potato has cooked) and eggs. Stir in the cracked wheat. Mix in unbleached all-purpose flour and beat for 2 to 3 minutes by machine, about 150 strokes by hand. Add whole wheat flour to form a dough stiff enough to knead.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead till smooth and elastic. Shape rolls, let rise, and bake immediately; or refrigerate the dough up to 6 days, covered with plastic wrap, punching down as necessary.

To shape and bake: If the dough has been refrigerated, let it come to room temperature. If it hasn't, let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down.

Divide the dough into six portions. Roll each portion into a 9-inch round, about 1/2-inch thick. Brush rounds with slightly beaten egg white, then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut each round into 6 pie-shaped wedges. Roll up each wedge, beginning at the wide end, and then curve ends in to form a crescent-shaped roll. Place the rolls on a greased baking sheet. Brush them with more beaten egg white, and sprinkle with additional sesame seeds.

Set the pan in a warm spot and let the rolls rise till doubled, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until well browned. Makes 36 rolls.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 7, July 1991 issue.


  • star rating 11/17/2011
  • Cedarglen from KAF Community
  • This is a reliable favorite for me. Especially during the fall holidays, it is nice to have a roll dough half-made and standing by. As with most refrigerated doughs, it tends to improve in flavor through about the fourth day. I don't often have cracked wheat available, but others can easily be substituted. One of the fun parts of this dough is that, a fter at least an overnight rest, it is so friendly to handle. Here's what I do: Pick basic roll weight (I've used 0.75 Oz. - 2.5 Oz.) and multiply by 8. Weigh a hunk of chilled dough, pat it out just a bit and cover to warm and 'pre-proof' a bit. Well before the hunk reaches room temperature, roll it into a rough circle, perhaps a bit thinner than one might expect. Let it relax a bit and even free it a couple of times. Brush lightly with garlic butter and give a light sprinkle of seeds. Rest another 10-15 minutes. Using a knife, bench scraper or pizza wheel, cut the round into eight semi-equal triangles. Stretch each piece a bit and roll from the larger edge and curl a bit to form individual rolls. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush again, lightly with garlic butter and srinkle on a few more seeds. Drape with plastic wrap and proof until fluffy (sorry, I cannot be more precise) in a warm, humid space. Bake per the original recipe, judging by color. Cool briefly on the pan and place in a napkin-lined basket for passing. (I wrap the works in a large towel for the 20-minute drive to my hostesse's home.) If necessary, a 15-second shot in the microwave will rewarm the lot, bit don't over do it. This is an easy, baker-friendly dough and that makes an eater-friendly dinner roll. The secrets here are the potatoe, butter and eggs, as well as the WWWF for texture. Garlic and seeds are the baker's choice. It is not supposed to be this easy folks, but it really is! Other shapes? Why knots?
  • star rating 10/30/2011
  • martibeth from KAF Community
  • This was certainly an interesting recipe. I made a few changes. First, I didn't have any cracked wheat, so I substituted 1/2 cup of the Harvest Grains Blend, but didn't soak it in water. Second, I already had some mashed sweet potatoes, so substituted them for the mashed potatoes. I also added 2 tablespoons of the Baker's special powdered milk and 2 tablespoons of potato flour. After I mixed all the ingredients in my stand mixer, I covered the dough and let it sit for 20 minutes before I used a dough hook to knead it, in hopes that this rest period would absorb some of the water.. It definitely was a sticky dough. While I was kneading it, I estimate I added an extra 1/2 to 3/4 cup of flour. It really was starting to annoy me the way the dough was behaving in the stand mixer, so I finished kneading it by hand. I immediately put it in the fridge, but noticed that about 2 hours later. it was already quite puffy, and since it was very late (and my bedtime), I pressed the dough down, turned it over, and then put it back in the fridge to rise all night long. From then on, in the morning, I had no problems with the dough being sticky. I really liked these rolls, my husband less so. He said he just didn't care for them particularly, but he did eat his fair share, I noticed, with soup. Also, the instructions mention to brush the shaped crescent rolls with the egg white and sesame seeds as soon as they were shaped. Half ot the rolls I did this way, but the other 18 rolls, I waited until the rolls were about to go into the oven before I brushed them with egg white and sprinkled them with sesame seeds. I didn't really notice any difference.
  • star rating 01/02/2011
  • Jennifer75 from KAF Community
  • Like the previous reviewer, I too had problems with the dough being too wet after adding the listed amount of flour. I kept adding handfuls of whole wheat flour until the dough reached a good consistency; I'd estimate I added about 5 extra cups. Everything else worked out fine; I made half one day, half the next. The taste was fairly good, and some compared it to the taste of a big, soft pretzel. The bread's texture was a bit heavy/tough, though, probably due to the excess flour. Could the recipe have an error and mean mashed ptoato flakes rather than mashed potatoes?
    The recipe is correct, it's mashed potatoes, not flakes. 5 cups is a lot of extra flour. Try using some water or oil on your hands if the dough is slightly sticky to knead. Too much flour is definitely going to give you a very heavy roll. MJR @ KAF
  • star rating 10/25/2009
  • T.G. from NV
  • These are fabulous! I made 6 crescents and 8 rolls and the rest of the dough went into the fridge for tomorrow. This made lovely rolls that are soft and have wonderful texture. I will make these for my Thanksgiving Day feast! One thing though it took alot more flour to make this dough kneadable, so don't be discouraged and give up or think you did somethng wrong. I used all the flour the recipe called for then kept adding handfuls of all purpose flour until I felt the dough to be the right consistancy.