Article first published as Recipe: Ham & Gruyere Crescent Rolls on Blogcritics.
I admit it... I *love* ham and cheese sandwiches. Maybe a little too much! It's something I have often for lunch every week. But after awhile, even a ham & cheese sandwich lover like me needs to switch things up a bit. After recently playing with a crescent roll dough for a sweet filling, I used it in a savory application to make these Ham & Gruyere Crescent Rolls. These were heavenly! Buttery dough filled with sliced ham and Gruyere cheese is a jazzed up ham & cheese sandwich that anyone will love. But the best part is this leads to many more sandwich fillings to play with...
These crescent rolls are so easy to prepare and even tastier to fill! As a ham & cheese sandwich lover, it's no surprise that's what I filled these with first. After that went deliciously well, I plan on playing with other savory fillings. Another reason why I love this recipe is that once baked, the rolls freeze beautifully and can be heated in the oven, toaster oven or even the microwave. Once heated up, they're as delicious as they were fresh out of the oven the first time. So if you're looking for a make ahead sandwich that can even be frozen, this is it!
Ham & Gruyere Crescent Rolls
recipe adapted from Holiday Entertaining from Cook's Illustrated
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup half & half, heated to 110 degrees
1 teaspoon rapid rise or instant yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs - 1 whole and 1 separated
2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon water
6 slices of deli ham, each slice halved for 12 slices
12 thin slices of Gruyere cheese
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Once it comes to temperature, turn it off. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease a large bowl.
Whisk the melted butter, half & half, yeast, and 1 teaspoon sugar in a large liquid measuring cup until the yeast dissolves. Then, whisk in 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix flour, remaining sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt until combined. With the mixer on low, add warm half & half mixture in a steady stream and mix until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the side of teh bowl. Turn dough out onto a clean surface and knead to form a smooth, round ball. Transfer the dough to the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the warm oven and let it rise until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12 inch circle. Spread the mustard evenly over the top of the dough and cut the dough into 12 wedges with a pizza cutter.
On the widest edge of each wedge, place a slice of ham and top with a slice of cheese. Carefully roll each wedge towards the point, finishing with the pointed tip of dough over the top.
Arrange each roll on the prepared baking sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and return to the oven until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Remove the rolls from the oven and discard the plastic wrap.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk the remaining egg white and water in a small bowl. Brush each roll twice with the egg mixture and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.
Cool rolls on baking sheet for 10 minutes and serve.