These typical Romanian breakfast crescent rolls or cornuri simple are the fluffiest, best crescent rolls I've ever tasted!
The breakfast crescent rolls or cornuri simple are something I grew up with, something you can buy in every Romanian bakery, something cheap, filling and satisfying. I used to buy myself one on my way to school in the morning sometimes, I can still remember the taste and texture.
These crescent rolls are not exactly like those I used to buy in Romania, but like 100 times better. The bought ones tasted good, but I have to say they were quite flat and chewy unless you had them directly out of the oven. These ones are incredibly puffed up and fluffy and so fine and delicious you will not be able to stop after having just one.
- The regular ingredients needed to bake: flour, water, and yeast.
- A good thing about the recipe: there is no need for sugar and butter. The breakfast rolls are unsweetened, you will only need 1 tablespoon sugar, which will not do much for the taste, it is there to help the yeast develop its power.
- And you will only need a little oil for the dough.
- I used active dry yeast to make the rolls. It needs to be proofed before using it.
- Fresh yeast, about 25 g/ 0.9 oz would be great as well. Fresh yeast needs to be proofed in the lukewarm water as well.
- If using instant dry yeast, just mix it with the dry ingredients before adding the wet ones.
How to form?
- After the dough has risen nicely, you can form the crescent rolls.
- Knead the dough very shortly on a lightly oiled surface.
- Divide the dough into 10 pieces and form 10 balls.
- Flatten one ball with your palm and brush it well with some vegetable oil.
- Roll the piece of dough into a sausage and knot the sausage.
- Set aside and continue with the rest of the balls.
- Once all the dough pieces are ready, take the first knot you've made and flatten it with the rolling pin, giving it the form of pita bread, so broader at one end and narrower at the other end.
- Start rolling the dough into a sausage again, starting at the broader end.
- Give the sausage the form of a crescent and place it on the baking tray with the seam facing down. Continue with the remaining knots.
- This double rolling is what gives cornuri their specific texture once they are baked, you will be able to pull strands of the soft inner part of the rolls.
How to serve?
- Cornuri simple can be served warm or cool.
- Fresh out of the oven is always best, but the rolls can be reheated.
- Brush them with some water and place them in the oven for about 5 minutes at about 150 degrees Celsius/ 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cornuri can be part of any breakfast or they can be served as a snack.
- As they are not sweet, they can be served with any kind of topping, sweet or savory.
- And they can be served plain (or lightly smeared with butter), they are so good you will not need much to go with them.
As part of a typical Romanian breakfast, consider serving them with:
- Ham or salami.
- Cheese, either something like feta or kashkaval – a sort of yellow cheese popular in Eastern Europe (but any yellow cheese is fine).
- Zacusca or vinete, both amazing spreads made with eggplants. Zacusca (roasted eggplants and peppers) is normally preserved, while vinete (eggplant salad) is made fresh.
- Olives, black and with their pits still inside.
- Lots of chopped fresh vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and whole spring onions.
- Having something sweet for breakfast is not very popular in Romania, yet if you would like that, these cornuri go perfectly well with any kind of jam or jelly.
More breakfast bread or rolls with yeast:
Breakfast Crescent Rolls (Romanian cornuri simple)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast (Note 2)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 300 ml lukewarm water 10 fl.oz/ 1 ¼ cup
- 500 g all-purpose flour 1.1 lb / 4 cups + 2 tablespoons
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil + 1-2 tablespoons for brushing
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 egg yolk
- Proof yeast: Sprinkle the active dry yeast in a bowl and mix it with the sugar and about 3 tablespoons of the already measured lukewarm water. Mix well and leave for about 5 minutes until foamy.
- Dough: Add the flour, the remaining water, 4 tablespoons of oil, and salt. Mix well and knead until the dough is elastic and doesn't stick too much to your hands anymore. The easiest way to do this is a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour to the dough if it is still too sticky, but no more; the dough should be relatively soft.
- Let dough rise: Brush a clean bowl with a bit of oil and place the ball of dough inside. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until nicely risen. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Roll: Brush the working surface lightly with oil. Divide the dough into 10 pieces and form 10 balls. Flatten one ball with your palm and brush it with vegetable oil. Roll the piece of dough into a sausage and knot the sausage. Put aside and continue with the rest of the balls.
- Shape dough: Take the first knot you've made and flatten it with the rolling pin, giving it the form of pita bread, so broader at one end and narrower at the other end. Start rolling the dough into a sausage again, starting at the wider end. Give the sausage the form of a crescent and place it on the baking tray with the seam facing down. Continue with the remaining knots.
- Egg wash: Mix 1 teaspoon water with the egg yolk. Brush the crescent rolls with them and set them aside for 10 minutes.
- Bake: Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until nicely golden. Leave on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool. Cornuri can be served warm or cool.
- To refresh them the following day: brush them lightly with water and place them in the preheated oven at about 150 degrees Celsius/ 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes.
- I recommend using a kitchen scale when baking.
- You can also use 30 g/ 1 oz fresh yeast, which needs to be proofed just like the active dry yeast.
Or you can use instant dry yeast, which will be mixed with the flour, salt, and sugar before adding the water.