I have finally gotten around to finishing Schitt’s Creek, and somehow it was even more wonderful than the internet said it would be. I don’t know how she does it, but Catherine O’Hara consistently exceeds the stratospheric expectations I have for anything she does. This is a woman who gave us Sheila Albertson, Cookie Fleck, Mickey Crabbe, and Marilyn Hack, and somehow she managed to outdo all of those with the creation of Moira Rose, one of the greatest characters in comedy history, and the inspiration for today’s recipe.
As a kindness I shall not divulge how and why “kifla” comes up in the Schitt’s Creek universe, because I do not wish to spoil a single thing about this show for those of you who’ve yet to watch. Those of you who have watched, though, will enjoy learning that the kifla (plural kifli or kiflice) is essentially the crescent roll of Central and Eastern Europe. (Not just Bosnia.) This is some serious deep-cut bread basket comedy, and no one but Catherine O’Hara could make it work.
Though making kifli from scratch takes more time and effort than simply cracking open a can of crescent rolls, I promise you it’s worth it; when hot out of the oven and slathered with good butter and jam, they’re practically inhalable. Even though this recipe makes a minimum of 16 large kifli (you can make yours any size you want), every time I’ve made them my husband and kids have devoured all of them before I was ready to grab a second one, so here’s a tip: after you pull them out of the oven, hide at least a third of them before telling anyone they’re ready. You might think that sounds like too many Secret Kifli, but trust me—after one bite, you’ll understand completely.
Makes 16 large rolls
- 650 grams flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup neutral tasting oil, like canola or grapeseed
- 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
- Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp. water)
Pour 1/2 cup of the milk into a small bowl, then stir in the yeast and sugar and set aside. Pour the remaining 2 cups milk into a small saucepan or microwave-safe cup, add the kosher salt, and heat up until it begins to steam.
Pour the flour, hot milk, sour cream, and oil into a food processor with the dough blade attached and run for about 30 seconds. Add the milk/yeast mixture and continue processing for another 60-90 seconds until a soft, elastic dough forms. Lightly grease a large bowl, plop the dough inside, cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and leave in a warm place to rise for one hour. (I like doing this in a cold oven with the light on.)
Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or lightly greased aluminum foil. Generously flour a clean counter (or wooden board) and a rolling pin, then plop down the dough and gently knead until smooth; it should be a soft, pillowy dough, and not difficult to work with, so if it’s sticky or uncontrollable, add flour until it’s workable. Divide the dough in two and set one half aside.
Roll out half the dough into a large circle about 1/4-inch thick. Use a pizza cutter to divide the dough into triangles. (For mini kifli, cut into 12 triangles; for ones like the kifli in the photo, cut into 8 triangles.) Brush with melted butter and, starting from the wide edge, roll up the dough and shape into a crescent. Move them to the baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches of space between each, and brush with more melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, put into the cold oven with the light on, and repeat all these steps with the second half of the dough.
Let the kifli proof in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove the pans and begin preheating the oven to 425 degrees. When it comes to temp, brush the kifli with egg wash and bake until golden brown, rotating the pans halfway. (Mini kifli will take between 15-18 minutes; larger ones, 20-23 minutes.) Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.