Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls

Last Thanksgiving I took the plunge and decided to make croissants at home. I don’t know what I was thinking. Making croissants isn’t really something you do when you have a 2 month old. Apart from all of the work and the time I put into them, they actually turned out quite well. It wasn’t my first time making them so I had a bit of an idea as to what to expect and how everything should look, but still, it was a little too much for me to take on at the time. This time around, I wanted to come up with an easy and tasty crescent roll recipe that could easily be served at holiday parties or for family dinners. It’s definitely a lot less hands on and time consuming than croissants but tastes just as buttery and delicious!

Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls

It took me a few attempts to get this recipe right. My first was basically a crescent shaped dinner roll, my second was slightly more flakey but still not as delicate as I would have liked, and my third, well is what I’m sharing with you today! It’s kind of the combination between a dinner roll and croissant. I mean isn’t that pretty much what the crescent rolls are that you buy in those tubes? These taste so much better!

Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls

To start, in a small saucepan (or in a 2 c. glass measuring cup, in the microwave) scald the milk, 16 tbsp. butter and 1/4 c. of sugar. The butter should be mostly melted. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer (See NOTES if you plan on doing it by hand). Add 1 c. of flour, the salt, mix on low. In a measuring cup or bowl, add the 1 tsp. sugar, warm water and the yeast. Allow the yeast to proof for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Alternate adding the proofed yeast mixture and the remaining flour. Mix just until a soft and sticky dough forms. The dough will probably look softer than any dough you’ve ever seen. Don’t add any excess flour or you’ll end up with tough and dry rolls. It will all be ok in the end, I promise!

Scrape the dough out into a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. I like to use a proofing method to speed things along, so I suggest turning on your oven on to 200 degrees, then turn it off as soon as it reaches that temperature. Place the bowl inside and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Dust two large pieces of parchment paper with flour. Divide the dough in half, place the balls of dough onto the parchment and roll into large circles. They should be about 17-18″ in diameter. Brush 2 tbsp. of butter over each circle, then transfer to a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour, preferably more. The longer it rests the lighter and flakier the rolls will be. It’s sort of a cheater’s butter block method. If you have more time I’d definitely suggest giving it a little longer, but 1 hour is sufficient. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut each circle into 12 equal wedges. Cut a small slit at the top of each piece (the outer edge) to help the crescents form their shape when rolling (see picture above).

Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls

Starting from the outside, roll the dough up into a crescent shape, buttered side in. Place onto two lined baking sheet (3 rows of 8 on each sheet). You should end up with a total of 24 rolls. If baking batches one at a time, keep the other in the refrigerator while one is in the oven. Brush the tops with the egg yolk and water mixture. My only regret was that I didn’t use enough egg wash! I really went easy on it and I shouldn’t have! It’s what gives you that shiny crispy top, and I feel like mine could have used a little more of that! So don’t be afraid of the wash… it’s definitely a good thing!

Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls

Place into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. If you live in a dry climate I’d suggest placing a baking pan full of hot water on the lowest rack in your oven, this will help create steam and will keep the crescent rolls soft and tender.

Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls

You should end up with two sheets of these gorgeous rolls. Fresh, hot and ready to serve for just about any occasion! I hope you’ll give this recipe a try- I think you’re going to love it! If you’re looking for a super easy and delicious roll recipe, make sure to check out my 1 Hour Soft & Fluffy Dinner Rolls, they’re a favorite!

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Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This recipe for light, flakey and buttery easy homemade crescent rolls is sure to become a family favorite. There's no need to labor over croissants or spend money on store-bought tubes of dough- these are the best of both worlds!
Author:
Yield: 24 crescent rolls
Ingredients
  • ½ c. whole milk
  • 16 tbsp. unsalted butter + 4 tbsp. (divided)
  • ¼ c. granulated sugar + 1 tsp. (divided)
  • ¼ c. water, warm
  • 1 tsp. dry active yeast
  • 1¾ tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 4¼ c. all-purpose flour

  • Egg wash:
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. water
Directions
  1. In a small saucepan (or in a 2 c. glass measuring cup, in the microwave) scald the milk, 16 tbsp. butter and ¼ c. of sugar. The butter should be mostly melted. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1 c. of flour, the salt, mix on low. In a measuring cup, add the 1 tsp. sugar, warm water and the yeast. Allow the yeast to proof for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Alternate adding the proofed yeast mixture and the remaining flour. Mix just until a soft and sticky dough forms (please note that the dough will be EXTRA soft... don't add any excess flour to it).
  2. Scrape the dough out into a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Turn your oven on to 200 degrees, then turn it off as soon as it reaches that temperature. Place the bowl inside and allow to rise for 1½ hours.
  3. Dust two large pieces of parchment paper with flour. Divide the dough in half, place the balls of dough onto the parchment and roll into large circles. Brush 2 tbsp. of butter over each circle, then transfer to a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour, preferably more. The longer it rests the lighter and flakier the rolls will be.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut each circle into 12 equal wedges. Cut a small slit at the top of each piece (the outer edge) to help the crescents form their shape when rolling. Starting from the outside, roll the dough up into a crescent shape, buttered side in. Place onto two lined baking sheet (3 rows of 8 on each sheet). You should end up with a total of 24 rolls. If baking batches one at a time, keep the other in the refrigerator while one is in the oven. Brush the tops with the egg yolk and water mixture.
  5. Place into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. If you live in a dry climate I'd suggest placing a baking pan full of hot water on the lowest rack in your oven, this will help create steam and will keep the crescent rolls soft and tender.
Notes
-Crescent rolls can be frozen after they have been rolled. Just allow them to come to room temperature for 30-45 minutes before baking, brush with egg wash and bake according to the directions.
-To make the dough by hand, simply follow the steps in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon.


Recipe source: adapted from The New Best Recipe