Homemade Crescent Rolls

This recipe for light, flakey, and buttery homemade crescent rolls is sure to become a family favorite. They’re easy to make and taste so much better than store bought tubes of dough!

These crescent rolls are perfect for serving as a side dish at Sunday dinner, or even making Chicken Salad Sandwiches. If you’re serving these for a holiday dinner, like Thanksgiving, you might like to check out the fall friendly version – Pumpkin Crescent Rolls!

Homemade Crescent Roll split in half on a white plate

Like Croissants, But SOOO Much Easier!

I’ve always 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!

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!

Cutting crescent roll dough with a pizza cutter

How to Make Crescent Rolls

SCALD. To start, 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 (See NOTES if you plan on doing it by hand). Add 1 c. of flour, the salt, mix on low.

YEAST. 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.

MIX. 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!

RISE. 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 ½ hours.

DIVIDE. 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.

CHILL. 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.

How to roll crescent rolls

Forming Perfect Crescents

CUT. 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).

ROLL. 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.

Note: If baking batches one at a time, keep the other in the refrigerator while one is in the oven.

EGG WASH. 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!

BAKE. Place into the oven and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Tip: 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.

You should end up with two sheets of these gorgeous rolls. Fresh, hot and ready to serve for just about any occasion!

Crescent rolls on a baking sheet

Tips, Tricks, and Storing

Why do you scald the milk? Scalding the milk creates lighter yeast breads and springier sponge cakes. It also helps dissolve any spices and create a more even taste across the dough.

What does it mean to let the yeast proof? After combining the yeast with your warm water and a bit of sugar your yeast begins growing. This will be visible by a layer of creamy foam on top of the measuring cup, this can be described as letting the yeast proof. It will take about 5-10 minutes until you see this result, if it passes this time frame and you haven’t seen anything you may have killed your yeast.

STORE your baked rolls at room temperature in an airtight container for 3-4 days. You could also store them in the fridge to help them keep for longer. 

If you want to FREEZE the crescent rolls after they’re baked I recommend double wrapping them and keeping them for up to 2 months to get the best texture.

Can you chill the dough overnight? You can chill it overnight, and it might even make your rolls more flaky and delicious. One hour should be sufficient to chill the dough, but longer won’t hurt it.

If you choose to roll the crescent rolls you need to bake them within 24 hours. You can keep them covered in the fridge until the next day and bake as normal.

Can you freeze the dough? The formed/unbaked crescent rolls can last for about a month in the freezer. Let them come to room temperature before baking! After letting it come to room temperature, bake them like normal.

 

Homemade Crescent Rolls in a serving bowl

For more dinner roll recipes, try:

 

Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls

Homemade Crescent Rolls Recipe

This recipe for light, flakey, and buttery homemade crescent rolls is sure to become a family favorite. They're easy to make and taste so much better than store bought tubes of dough!
5 from 3 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 2 hrs 45 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 3 hrs
Servings: 24 rolls
Calories: 170kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter - +4 tbsp, divided
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar - +1 tsp, divided
  • 1/4 cup water - warm
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs - room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 4 1/4 cup all purpose flour
Egg Wash
  • 1 egg yolk - room temperature
  • 1 tbsp water

Instructions

  • 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. 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).
  • 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 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 24g | Calories: 170kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 182mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 285IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. I would like confirmation that *16* tbsp (i.e. 1 cup, i.e. 226 grams) of butter is not a typo or something… because when I tried this recipe, I got butter balls. The risen dough was literally sitting in a pool of butter grease and it was impossible to handle, and the finished product was more greasy than light and flaky. Since 16 tbsp is 1 cup, the fact that you didn’t just write 1 cup makes me think there might’ve been a mistake…?

    When I checked similar copycat recipes, they called for anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup butter for a similar or even greater amount of flour.

    1. Hi Shiro, I’ve double checked the recipe and everything is correct as written. I’m sorry you’ve had issues, but I promise I made them exactly as follows.

  2. Hi Natalie. I substitute white whole wheat flour
    In a lot of my baking. Do you think it would be successful in this recipe?

    1. Hi Amy! I’m not sure if I’d use 100% white whole wheat, maybe half and half? I’ve never used whole wheat for crescent rolls before, so I can’t really say. I do however have a recipe for 100% whole wheat rolls– and they’re pretty darn good!

    1. I’ve never tried that before, but I don’t see why not! I would suggest taking it through step 3. Just keep the round (with the butter on it) covered with plastic wrap, then you’ll just have to roll them and add the wash to the tops before baking 🙂

    1. Nope! You will want to keep them as cold as possible though, so you may want to refrigerate them for a few minutes after rolling them, and definitely keep any unbaked crescent rolls in there while the others are in the oven. Does that make sense? Hope you love them!

  3. Hey! I’m new to your page and found this recipe via Pinterest. I am wanting to make the sheets of dough in addition to the rolls. Have you tried that with this recipe or do you foresee and issue with that application? I don’t, but I’m no expert! ???? Thanks!

  4. What does it mean to “let the yeast proof”? I’ve never made yeast bread before so I’m not familiar with the terminology. Thank you 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I love homemade crescent rolls! These are so great and easy to make. 🙂 Yummy, perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas.