Homemade Crescent Rolls

Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
Add'l 1 hr 30 mins
Total 2 hrs 30 mins
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Soft, buttery, flaky Homemade Crescent Rolls! These rolls are light and fluffy, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Way better than anything you can get from a can! 

Perfect, Buttery Crescent Rolls, Made from Scratch!

Crescent rolls are one of those side dishes that make people’s eyes light up. Have you noticed? If you pass around plain dinner rolls, you will definitely get some takers, but crescent rolls are different. They’re festive, pretty to look at, and oh-so-scrumptious.

These days, crescent rolls are super easy to make at a moment’s notice if you just buy a can of pre-made dough. But did you know they are also really easy to make? It’s true! With a few steps (and some time set aside for the dough to rise), real homemade crescent rolls can be on your table with ease. Your guests will devour them!

A towel-lined basket of fresh rolls.

Why Are Crescent Rolls So Good?

Who can resist a warm crescent roll? This is the kind of dinner roll that flies out of the bread basket, and leaves everybody fighting for the last one. What’s so great about a crescent roll? I’d say it comes down to three words: soft, buttery, and flaky.

While croissants, puff pastry, and phyllo dough are the champions of flaky pastry, crescent rolls deserve some recognition as well. Thanks to their classic roll shape, they have a pull-apart texture that is definitely more-ish. And buttery? Yep! No oils or margarines here, just real butter, and plenty of it. As for soft, this enriched dough is given a super-generous knead, giving it a smooth, soft bite that you’ll crave.

From top: Flour, milk, butter, water, sugar, eggs, yeast, salt.

What Are Crescent Rolls Made Of?

While homemade crescent rolls might sound complicated to make, they are actually pretty straightforward, and you only need a few basic ingredients:

  • Milk and Water: Warm the milk and water before adding them to the recipe. You want them to be a little warmer than body temperature, but not hot.
  • Sugar: Regular granulated sugar is fine.
  • Yeast: Active dry yeast. 
  • Eggs: A combination of whole eggs and egg yolks makes these rolls rich and gives them a great texture.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour.
  • Salt
  • Butter: Salted butter, softened to room temperature.

How Do You Make Crescent Rolls?

This recipe is similar to making other yeast rolls, with the main difference being the shaping process. To shape these crescent rolls, we’ll be slicing the dough into triangles and rolling them up into that classic butterhorn shape.

  • Proof the Yeast. To get started, you’ll want to begin activating your yeast. Place it in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and add the warm milk and water, plus a little bit of the sugar. Whisk for a moment on low speed to combine, and then let the mixture rest. It should turn frothy within about 5 minutes. If it doesn’t, either the yeast was old or the liquids were too hot/cold and failed to activate the yeast. Either way, you’ll need to start again with new ingredients.
Proofing yeast in a mixing bowl. Other ingredients are arranged around the mixing bowl.
  • Add the Eggs, Flour, and Salt. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl to make sure you don’t get any shells into your dough. Then add the eggs to the mixer, and whisk to combine. Swap the whisk attachment for the dough hook, and add the flour and salt to the bowl. Let the mixer knead the dough on medium speed until it begins to come together.
  • Add the Butter and Knead Until Smooth. When the dough starts to form, add the butter, and knead on medium-low speed to incorporate. Once the butter is fully incorporated, let the mixer knead the dough for 8 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic. 
  • First Rise. Spray a clean mixing bowl with baking spray, and place the dough in it. Cover it with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Shape the Rolls. When the dough has almost fully risen, get the oven preheating to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and lightly spray it with baking spray. Then transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface, and roll it out into a big rectangle (21” x14”). Cut the dough down the center, and then cut each side into 12 triangles, each one with a base about three inches wide. Starting at the wide end of a triangle, roll it up to make a butterhorn shape. Place the crescent roll on the baking sheet, and repeat with the rest of the dough. 
  • Second Rise. Once all of the crescent rolls are formed, let them rise on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes, or until they are puffy. 
  • Bake! Bake the crescent rolls on the center rack of your preheat oven for 15 – 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Then take them out of the oven and allow them to cool slightly before serving warm.
Baked butterhorn rolls on a baking sheet.

Helpful Tips

After working on this recipe and trying lots of different tactics to perfect it, I’ve also perfected these: a short list of tips for crescent roll success. Here’s what you need to know for the best batch of crescent rolls ever:

  • Salted Butter vs. Unsalted: Unsalted butter can also be used. If you make the swap, be sure to add 1⁄4 tsp + 1⁄8 tsp of salt to the recipe.
  • Yeast Tips: When working with yeast doughs like this one, it’s crucial to have the liquids at the correct temperature. If the liquids are too hot, they’ll kill the yeast. Too cold, and the yeast won’t activate and the dough won’t rise properly. The best temperature is between 105°-110°, which is slightly higher than body temperature, but not scalding hot.
  • Rising: Rising times will vary depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen. If the dough doubles in size before the hour is up, just simply move on to the next step in the recipe. If your kitchen is on the cold side, you will want to wait until the dough has truly doubled in size, even if it takes longer than an hour.
  • Melted Butter: For an extra touch of deliciousness, brush the baked crescent rolls with melted butter. Yum.
A crescent roll on a small plate, with a bite taken out of it.

Serving Suggestions

Crescent rolls go with everything from chicken salad to Beef Wellington – you truly can’t go wrong! I often make them for a holiday dinner, so my favorite serving suggestions are holiday main courses like these:

  • Ham: Ham is a no-fall main course – all you have to do is warm it up! But add a few easy touches and you’ve got a major showstopper on your table. Case in point? This gorgeous Baked Ham with Orange Glaze.
  • Turkey Breast: Sometimes a whole turkey is just too much food. In that case, a turkey breast can be just right. And with this recipe for Crockpot Turkey Breast, it’s never been easier to make.
  • Short Ribs: Rich, meaty, Red Wine Braised Short Ribs are infused with plenty of garlic and lots of fresh herbs. This gourmet main course is that much better when it is served with homemade crescent rolls!
A dish of rolls next to two plates, each with a roll on it. A butter dish and knife are nearby on the table.

Storing and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover crescent rolls at room temperature, or put them in the fridge if you prefer. Make sure to keep them in an airtight container or food storage bag so that they stay fresh and don’t go stale. They’ll keep for around four days.

Can I Freeze Homemade Crescent Rolls?

Definitely! Having a stash of homemade rolls in your freezer is a great idea. Just warm them up, and transform any ordinary dinner into something extra-special. I recommend flash-freezing the crescent rolls on a baking sheet first, and transferring them to a freezer bag once they’re frozen solid. Reheat directly from frozen in the oven.

Yield: About 24 Rolls

Homemade Crescent Rolls

Golden-brown bread rolls in a bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel.

Soft, buttery, flaky Homemade Crescent Rolls! These rolls are light and fluffy, with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Way better than anything you can get from a can!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2⁄3 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1⁄3 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoon active yeast
  • 2 large eggs + 2 yolks
  • 5 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3⁄4 cup salted butter, room temp

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, add milk, water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and yeast. Lightly whisk together on low speed until just combined. Let rest for 5 minutes, until frothy and bubbly.
  2. Add in the eggs and mix to combine. Swap the attachment to a dough hook, then add in the flour and salt. Knead on medium speed until the dough comes together.
  3. Once a rough dough has formed, add in the butter and knead together on medium-low speed for 8 minutes. Wait until the butter is incorporated into the mixture to start the timer for 8 minutes. Once the dough is kneaded, transfer it to a clean bowl that has been sprayed with baking spray. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with baking spray. Set aside.
  5. Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer it to a clean, lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 21” long x 14” wide. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough down the center long ways.
  6. Next, cut 12 triangles from each strip of dough, with the base of each triangle being 3” wide. Take a cut-out triangle and press down the wide end out a little, then roll up starting with the wide end. Place the crescent roll onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat the rolling process with the remaining triangles. (For help with these steps, check out the visual step-by-step photos in the post above.)
  7. Once all of the crescent rolls are on the baking sheet, let rise for about 15 minutes until puffy. Place it into the preheated oven on the center rack.
  8. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Once baked, remove from the oven. Let the rolls cool for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

Storage:

  • Store leftover crescent rolls at room temperature, or put them in the fridge if you prefer. Make sure to keep them in an airtight container or food storage bag so that they stay fresh and don’t go stale. They’ll keep for around four days.

Notes:

  • Crescent rolls may be stored in an airtight container or baggie for up to 4 days.
  • Salted butter - Unsalted butter may be used instead. If used, add 1⁄4 tsp + 1⁄8 tsp of salt to the recipe.
  • When working with yeast-based recipes such as this one, it is very important to have the correct temperature of liquids. If the liquids are too hot they will kill the yeast. Too cold and the yeast won’t activate and the dough won’t rise properly. The ideal temperature is between 105°-110°.
  • Rising times will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen. If it doubles in size before the hour is up, just simply move on to the next step in the recipe. If your kitchen is on the cold side, you will want to go ahead and wait until it has truly doubled in size before using.
  • Brush the baked crescent rolls with melted butter if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 144mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g

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Comments

2 Responses
  1. Christine

    Can this recipe be used to make Pigs in the Blanket? Maybe after step 6, wrap the lil wieners and continue to next step?

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Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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