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Homemade Crescent Rolls

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Soft, slightly sweet crescent rolls are easy to make from scratch. They are perfect for the holidays or just because. Make a batch and fall in love!

Basket of fresh homemade crescent rolls with buttery golden brown exterior and classic horn shape.

These crescent rolls are delicious, and easy to make/  They are just a little bit sweet and very soft and light.  

The recipe makes a big batch of dough, but don’t worry, you can freeze the extra dough for even easier rolls later. It is so nice to have balls of crescent roll dough in the freezer!

You are going to love their buttery flavor and the fact that you know everything that went into them.  Added bonus: no jumping when the tube pops!

MiMi got this recipe from a family friend, Sarah.  She said it is her grandma’s recipe and it is a holiday meal staple.  I can see why!

The dough was really easy to make.  After the first rise, you divide the dough into fourths and each of those get rolled into a circle and cut into 12 triangles.

Each triangle is brushed with butter and rolled into the classic crescent shape. Let them rise and bake them to golden flaky crescent roll perfection.

Can I freeze the dough for later?

YES! You do not have to make all 48 rolls at once. Make 12 now and freeze the rest of the dough for another day.

There are a couple of options for freezing the remaining dough. My preferred method is to wrap the other balls of dough in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag in the freezer.

bowl of crescent roll dough with finger indent.

Then when you want fresh crescents, just thawed a ball of dough and proceed from there.  Once the dough is defrosted you can roll and shape the rolls and follow the remaining instructions like normal.

Freezing them as balls of dough like that means you aren’t committed to baking them as crescent rolls later.

You can use the dough in any way you would normally use a can of refrigerated crescent dough from the store.

homemade crescent roll dough rolled into circle and cut into wedges.

So you can roll it into a rectangle for a flatbread crust. You could also stuff them with a variety of fillings or whatever your heart desires.

The balls of dough will be good for several months in the freezer. Though I am not sure you’ll be able to wait that long.

Baking sheet pan of crescent roll dough rolled into horns and ready to proof.

Can I freeze formed crescent rolls?

It is also possible to form the crescents and freeze them on a sheet pan. Then move them to a zippered bag and store in the freezer.  The night before you’d like to use them place them on a baking sheet and cover with greased plastic wrap.

Place in refrigerator to defrost. About a half hour to an hour before you’d like to use them, move them to the counter to finish rising and then bake off.

Brushing proofed crescent rolls with butter before they go into the oven.

This is a great way to reduce your prep work for a big meal or holiday. You can still have fresh rolls on the table without a flurry of flour and effort on the big day.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know when the dough is proofed?

Stick a finger in the dough. If the indent bounces back quickly, it needs more time. If it comes back slowly or not at all, it is ready to be punched down and divided into fourths for shaping.

Homemade golden brown crescent rolls fresh from the oven.

Are crescent rolls and croissants the same thing?

No. Crescent rolls are an enriched yeast dough. They are a lightly sweet and buttery bread dough shaped into the traditional horn shape.

Crescents are soft and pillowy. Croissants are a flakier roll baked in a similar shape to crescent rolls.

Croissants get their trademark flake from a process called lamination. Layers of croissant dough and butter are folded over on themselves to create that flaky texture when they bake.

Buttery golden brown homemade crescent rolls in basket, ready to eat.

More great bread recipes:

  • Celtic Knot Rolls are a bit like garlic bread but twisted up into knots. They would be yummy with soups and stews or a fun addition to your St. Patrick’s day menu.
  • If you have a sourdough starter, you may want to give Sourdough Crescent Rolls a try.  It is another easy recipe with great flavor and a wonderful way to give that starter a workout! 
  • Dori’s Beer Bread is a fabulous quick bread. There is no yeast to rise and you can alter the flavor by using different kinds of beer. It is great with lagers, would be wonderful with an IPA or use hard cider like Dori for another fabulous flavor. 
  • If you like fluffy homemade rolls, try making MiMi’s 3 day rolls. The recipe is an absolute favorite that we have used for everything from hamburger buns to dinner rolls.

Little Dude make a video showing you how easy it is to form these rolls. You can check it out here: Little Dude Forms Homemade Crescent Rolls.

Basket of fresh homemade crescent rolls with buttery golden brown exterior and classic horn shape.

Homemade Crescent Rolls

Carlee
Buttery homemade crescent rolls are easier to make than you probably think. These soft rolls are the perfect addition to any special meal. Watch the video in the post to see exactly how to form the rolls. They are so good they will become a staple at your house as well.
4.87 from 23 ratings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 28 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 48 Servings
Calories 68 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 cups all purpose flour plus additional for rolling
  • more melted butter for brushing on rolls as your form them

Instructions
 

  • Dissolve yeast in the water, set aside.
    1 Tablespoon active dry yeast, ½ cup warm water
  • In your stand mixer, combine the melted butter, sugar, and salt.
    ½ cup unsalted butter, ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon salt
  • Lightly beat 2 room temperature eggs and add to butter mixture.
    2 large eggs
  • Stir in milk and yeast mixture.
    ½ cup milk
  • Add flour. Mix, then knead for 5 minutes. Add a little more flour if needed to make a smooth dough.
    4 cups all purpose flour
  • Place in a warm buttered bowl and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.
  • Punch down the crescent roll dough and work into a ball. Cut dough ball into quarters. Shape each of the quarters into a ball and let rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Roll a ball of the dough into a 14" circle. Use a pizza cutter to cut the circle into 12 equal pieces (cut it like you would cut a pizza into slices.)
  • Brush each "slice" with melted butter, then roll starting from the wide end toward the point. Place on a baking sheet. Cover with a slightly damp towel and let rise until almost doubled, about an hour.
  • Continue with remaining balls of dough, or wrap the remaining dough in plastic wrap and freeze to use later. (You can also freeze formed crescent rolls if you prefer.)
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Gently brush tops of rolls with melted butter, then bake for about 8 minutes or until golden brown. Best when served warm.

Notes

You can freeze additional balls of dough until you are ready to use them. Just allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Once the dough is defrosted, bring to room temperature, then form and bake as directed.
It is also possible to form the crescents before freezing them. Go ahead and shape them, then freeze for a couple of hours in a sheet pan. Once the are frozen, move them to a zippered bag and return to the freezer.
The night before you’d like to use them place them on a baking sheet and cover with greased plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator to defrost. About thirty minutes to an hour before you’d like to use them, move them to the counter to finish rising and then bake. You’ll have fluffy homemade crescent rolls in almost no time.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 68kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 42mgSugar: 2g
Tried this recipe?Mention @carleecooks or tag #cookingwcarlee!

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Recipe Rating




Melanie

Saturday 11th of November 2023

This has become my go-to recipe for crescent rolls! Delicious! Thanks for sharing.

Carlee

Saturday 11th of November 2023

Yay! I am so glad you like them. Our family loves them too, they were just requested for Thanksgiving.

Julie

Friday 12th of May 2023

Love this recipe!

Julie

Friday 12th of May 2023

Love, love, love this recipe!!

Carlee

Saturday 13th of May 2023

We do too! They are so good and the dough is pretty versatile too.

Emily

Saturday 28th of January 2023

What other things can you make with this recipe? Thanks

Carlee

Sunday 29th of January 2023

I am sure you can use the same dough to make standard dinner rolls instead of rolling them into crescents or you could roll fillings inside of your crescent rolls. I'll bet this dough would be great for making runzas too. It would just take a little tinkering with the method depending on what you had in mind.

Lisa

Sunday 13th of February 2022

I have almost the exact recipe except I use 1 cup milk and no water. It makes a huge difference.

Carlee

Monday 14th of February 2022

I'll have to try them that way sometime.