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Homemade Crescent Rolls

Homemade Crescent Rolls

There is no doubt that the cans of refrigerated crescent roll dough that you can buy in the market are tasty, but it’s always nice to be able to take the option of a homemade version. Happily, I can say that it is not difficult to bake up a batch of homemade crescent rolls from scratch, even on a busy weeknight. They’re not quite as quick as the premade biscuits, but they are certainly very quick for a yeast bread dinner roll recipe.

The packaged crescent rolls are quite like little croissants, light in texture and buttery. This version, a variation of a Red Star Yeast recipe, has the same look, but has a slightly different feel to the dough. They’re soft and buttery, but have a texture that is more like a fluffy dinner roll than a flaky croissant. They’re easy to split and spread with butter or jam, and are great for soaking up things like cranberry sauce and turkey gravy during Thanksgiving dinner. They will also keep well for a day or two, so you can make them a day in advance and store them in an airtight container, reheating them before serving, the next day.

Shaping the rolls is much easier than you might think. All you need to do is roll out the dough into a big circle so that it resembles an untopped pizza. Then, using a pizza cutter, divide up the dough into 12 pizza slices. Starting with the “crust” edge, roll each slice of pizza towards the center to form the rolls, then curve them slightly when you lay them on the baking sheet. I brush the rolls with melted butter for a little extra buttery flavor, but you could also brush them with a lightly beaten egg for a little shine.

Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup water, warm (100-110F)
1/2 cup milk, warm (100-110F)
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter, room temperature

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, or in a large bowl if you prefer to mix by hand, combine yeast, water, milk and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. Add in bread flour and salt and mix well with a dough hook. Cut the softened butter into three or flour pieces and drop them into the dough, letting the mixer blend them in.
Knead (with a mixer or by hand) for about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl and let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press it out into a circle with your hands, then use a rolling pin to roll it out into an even, 10-inch circle.
Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to divide the circle into 12 triangles (just like slicing a pizza).
Starting with the outside edge of one of the triangles, roll the edge towards the center of the “pizza.” Once rolled, curve the roll slightly into a crescent shape and place on a parchement-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all rolls. Cover rolls with a clean dish towel and let rise for 20 minutes.
Melt additional 1 tbsp butter in a small bowl. Brush tops of rolls with butter butter.
Bake for 14-18 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 rolls.

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  • Mimi
    November 18, 2009

    Nothing like yeast rolls/bread right out of the oven. These looks delicious.

  • Nutmeg Nanny
    November 18, 2009

    These look tasty!

  • lululu
    November 18, 2009

    homemade bread is the best!
    and i cant believe how simple it is to come up with those babies!

  • Nostare
    November 19, 2009

    Right now i’m sooooooooooooo hungry…. this looks delirious 🙂

  • Jennifer
    November 19, 2009

    These look just right for Thanksgiving. I would like to make my breads this weekend. Do you think these could be par-baked and frozen for a week or so?

  • Liz Brooks
    November 19, 2009

    Wow this is great! Thank you for sharing.

  • Saching
    November 19, 2009

    Sounds so delicious especially because I just love crescent rolls.. I have to tell my wife to try your recipe.

  • Steve
    November 19, 2009

    We love the crescent rolls for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We usually don’t make them, we purchase the rolls at the store and bake them in the oven.

  • Carrie Z
    November 19, 2009

    I hate/love/envy you right now! Your rolls are beautiful and I think I might make them tomorrow for dinner. Thanks for all the deliciousness 🙂

  • Ashley
    November 20, 2009

    This is great! Love this idea 🙂

  • Jill
    December 2, 2009

    Your rolls look great. I love buttery rolls and I am going to have to try your recipe. Thanks.

  • reusch goalkeeper glove
    April 30, 2010

    Love this roll….especially if you dip it in Milo.

  • Then, using a pizza cutter, divide up the dough into 12 pizza slices. Starting with the “crust” edge, roll each slice of pizza towards the center to form the rolls, then curve them slightly when you lay them on the baking sheet.

  • Jackie
    November 1, 2010

    I made these this morning and they were really wonderful! Half an hour later, I had to make another batch because they were all gone! Thank you so much for sharing =)

    The buttery taste in these is perfect, not too overwhelming or bland!

  • Gretchen
    July 13, 2011

    Has this recipe ever been used to make a cold veggie pizza, the kind with cream cheese, raw veggies and shredded cheddar that usually requires the rolls out of a can?

  • Sam
    July 20, 2011

    Can you fill these as you can with the canned version? If you fill them (with fruit for example) do you still let them rise for 20 mins before cooking?

  • tina-luna
    October 5, 2011

    Sounds delicious. Can I fill them with cheese and store them in the freezer after baking?

  • Sarah
    December 29, 2011

    I want to make these into little sausage rolls that I’m going to be needing in a couple of weeks. Can I make them and then freeze? Would it be better to freeze before or after baking?

    Thank you! I’ve been a fan of this site for years! Love your work!

  • Nat
    January 25, 2012

    Sorry, mine did not come out good at all… I am curious why you add the butter so late?
    Anyways, they look beautiful in the picture… but I wont be making again.

  • Deb
    April 9, 2012

    Very easy to make and delicious!!!!

  • Sarah
    June 24, 2012

    I hope I didn’t degrade your recipe, I had some hot dogs in the freezer (how they got there I don’t know) and rolled them up in the rolls. I used an egg wash and then sprinkled on some sesame seeds. Very good!

  • Jessica
    July 13, 2012

    This might be *DUH!* for some people, but sadly for me, it wasn’t – you cannot use all-purpose flour with this recipe. It won’t rise. 😛

  • Nadine
    September 24, 2012

    These sound like exactly what I’m looking for. A local pizzeria has an appetizer that is basically a buttery crescent dough shaped in knots & brushed w/garlic butter. These are served with a Salsa Con Queso dip and are DELICIOUS! I’ll give them a try using my bread machine to do the kneading. I’ll bake some plain & some knots w/garlic butter. I’ll let you know how they turn out. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  • Nadine
    September 25, 2012

    Jessica: The difference in the flour is the amount of gluten. Sorry your first attempt was unsuccessful. I know how frustrating that can be. Check this site for info: http://www.breadmachinediva.com/2009/09/bread-flour-versus-all-purpose-flour/

  • Lauren
    November 14, 2012

    I am curious about letting the rolls rise after they have been rolled up and shaped. I am trying to find/make an organic alternative to canned, refrigerated crescent rolls, as children I care for NEED it this way due to diseases which complicated food digestion. I want to make a crescent ring, so would I still need to let the dough rise after I have filled and shaped it? I’m a little worried about how this will affect the temperature of the filling.

    December 14, 2012

    Instead of active dry yeast, can I use RED STAR “quick rise”?

  • Christina
    December 15, 2012

    I was wondering if I can use plain flour.

  • Jassie
    March 2, 2013

    I Am Going To Use This Recepie That Way I Can Make Mummy Dogs(: But One Question….You Don’t Need Any Egg At All Right?

  • Denise
    March 10, 2013

    Thank you for this receipe. As I come from Australia, where the ready made crescent rolls are not available, I’m glad I now have a recipe to enable me to make all the delicious receipes I’ve been collecting off the web.

  • erilyn
    March 28, 2013

    We dont have the cresent roll dough in NZ, what would be the nearest substitute, a flakey pasty or short pastry, I know i should make the dough but im thinking of a shotcut

  • Sam Sid
    January 7, 2014

    I came across a recipe on You Tube, where you have to use a can of cresent roll dough at the bottom of the dish. Top it with cream cheese mixture, and then top it up, with another can of store bought cresent roll dough.
    Problem is, we don’t have anything like this available in Australia (we only have puff pastry sheets, and shortcrust pastry sheets). And I suspect, that this store bought cresent roll dough, is more of a bready type thing, than a biscuit type thing.
    So the question is: can I use your recipe for these rolls, to make up my recipe of cream cheese sugary delight???
    Thank you!

  • Estelle lauletta
    February 11, 2014

    You lost me at yeast. I work all day do not have time to let rise??!! Will try these on a LONG weekend,,

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