Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls

Light, fluffy, buttery, and easy homemade crescent rolls! Perfect for Sunday dinner or your Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.

Crescent rolls in a bread basket lined with gray towel.

Why You’ll Love These

Who doesn’t love freshly baked homemade crescent rolls? Warm, buttery, soft, and flavorful straight from your oven to the table!

  • These soft, tender crescent rolls can be on the table in less than 2 hours!
  • They are big pillows of pure fresh bread delight.
  • This easy crescent rolls recipe can be made ahead.
  • So much tastier than the kind you buy in the tube. And you control what goes in them.

These rolls can be served with top round roast, smoked double cut pork chops, creamy chicken thighs, or a holiday dinner.

They are also great for making sandwiches. Perfect for leftover turkey! Or we love using them for our savory chicken salad.

Crescent roll torn in half to show crumb.

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Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for crescent rolls on a black surface.

How to Make Crescent Rolls

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, one tablespoon of granulated sugar, and warm water. The water temperature needs to be 105 -115 F. Let the yeast proof for 5-10 minutes until foamy on top.

Whisk the all-purpose flour, remaining tablespoon of sugar, and kosher salt together to combine.

Add the whole milk and unsalted butter to a large glass measuring cup. Microwave in 30-second intervals until the milk is warm, 105-115 degrees F(not hot), and the butter is almost melted.

Liquid ingredients for crescent roll dough in a metal bowl.
Crescent roll dough in a metal bowl.

Add the milk mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the egg and whisk well.

Using the dough hook, add the flour 1 cup at a time, and mix well. Then knead for 2 minutes.

Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise for one hour.

Mixed crescent roll dough before rising in a metal bowl.
Kneaded dough before rising.
Risen crescent roll dough in a metal bowl.
Risen dough.

How to Roll Crescent Rolls

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.

Use a sharp knife to divide the dough in half. Place one half on the work surface, and cover the other piece while you are working with the first piece, so it doesn’t dry out.

Crescent roll dough circle cut into quarters.
Crescent roll dough circle cut into eight triangles.

Roll the crescent roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a small bowl.

Brush a layer of melted butter over the surface of the dough circle. Cut the circle (like a pizza) into eight equal triangles using a pastry cutter or pizza cutter.

Starting with the wide end of each triangle (butter side up), roll the triangle. Roll them somewhat tightly.

Place them point down on the prepared baking pan about 2 inches.

Unbaked crescent rolls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Baked crescent rolls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Continue with the remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F while the crescent rolls are rising.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Brush with additional melted butter, if desired.

Crescent rolls in a bread basket lined with gray towel.

Tips

  • Be sure to measure the flour properly. Aerate, spoon, and swoop level.
  • The butter will not melt completely when warming the milk. Don’t worry it will mix in just fine.
  • Instant yeast can be used instead of active dry. There is no need to bloom instant yeast. Add all the wet ingredients along with the sugar to the bowl, then add the flour mixture 1 cup at a time.
  • This crescent roll recipe makes 2 lbs of dough. I use a kitchen scale to divide the dough evenly into 1 lb pieces.
  • I use the oven light to rise my dough. Cover the rolls with greased plastic wrap, and let them rise in the oven with the light on until doubled in size. Just remember to remove the rolls while preheating the oven!!!
  • All ovens are different, so keep an eye on them. You don’t want them too dark.

Variations

  • You can eggwash them before baking instead of brushing them with melted butter after baking.
  • Slice them open and slather them with honey butter, Nutella, or apple butter.
  • Make pigs in a blanket – Roll each triangle around a hotdog and bake.
  • Make them garlic butter crescent rolls – Brush the melted butter on the dough circle, sprinkling some parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and maybe Italian seasoning. Cut into triangles and roll.
  • Make them into pizza crescent rolls – Brush the melted butter on the dough circle, cut it into triangles, and sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese and diced pepperoni or sausage. Roll up and bake.
  • Make them into cinnamon sugar rolls – Brush the melted butter on the dough circle, mix some cinnamon and granulate sugar together in a small bowl, sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the circle, cut into triangles, roll and bake.

FAQ

What is the difference between crescent rolls and croissants?

Crescent rolls are bread, and croissants are a pastry. Croissants are laminated dough, while crescent rolls use yeast to rise.

Can these be made ahead?

Yes! Make the dough through the kneaded process, place it in a greased bowl, turn it to coat, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
When ready to bake, remove the bowl from the refrigerator for about 1 hour, cut the triangles, roll, and place on a prepared baking sheet. Cover with a greased sheet of plastic wrap, let rise until doubled, then bake.

Freezing Formed, Unbaked Crescent Rolls

I prefer this method. Form the rolls, place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and freeze until solid. Place the frozen unbaked rolls in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with a sheet of oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 2-3 hours. Bake as instructed.
Or you can thaw them at room temperature on the prepared pan, let them rise until doubled in size (about 4 hours), and bake.

Storing Crescent Rolls

Let the rolls cool completely, place a resealable bag and store it at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 325 F oven for 5-10 minutes.

Freezing Baked Crescent Rolls

Let them cool completely, place them in a freezer-safe bag or container, and freeze them for up to 2 months for the best quality.

Crescent rolls in a bread basket lined with gray towel.

Crescent Rolls Recipe

Light, fluffy, buttery, and soft easy homemade crescent rolls! Perfect for Sunday dinner or your Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crescent, rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Rising time: 2 hours
Servings: 16
Calories: 171kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

  • 1/4 cup Warm water 105-115 degrees F
  • 1 tbsp Active dry yeast
  • 1 cup Whole milk
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp Granulated sugar divided
  • 3 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted butter

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar, and warm water. The water temperature needs to be 105 -115 F. Let the yeast proof for 5-10 minutes until foamy on top.
    1 tbsp Active dry yeast, 1/4 cup Warm water
  • In a medium-sized bowl whisk the all-purpose flour, remaining tablespoon of sugar, and kosher salt together to combine.
    2 tbsp Granulated sugar, 3 1/2 cups All-purpose flour, 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • In a large glass measuring cup add the whole milk and unsalted butter. Microwave in 30-second intervals until the milk is warm 105-115 degrees F(not hot) and the butter is almost melted.
    1 cup Whole milk, 1/4 cup Unsalted butter
  • Add the milk mixture to the bowl of the stand mixer. Add the egg and whisk well.
    1 large Egg
  • Using the dough hook, add the flour 1 cup at a time, and mix well. Then knead for 2 minutes. Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise for one hour.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Punch down the dough. Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a sharp knife to divide the dough in half. Place one half on the work surface, and cover the other piece while you are working with the first piece so it doesn’t dry out.
  • Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Melt 1/4 cup of butter in a small bowl. Brush a layer of melted butter over the surface of the dough circle. Using a pastry cutter or pizza cutter, cut the dough (like a pizza) into 8 equal triangles.
    1/4 cup Unsalted butter
  • Starting with the wide end of each triangle (butter side up), roll the triangle. Roll them somewhat tightly. Place them point down on the prepared baking pan about 2 inches.
  • Continue with the remaining dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F while the crescent rolls are rising.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops are golden brown. Brush with melted butter, if desired.

Notes

The butter will not melt completely when warming the milk. Don’t worry it will mix in just fine.
Instant yeast can be used instead of active dry. There is no need to bloom instant yeast, add all the wet ingredients along with the sugar to the bowl, then add the flour mixture 1 cup at a time.
This crescent roll recipe makes 2 lbs of dough. I use a kitchen scale to divide the dough evenly into 1 lb pieces.
Make Ahead – Make the dough through the kneaded process, place it in a greased bowl, turn it to coat, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
When ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator for about 1 hour, cut the triangles, roll, and place on a prepared baking sheet. Cover with a greased sheet of plastic wrap, let rise until doubled, then bake.
Freezing Formed, Unbaked Crescent Rolls – Form the rolls, place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and freeze until solid. Place the frozen unbaked rolls in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with a sheet of oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, 2-3 hours. Bake as instructed.
Or you can thaw them at room temperature on the prepared pan, let them rise until doubled in size (about 4 hours) and bake.
Storing and FreezingLet the rolls cool completely, place a resealable bag and store it at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 325 F oven for 5-10 minutes. Or you can place them in a freezer-safe bag or container, and freeze them for up to 2 months for the best quality.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 61mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 219IU | Vitamin C: 0.001mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

Recipe inspired by thefoodcharlatan

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