Homemade crescent rolls are sure to impress! With their soft, flaky layers and rich, buttery flavor, these delightful rolls will be your new favorite.
Everyone loves a crescent roll. We so often rely on opening a tube of dough, rolling it out, then baking it and calling it good enough.
Easy certainly is awesome and there is nothing wrong with using the canned dough on occasion. However, once you eat homemade crescent rolls, it’s hard to go back!
Crescent Rolls Vs Croissants
We are often asked what is the difference between crescent rolls and croissants? The two are very similar, but croissants have more of a puff pastry dough making them extra flaky. Crescent rolls have more of a homemade roll texture.
What are crescent rolls made of?
Just like many homemade bread recipes, the ingredient list for making crescent rolls is simple:
That’s it! Just these few pantry ingredients will have you on your way to making homemade crescent rolls.
How to Make Crescent Rolls
The first step is to proof your yeast. This is the process of blooming the yeast which allows you to test it and be sure it is still active.
- heat the milk and water to 100º Fahrenheit (or whatever temperature your yeast packet says) and pour into a small bowl.
- add a tablespoon of sugar, a packet of dry yeast and set this aside for 5 minutes.
At the end of the 5 minutes, it should look bubbly and frothy like the image on the right:
Next, whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small peas.
Pour in the yeast mixture and add the egg, then mix well until a soft dough forms. It will be very sticky, which is normal.
Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap and press down into a disk. Wrap the dough into the plastic wrap, then refrigerate for 30-45 minutes until well chilled.
Unwrap the dough and place it on a well-floured counter. Roll the dough out to about ½ inch in thickness, then fold it in half and then in half again (see image below for an example). Now, roll the dough out to ½ inch thickness for a second time and fold in half, then in half again. This process is creating the wonderful flaky layers of the crescent rolls.
Re-wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate again for another 30-45 minutes.
Now that the dough is well-chilled, roll it out on a floured surface to ¼ inch in thickness to form a large circle. Cut the circle into 16-18 thin triangles. Roll each triangle up, beginning with the wide end and rolling toward the tip. Give the triangles a slight bend to form a crescent moon shape, then place on parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Cover the crescent rolls on the baking sheets loosely with a clean kitchen towel, then set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
Finally, bake the crescent rolls at 400F for 10 minutes until golden brown.
The result is a soft, flaky homemade crescent roll!
What should I serve with the homemade rolls?
Many people will love the rolls plain and warm from the oven. However, they are wonderful with a sweet jam and creamy cinnamon butter. We also like to dip them into a hot bowl of homemade soup. Our favorites:
How should I store leftover rolls?
Keep the rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. You can reheat them in the microwave on a microwave safe plate on high for 10 minutes at a time.
Can you freeze crescent rolls?
Yes! Just like any other yeast dough, you can freeze unbaked crescent rolls. Freeze them after you shape them, before the second rise.
When you are ready to bake them, remove them from the freezer and allow them to defrost. Once they are defrosted, allow them to do their second rise, about an hour in a warm place.
Then bake as the recipe suggests.
Homemade Crescent Rolls
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup water
- 2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast (.25 ounce package)
- 3 tablespoons sugar (divided)
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (plus additional for kneading)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold butter
- 1 large egg
- In a small saucepan, combine the milk and water and heat to 110 degrees (or mix together in a microwave safe bowl and heat to 110 degrees).
- Pour the warmed milk mixture into a small bowl. Add the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes until frothy.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, remaining sugar and salt.
- Cut the cold butter into the flour with a pastry cutter until the butter is pea sized.
- Stir in the yeast mixture and egg until a wet dough forms.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.
- Unwrap the dough and place on a floured surface.
- Roll the dough out into a circle ½ inch thick. Fold the dough in half to form a semicircle. Fold the semi-circle in half. Roll the dough out again into a rough circle ½ inch thick. For a second time, fold the dough into a semicircle and then in half again.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for another 30-45 minutes.
- Unwrap the dough and place on a floured surface.
- Roll the dough out into a large circle ¼ inch thick, or slightly thinner. Cut the circle into 16-18 thin triangles.
- Roll each triangle from the widest end to the thinnest point. Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
- While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake the rolls at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and serve warm.