Homemade Crescent Rolls
No more buying canned crescent dough when you can bake up a basket of these soft and fluffy Homemade Crescent Rolls from scratch! Served with honey butter, they’re perfect for your next family meal.
Well me and my cat J. He loves to force his way onto my lap to eat what I cooked.
That’s where the inspiration for a lot of my small batch recipes comes from because I only have one (human) mouth to feed.
However on some weekends I do cook for my parents and brother, which gives me the opportunity to make a full meal complete with side dishes because I know it’ll all be eaten.
This includes recipes like Homemade Crescent Rolls where leftovers don’t taste as great the next day.
Most of the time I’ll make rolls from scratch because I love how therapeutic kneading dough is, although once in awhile if we are out all day, I’ll pick up a fresh loaf of bread from a local bakery.
In those cases I’ll at least make some herb butter to go with it.
Usually I make my small batch dinner rolls to go with one pot lasagna soup or Tomato Mushroom Pasta, but with Easter coming up I decided to go fancy with warm Homemade Crescent Rolls brushed with vanilla honey butter.
After all, you can’t have Easter dinner for two without freshly baked bread.
You’re probably familiar with canned crescent rolls where you pop it open, roll up the dough, and bake.
These honey butter crescent rolls are just like that but made from scratch and taste 1000 times better because they’re fresh and made with love.
As if that wasn’t enough, I slathered my crescent roll dough recipe with vanilla honey butter on top complete with specks of vanilla bean.
Imagine serving a warm basket of these soft and fluffy homemade crescent rolls with a touch of sweetness on top.
You’ll never buy canned dough again!
What are crescent rolls?
Crescent rolls are yeast rolls that get their name from their shape. After rolling them up, they look like crescent moons.
Are crescent rolls and croissants the same?
No, crescent rolls and croissants are different.
Crescent rolls are a yeast roll made with bread dough. After kneading, you cut the dough into triangles then roll them up into a crescent shape.
Croissants are a pastry made with a laminated (layered) dough, which is similar to puff pastry. They have more flakey layers than crescents.
Ingredients For Homemade Crescent Rolls
To make your crescent roll dough, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Milk: Whole milk is preferred as the fat will help make your dough tender.
- Butter: Creates air pockets in the dough while also adding flavor, which contributes to a soft, fluffy texture
- Flour: Provides structure by forming gluten and helps bind the dough together.
- Sugar: Provides food for the yeast as well as contributes to browning.
- Quick rising yeast: Not active dry yeast. Quick rising means you only need to let your dough rise once instead of twice.
- Salt: Not only makes your dough less bland, it helps tighten the gluten strands, making them stronger for baking
- Egg: Makes the bread lighter and fluffier thanks to the fat from the egg yolk.
- Vanilla: If you haven’t tried vanilla in savory dishes yet, you’re missing out because vanilla can lend itself very well when balancing other flavors.
- Honey: Adds a touch of sweetness when you brush it on top.
How To Make Homemade Crescent Rolls
Here’s how to make your recipe for crescent rolls:
- Whisk together the milk and melted butter then heat until between 120° to 130°F. Too cold and the yeast won’t activate. Too hot and it’ll kill the yeast.
- Combine half the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl then beat in the milk mixture and egg until moistened.
- Gradually beat in remaining flour to make a soft dough. Dough will be slightly sticky, but if it’s too sticky, beat in more flour.
- Knead the dough until smooth and elastic then cover with a tea towel and let rest 10 minutes.
- Roll out the dough, cut into 12 triangles, then roll up into crescents.
- Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes before brushing with honey butter.
How To Roll Crescent Rolls
Turning the dough into crescent rolls may seem fancy, but I promise you it’s not.
Roll out the dough to form a 12-inch circle then cut into 12 triangles.
Starting with the wide end of one triangle, roll up dough, pressing the point into the dough to seal. Place the roll point side down on the baking sheet and curve to form crescent shape.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Can you freeze homemade crescent rolls?
Normally I’d make small batch crescent rolls, but due to the egg I left it as is.
However if 12 rolls are too much for you to eat in one sitting, great news – this recipe for crescent rolls freezes well!
There are two ways to freeze your crescent roll dough:
- The dough before baking
- Fully baked rolls before brushing with butter
Whether you freeze them before or after baking, the method is still the same.
Add your rolls to a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. This ensures they don’t stick together as a clump.
Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
What To Serve With Crescent Rolls
Now that you have freshly baked honey butter crescent rolls, what do you eat with them? Here are some of my favorite recipes to serve with crescent rolls:
- 1/2 cup whole milk (do not substitute low fat or skim)
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces or 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 + 3/4 cups - 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons quick rising/instant yeast (not active dry)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Seeds from half a vanilla bean (or use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
- Pinch of salt
- Whisk together the milk and melted butter and heat until it's between 120°F - 130°F.
- In a large bowl (with the paddle attachment if using a stand mixer), combine 1 + 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt then on low speed beat in the warm milk mixture and egg until moistened.
- Continuing on low speed, gradually beat in remaining 1 + 1/4 cups flour to make a soft dough. Dough will be slightly sticky, but if it's too sticky, beat in the remaining 1/4 cup flour.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and let rest 10 minutes.
- Roll out the dough to form a 12-inch circle. Cut the dough into 12 triangles. Starting with the wide end of one triangle, roll up dough, pressing the point into the dough to seal. Place the roll point side down on the baking sheet and curve to form crescent shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Cover and let rise in a warm space until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 15 minutes.
- While the rolls are cooling, make the honey butter: Whisk together the melted butter, honey, vanilla, and salt. Brush on top of warm rolls.
Crescent rolls are best eaten the same day they're made, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
- Enjoyed this recipe? Check out my Small Batch Dinner Rolls.
- To freeze crescent rolls: Add them to a tray lined with parchment paper in a single layer (baked or unbaked) and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Then transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
First published October 26, 2015