Homemade Crescent Rolls
Why I Love This Recipe
I learned how to make these Crescent rolls as a child with many fond memories helping my mom to knead and roll-out the dough, cut it, and roll-up into individual rolls. The base recipe is passed down a few generations on my mother’s side. These Crescent Rolls are a favorite at large family gatherings during the holidays, reunions, and more. I got to a point that the recipe card only listed the ingredients without any of the instructions because I had it memorized, which really frustrated my wife and kids when I wasn’t home to make the rolls. Early in my marriage when friends would call for a dinner together, they would ask for my Crescent Rolls, which frustrated my wife (who is a great a cook).
--Terry C., Highland, Utah
Ingredients You'll Need
1 Tbsp dry yeast (or 1 packet or 1 cube)
1/4 cup warm water (to active yeast)
1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter, sliced into 8-12 portions
1 cup milk (personally, I prefer whole milk)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, whipped
4 cups all-purpose flour, white (I've never tried wheat or bread flour)
Mix yeast with warm water. Set aside to active yeast. (It will ferment and grow... and have that very distinctive yeast smell.)
In a microwavable mixing bowl, combine milk, butter, sugar, and salt.
Microwave mixture for 2-3 minutes... or until butter is mostly melted (in the original recipe, you would scald the milk in a pan on the stovetop and then pour into a mixing bowl with the butter, sugar, and salt. You would then mix until the butter was melted. It is important to not boil the milk\butter mixture.)
Add in activated yeast and whipped eggs. Mix thoroughly.
Add in flour gradually (I typically add in half, mix, add in second half, etc). The dough will be very sticky and moist.
Cover the mixture with a towel and place in freezer for 1.5-2 hours. (I was never told exactly why. The original recipe said you could also refrigerate overnight, but I've never tried that. NOTE: The activated yeast will continue to rise\ferment, so give yourself some room. The bowl should be ~3/4 full when you put in freezer and should be bulging a little over the top when you pull it out.)
Grease 2 baking sheets.
Remove the chilled dough from the freezer and remove the towel. The top of the dough will be slightly stiff.
Spread a thin layer of flour over the dough and pound down the dough inside. (the chilled dough and layer of flour should prevent the dough from sticking to your fist\knuckles)
Divide the dough into 4 portions, with each portion approximately the size of a small cantaloupe. While working on a portion of dough, re-cover the remaining dough with the towel.
Knead the portion of dough on a well-floured surface for about 2-5 minutes.
Roll out the portion of dough until it's about 1/4 inch thick. The rolled out area will be about 12-16 inches across.
Using a pizza slicer or butter knife, slice the dough into ~12 triangular pieces.
Starting at the fat end of each slice, tuck and roll it towards the middle or narrow end.
Depending on your baking sheet size, place the rolls 3 across and 6 down (i.e. about 18 rolls per pan. Leave room for them to rise upward\outward a little)
Repeat steps 11-15 until you've finished with the dough and filling the baking sheets.
Cover the rolls and let them rise 1-2 hours. (The exact amount of time depends on the room temperature and how big you want the rolls to grow. Personally, I wait until the rolls are touching each other. As a child, when one of our homes was heated by a wood stove, we'd place the rolls on\near the wood stove to help with the rising process. If your oven supports "bread proofing" at ~100 degrees Fahrenheit and method to maintain high humidity, that would work also.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. (If your oven supports convection bake, I recommend it.)
Bake the rolls for 12-15 minutes, or until the tops are just starting to brown.
Remove from oven and place on cooling racks... or right into a covered bread basket (I recommend serving warm... with a favorite jam or butter)