Homemade Crescent Rolls

These dinner rolls are awesome! No kidding. They really are fantastic. One of the great things about them is you put the dough in the refrigerator and it will keep for a week! That way you can pull out as much dough as you want and roll out fresh rolls several times or, you can do as I did, make the dough ahead of time because I knew I was going to want to make them on a certain day, and this way all the hard part was out of the way. You just roll out the dough on a floured board, cut each circle in 12 triangles and roll up like crescent rolls. Allow the rolls to raise (I usually do this in a warm oven, on top of my dryer, or in the garage during the summer when it’s really hot), and then bake them. Oh my, fresh baked rolls to die for! Really. 🙂

The first time I ever sampled these rolls was when we were at Mimi Pownall’s house for dinner one night. Mimi made her famous Crescent Rolls and I also got the recipe for Date Squares that same night because they were on the menu, too. I have used both of those recipes so many times over the years — to rave reviews. I love this easy homemade roll recipe. First of all, because you only have to knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Second, because you can put it in the refrigerator and have a batch of hot, homemade rolls for dinner four times during the week! And, third, because they taste so wonderful with butter and slathered with jellies and jams. They are good for breakfast or dinner–or lunch for that matter. Homemade Crescent Rolls are great as a side for salads or soups along with any main dish entree.

Another neat thing about this recipe is that it raises while in the refrigerator! Mimi always kept her dough in large plastic bags and would keep the bag closed with a clothes pin. Then as the dough expanded, she would let adjust the clothes pin to allow for more expansion. I’ve always kept the dough in large plastic tupperware bowls because that’s easier for me. Another plus for this recipe is you can increase it easily. Instead of the regular 48 rolls for a single batch, I’ve made batches up to 250 before when we were making these rolls for catering events. I always make at least two for each person, because rarely does anyone stop after just one roll!

If you’re looking for an easy homemade roll recipe than give these refrigerated Homemade Crescent Rolls a try sometime. They are divine! The smell of your kitchen will drive you wild as the aroma from these rolls permeates your entire house! I will say one thing: be careful to watch your time on these so they don’t get too brown. You may also want to adjust the racks or rotate the pans so that all sides of your pan gets lightly browned instead of some rolls getting darker than others. But prepare yourself! Even though there are 48 rolls in a single batch, you may find all of the rolls gone after a single meal. Especially if you leave them out on the counter afterwards. They have a way of disappearing into the sunset….. 🙂

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These are probably my favorite dinner rolls. I love the convenience of having the first raise in the refrigerator!

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Homemade Crescent Rolls are truly spectacular to the taste buds. 

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Every bite of Homemade Crescent Rolls is mouthwatering–especially if you spread butter on them. We’ve always served our rolls with homemade preserves–this was passed down from my mom who grew up on a farm in the midwest and that’s how they always ate their bread!


Here’s what I did.

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These are the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe. If you don’t want to use shortening, butter should work just as well.

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Place sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Add Crisco shortening. Then pour the hot water over top of the shortening and whisk to try to melt some of the shortening.

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You will never get all of the shortening to melt, but do the best that you can. Set aside to cool.

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Meanwhile, dissolve yeast in warm-hot water. Stir until all of the yeast is completely dissolved.

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Pour yeast mixture into cooled shortening mixture.

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Add egg and 1 1/2 cups bread flour.

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Whisk ingredients to combine well.

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Now add the remaining flour.

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Stir until totally combined. Mixture will be sticky.

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Place dough on a floured surface. I use my fingers to scoop up flour underneath the dough and work it into the top of the dough. Keep doing this for about 15-20 seconds until you get the dough to the point that you can work it and knead it.

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Knead the dough. Pull the dough toward you with one hand and push it back with the other. Continue to work flour into the dough until it is no longer sticky.

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Grease a medium-sized bowl. Add dough and grease the top of the dough. Put in refrigerator at least 24 hours before using the dough. You can leave the dough in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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When ready to make rolls (with dough that has now doubled in bulk) cut the dough into four large pieces. Place one of the batches of dough  on a floured surface. Roll dough out into a large circle.

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Cut the circle into 12 triangles. Starting with the wides end, roll dough up into crescents. Repeat with remaining 3 batches of dough if you want to bake it all at one time.

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Grease or spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. Place crescent roll dough onto cookie sheets. Brush each roll with melted butter. This will prevent the roll from getting too hard of a crust.

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Bake Homemade Crescent Rolls between 10-20 minutes at 375. These were done in about 12 minutes. You may want to check your oven for hotspots. Rotate pans if necessary so the rolls don’t get browned on just one side. Brush rolls with butter again to prevent the crusts from getting tough.

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Serve Homemade Crescent Rolls with your favorite main dish.

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Or serve Homemade Crescent Rolls with fruit and preserves for a tasty breakfast!

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We have always loved these Homemade Crescent Rolls. The taste is amazing.


Here’s the recipe.


(Recipe adapted from Mimi Pownall, when we attended First Baptist Church Indian Rocks, Largo, FL)

[b]Homemade Crescent Rolls[/b]
Recipe Type: Breads, Rolls and Muffins
Cuisine: American
Author: Teresa Ambra adapted from Mimi Pownall, when we attended First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, Largo, FL
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 48
Marvelous dinner rolls that are great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week so that you can use part of the dough and have fresh rolls three or four times for dinner over that time period.
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • ¼ cup Crisco shortening
  • 1 cup warm-hot water (105-115°)
  • 2 pkg. yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 5 ¼ cups bread flour (better than regular flour)
  1. Combine hot water, sugar, salt and shortening.
  2. Cool to lukewarm.
  3. Measure warm-hot water into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Sprinkle yeast over water; stir until dissolved.
  5. Stir into lukewarm water mixture.
  6. Add the egg and 1 1/2 cups bread flour.
  7. Beat until smooth.
  8. Stir in the remaining flour and beat one minute.
  9. Dough will be soft.
  10. Knead on floured pastry cloth for 5 minutes.
  11. Place dough in a greased bowl; brush top with soft shortening (or butter).
  12. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or foil (or lid).
  13. Store in refrigerator until double in bulk or until needed.
  14. (The dough will keep one week in the refrigerator at 40-45°.)
  15. Roll rolls out into desired shape (see note).
  16. Cover the rolls and let them rise until double in size, approximately one hour.
  17. Brush rolls with melted butter before raising.
  18. Bake at 375° for 10-20 minutes.
  19. Brush with butter again when rolls come out of oven.
[b]SHAPING THE DOUGH:[/b] Shape the dough into pan, fan, clover leaf, crescent or small bread sticks. Cover the rolls and let them rise until double in size, approximately one hour. Bake at 375° for 10-20 minutes.[br][br][b]CRESCENT ROLLS: [/b]Break dough up into four large pieces. Roll one section of dough into circle. Cut each circle into 12 triangles. Roll up from widest part. Brush with butter before raising. Bake. Brush with butter again when rolls come out of oven.[br][br]Dough will keep in refrigerator for up to a week. [br][br]Rolls need a warm surface to raise properly. I usually put them in an oven that was preheated to 100 degrees and then shut the oven off. You may need to do this a couple times in order to get the rolls to raise and double in bulk. I have also allowed the rolls to raise on top of my dryer, and in my garage during the summer when it’s hot.[br][br]You must keep the dough free from all drafts while you’re working with it ! No open windows in your kitchen or work area, or A/C vents over top of your work area. You may have to shut off the A/C vent until you are finished working with the dough. The breezes will kill the yeast.[br][br]In order for the yeast to activate you must have water at least 95-105 degrees. I test it with my hands first. If it burns my hands it will kill the yeast! The water needs to be almost bath temperature. Too cold and the yeast won’t activate. Too hot and you’ll kill the yeast.[br]Watch rolls after 10 minutes and rotate pans if necessary to avoid rolls getting too dark on one side. [br][br]Brushing the rolls with butter before and after they bake prevents the crust from hardening too much and provides a softer roll.[br][br]The dough needs to be refrigerated about 24 hours before it will have raised sufficiently to bake it.


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Here you can see the texture of a Homemade Crescent Roll. My mom always buttered the tops of her bread and rolls before and after baking. It prevents the rolls from getting a hard crust. The rolls are more mouthwatering this way.

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Time to come get one!

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