Recipe Spotlight

Ditch the Can for These Easy Homemade Crescent Rolls

They're just as rich and buttery as the traditional pastry and require less time and effort than you think.

Published Feb. 20, 2022.

You know those days when you’re in the mood for a warm, fluffy pastry right from the oven? Those are usually the days when you have next to no time for measuring, kneading, rolling, chilling, laminating, rising, and baking. Before you resort to store-bought, you should know there’s an easier and faster way to make delicious, from-scratch crescent rolls. 

Our test cooks discovered that you can forgo the traditional but time-intensive process of laminating altogether. All you have to do is stir melted butter into your liquid ingredients and then combine that mixture with the dry ingredients in a stand mixer.

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Valerie Cimino, senior editor of cookbooks at ATK, said, “While you’ll get the flakiest results by laminating dough, that’s not the only way to make light, tender crescent rolls.

“The type of crescent roll that’s sometimes called a butterhorn roll doesn’t involve lamination; it creates rolls that are softer and less flaky than laminated crescents, but they’re just as rich and buttery. In this recipe, using melted butter means the dough mixes together very easily, as softened butter takes longer to mix in and results in tougher rolls,” she added. 

“Using all-purpose flour helps as well, as it has less protein than bread flour, so it makes a more tender roll. And the amount of fat in the half-and-half is just right, too, adding more tenderness along with richness (more richness than milk, but less heaviness than heavy cream).”

Easy Crescent Rolls

Most recipes for crescent rolls require a lot of tedious work to layer butter into the dough before baking. But there is an easier, faster version that yields rolls just as rich and buttery.
Get the Recipe

ATK’s The Savory Baker cookbook, which includes a mouthwatering porcini and truffle spin on our easier crescent roll recipe, says this quicker method “yields homemade crescent rolls just as rich, buttery, and tender as the more labor-intensive, traditional kind (and store-bought can’t hold a candle to these beauties).”

It really is that easy to create fluffy, homemade crescent rolls without putting your rolling pin (or your biceps) through the stress of incorporating sheets of butter into your dough. To make The Savory Baker’s Porcini and Truffle Crescent Rolls from scratch, follow the recipe below.

Porcini and Truffle Crescent Rolls

Makes 12 rolls

Total Time: 1 hour, plus 2¼ hours rising and cooling

  • 2½ cups (12½ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk, room temperature, plus 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • ½ cup half-and-half, room temperature
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • ¼ cup (1¾ ounces) sugar
  • 5 teaspoons truffle oil, divided

1. Whisk flour, mushrooms, thyme, yeast, and salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk whole egg and yolk, half-and-half, melted butter, and sugar in 4-cup liquid measuring cup until sugar has dissolved.

2. Fit mixer with dough hook and slowly add half-and-half mixture to flour mixture, mixing on low speed until cohesive dough starts to form and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes, scraping down dough hook and bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium-low and knead until dough is smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl but sticks to bottom, about 8 minutes.

3. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough, seam side down, to lightly greased large bowl; cover with plastic wrap; and let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.

4. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Press down on dough in bowl to deflate, then transfer to lightly floured counter. Press and roll dough into 15-inch circle. Brush top of dough with 1 tablespoon truffle oil. Cut into 12 wedges. Working with 1 wedge at a time and starting at wide end, gently roll up each dough wedge, ending with pointed tip on bottom. Push ends toward each other to form crescent shape; transfer to prepared sheet with tip of dough underneath each roll, spacing rolls about 2 inches apart.

5. Cover sheet loosely with greased plastic and let rise until nearly doubled in size and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your knuckle, 1 to 1½ hours. (Unrisen rolls can be refrigerated, but for a minimum of 8 hours and a maximum of 16 hours; let rolls sit at room temperature for 1 hour before baking.)

6. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Gently brush rolls with egg wash and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer rolls to wire rack, brush with remaining 2 teaspoons truffle oil, and let cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm.

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