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Jul 16, 2022

Flaky Buttery Crescent Rolls

These flaky butter crescent rolls are light, airy, and pull-apart delicious. Smear them with butter and jam for one of the best breakfast treats ever. 

Flaky Buttery Crescent Rolls on a plate with a jar of jam and pats of butter.

This recipe for flaky buttery crescent rolls is the perfect substitute for whenever you are craving croissants but don't want to invest all of the extra time needed to make them. 

The resulting rolls from this recipe are unbelievably light and super pull-apart airy. Plus, you can make them in about two hours! 

Flaky Buttery Crescent Rolls on a cooling rack.

This recipe is a lot like my copycat homemade crescent rolls, except that, rather than incorporating most of the butter into the dough, you fold it between layers of the dough, similar to laminated pastry dough, but a little less precise. I'm pretty sure this is what makes these so light and airy. 

Instead of folding a butter block inside the dough and rolling and folding the dough several times over a period of several hours, and even days, you can finish the process in just a little more than an hour. 

The resulting rolls don't quite have the laminated look like croissants, but they are still super light, flaky, and airy. 

Flaky Buttery Crescent Rolls in a basket.

Each roll only weighs about one ounce, or 30 grams. They are almost lighter than air, and the crumb is super fluffy and airy. They are so good warm smeared with butter. 

How to Make These Crescent Rolls:

First, knead together flour, water, milk, a bit of sugar, a small amount of butter, and salt together. The dough will be pretty sticky. 

Next, let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and then roll it out to a rectangle and smear it with one stick of softened butter. Then fold it like an envelope so that you have three layers of dough. 

Note: I forgot to chill my dough for the first rise so it was really sticky and hard to fold. I was pretty sure that I'd have to start over. Fortunately, after chilling it for about 10 minutes after the first fold, it all came together, was easier to roll out, and I could even see the butter between the layers of dough. 

Crescent roll dough rolled out and buttered.

After that, chill the dough in the freezer for 7 to 10 minutes, roll it out again, fold it. Repeat two more times, chilling between each roll and fold. 

If you're not ready to bake the croissants, roll the dough out one more time, cut it in half lengthwise, and cut it into triangles. Roll them up beginning with the wide end and ending with the point. Let the rolls rise, covered, for 30 minutes and then bake them in a 400 degree F oven for about 15 minutes. 

If you are not ready to bake the rolls after completing the rolling and folding, you can wrap the folded dough and refrigerate it for up to three days. I refrigerated the dough for about three hours. 

Tip for keeping track of how many times you've rolled out the dough: 

Keep in mind you will roll out the dough a total of 5 times. The first time, to spread the butter; the second, third, and fourth times, to roll out the dough with the butter inside and refold it; and the final time, just before you cut the dough and shape the rolls. 

Flaky Buttery Crescent Rolls on plates with a basket in the background.

What to Do with Leftover Crescent Rolls:

These rolls stay amazingly fresh for several days when kept in an airtight container. In fact, I'm pretty flabbergasted at how long they have remained fresh! It's almost magical. 

You can also wrap them individually and place them in a freezer bag and freeze them, which I would have done if I had room in my freezer. 

To refresh them, rewarm them in a 325 degree F oven for about 7 to 10 minutes. 

P.S. These rolls are also fabulous for sandwiches. 

More cresent-style rolls:

Shio Pan - Japanese Salt Bread

Homemade Crescent Rolls

This recipe was adapted by Kelly of A Messy Kitchen, our Bread Baking Babes host kitchen this month, from Half-Baked Harvest. Be sure to check for links from the rest of the babes to see their versions of these crescent rolls. 

Flaky Buttery Crescent Rolls in a white ceramic bowl.

Homemade Flaky Crescent Rolls

Homemade Flaky Crescent Rolls in a white bowl.
Yield: 20 rolls
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 15 MinInactive time: 1 H & 10 MTotal time: 1 H & 55 M
These flaky butter crescent rolls are light, airy, and pull-apart delicious. Smear them with butter and jam for one of the best breakfast treats ever.


  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm (about 105 degrees F) milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 375 grams (3 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 8 to 10 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash


  1. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. If you use active dry yeast, let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the milk, the egg, 1 tablespoon of butter, and salt, and mix.
  3. Add the flour and stir with the dough hook until you have a shaggy dough. Switch the speed to medium/high and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes, adding more flour by the tablespoon if necessary, but not too much. The dough should be fairly sticky.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border all around.
  7. Fold the shorter sides of the dough like an envelope so that you have three layers. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 7 to 10 minutes.
  8. Re-roll out and re-fold the dough. Cover and place in the freezer for 5 to 7 minutes. Repeat two more times.
  9. After the final fold, you can either place the folded dough in the freezer for 5 minutes just before rolling it out, cutting it, and shaping it, or you can wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight and up to three days.
  10. To shape the crescents, roll out the dough into the final rectangle, just over 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough in half, lengthwise and then cut each half into 10 triangles. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  11. Gently stretch a triangle lengthwise, and starting with the wider end, roll the dough toward the pointy end. Place the shaped crescent on the baking sheets and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  12. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and proof the rolls for 30 to 60 minutes, until puffy. Brush them with an egg wash when they are ready to bake. Bake the rolls, one sheet at a time, for about 15 minutes, until they are golden.

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crescent rolls
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The Bread Baking Babes' Crescent Rolls:

A Messy Kitchen

Bread Experience

Blog from Our Kitchen

Judy's Gross Eats

Feeding My Enthusiasms

Would you like to comment?

  1. Your flaky crescent rolls look amazing! Such a lovely color. I bet they melted in your mouth!

  2. Beautiful!! I love the colour of the crust.

    What a great idea to use leftover crescent rolls to make sandwiches.

  3. I can't believe you had any leftover for more than a few hours! They look fantastic!

  4. Hello, bakery quality! They look so gorgeous, I'm jealous. Now I need to make some more, ate up the last one for dinner. Aw gee, the comment is always defaulting to anonymous for me now. I remembered to look though!

  5. Karen you neglected to put how long we supposed to let it rest before baking. Ain’t nobody else notice I guess :^/

    1. I believe it's mentioned in step 12..... 30 to 60 minutes...

  6. Amazing! My only suggestion (for those trying the recipe for the first time!) is to note that in the rolling out/freezing steps, the butter is supposed to be done each time! The recipe didn’t specify (at least clear enough for silly me) that that was supposed to happen and I wondered why I had so much leftover butter at the end. I’ll do it right next time!

    1. Actually, that's not the case. You're supposed to use one tablespoon of butter in the dough and the rest (8 T) to spread. There are demonstration photos in the link to A Messy Kitchen. I'll try to make it clearer. Glad you liked them anyway!


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