Old-fashioned crescent rolls

A great accompaniment for many meals!

If the only crescent rolls you’ve ever had came out of a refrigerated tube, then you’re in for a real treat when you taste these ones. Not to be confused with their flakier, richer-tasting cousin, the croissant, crescent rolls are a traditional favourite often served with meals such as soups or stews. The few extra steps required to manipulate this yeast and egg bread dough into light and fluffy crescent rolls are well worth the effort. We love them brushed with garlic butter but you could easily use olive oil or plain melted butter instead. Unbaked crescent rolls freeze beautifully, making it easy to bake up a few at a time.


  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) warm water
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) yeast
  • Pinch white sugar
  • 2 3/4 cups (650 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3.5 mL) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (250 mL) very cold butter
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter


  • Put the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of sugar over top. Stir together and set aside to activate.
  • Place the flour, 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
  • With the coarse side of a box grater, shred the cold butter into the flour mixture and toss with two forks (or your fingers) to combine, breaking up any clumps of butter.
  • Whisk the milk and egg together in a measuring cup or small bowl, and add to the flour/butter mixture along with the yeast mixture.
  • Stir until the dough gathers into a ball (use your hands if necessary) then transfer to a sheet of plastic or beeswax-coated cloth; wrap and refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes.
  • Dust the work surface with flour (or roll between two large sheets of parchment paper), and roll the dough out to a rough rectangle shape, about 1/2-inch thick.
  • Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter.
  • Turn 90 degrees, roll, and fold again, adding a bit more flour as needed (if using parchment paper very little flour will be needed).
  • Repeat 3 more times (ending with a fold after the fifth rolling) then wrap the dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the block of dough crosswise into 3 equal portions.
  • Roll each portion out into a long rectangle, about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick, 16 inches (40 cm) long and 5 inches (12.5 cm) wide.
  • Cut the dough into skinny triangles (about 4 inches / 10 cm wide at thick end of the triangle) and roll each piece up, starting at the wide end. Tuck the pointy end under the roll.

  • Place the crescents 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 hour or until puffed and approximately doubled in size.

  • NOTE: You can freeze some or all of the crescent rolls as soon as you shape them; place on a parchment lined tray and freeze till solid (about 1.5 hours) then transfer to an airtight container for up to 6 months. Remove from oven and let rise for one hour per the above instructions before baking.
  • While dough is rising, put butter and minced garlic in a microwave safe dish (or do this in a small pot on the stove) and cook over low heat for 1 – 2 minutes, until butter has melted and garlic has softened. Let sit for 15 minutes then strain through a small sieve, retaining garlic-infused butter and discarding garlic. Alternatively, you can use plain melted butter (if garlic is not preferred).
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Lightly brush the tops of the crescent rolls with the melted garlic butter (or plain melted butter) then bake for 10 – 12 minutes until golden.

  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 18 – 20 rolls.


Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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