Thanksgiving Crescent Rolls

Eleanor King


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Makes 16 servings

1 cup milk

½ cup butter, room temperature (1 stick)

4 ½ cups flour, divided

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 package active dry yeast (¼ ounce)

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

Skip the pre-packaged rolls filled with preservatives this year and opt for something homemade. While these rolls do require some planning and work, they are well worth it and are a delicious addition to any Thanksgiving table.

Beyond the Recipe: These crescent rolls are a favorite of mine that my grandmother used to make for every holiday. I have fond memories as a child helping her knead the dough ahead of time and getting to enjoy the fruits of my labor at the Thanksgiving table. 


1. In a medium pot, add milk and heat over medium until tiny bubbles form around the edge. Do not overcook or scald milk. Remove from heat as soon as bubbles start to form and add butter. Whisk together until butter is melted. Let cool to approximately 120ºF.

2. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, add 2 ½ cups of flour and all of the sugar, yeast, and salt. Mix on medium for 30 seconds. Turn mixer to low and slowly add milk and butter mixture. Once combined, add the eggs and mix for another 2 minutes.

3. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and begin mixing by hand. Add another cup of flour and knead until combined. Add another ½ cup of flour after the first cup has been combined and knead. Put ½ cup of flour on a clean work surface and dump the dough out. Knead well for 10–15 minutes. Form the dough into a round ball.

4. Grease a large bowl and place the ball of dough in the center, turning the dough ball over to make sure all the sides are greased. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. Once doubled, punch the dough down and form into another ball. Cover again and place in the refrigerator overnight to rise.

5. Remove the dough from the fridge and let it rest for 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and divide in half. With one half of the dough, make a ball and roll into a large circle on a floured surface. Cut the circle into 16 pie-shaped wedges. Starting from the wider end, roll up each wedge and form into a crescent shape. Place the crescents on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 20–30 minutes. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

6. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

7. Bake for 12 minutes until lightly browned. These can be stored after cooking and cooling and reheated before serving.

Active Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 24-36 hours