Refrigerator White Rolls (a/k/a Crescent Rolls)

This is my family’s favorite roll recipe.  It is requested at nearly every family event.  And it’s especially nice because the rolls can be made ahead and frozen for future baking.   It’s also a good beginner recipe because you don’t have to “guess” about how much flour to add nor do you have to knead the dough.  So here you go:

  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ¾ cup milk, scalded (this is a very old recipe, and back then, they had to scald the milk to make it safe to use – you don’t have to heat the milk but I usually do because it helps “melt” the other ingredients together)
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg

Soften the yeast in warm water (110 degrees).  Combine milk, shortening, sugar and salt.  Cool to lukewarm.  Add one cup of the flour.  Beat well with mixer.  Beat in yeast mixture and egg.  Add remaining flour.  Mix well.  (NOTE:  The dough will be very
soft.  You will not be able to take it out of the mixing bowl with your hands.
I usually use a wooden spoon and just scoop it out into the rising bowl.  It won’t be smooth like typical bread dough that has been kneaded.)
in greased bowl.  Grease surface.  Cover.  Store in refrigerator at least 2 hours or until needed (NOTE:  up to 24 hours).

About 1-1/2 to 2 hours before serving time, shape dough on well-floured surface (NOTE:  you will need a lot of flour).  You can shape the dough into balls or into crescent rolls.  For crescent rolls, roll dough into a large circle.  Cut into 12 triangles (see photo).  Roll from wide edge to point.  Place balls or crescents on greased cookie sheets with space between for rising.  Let rise in warm place until double (about 1-1/4 hours).

Bake at 400 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes or until barely browned.   Melt ¼ cup butter or margarine and brush rolls generously with butter as soon as they come out of the oven.  This is very important because the rolls sometimes have flour residue on them and the butter gets rid of the flour.  Makes about 12 rolls.

NOTE:  I always double this recipe.  Always.

Bonus: Now here’s the best part of this recipe – well, except the eating of the rolls, of
course – these rolls can be frozen before cooking and then thawed and cooked at
your convenience.  Here’s how:

After you shape the rolls, place them on greased cookie sheets (you don’t have to allow any space between the rolls).  Place cookie sheets in the freezer for a couple of hours – just until rolls have hardened some.  Place rolls in a freezer zip lock bag and put back in the freezer.

To serve, place as many rolls as you want on greased cookie sheet, with space between them for rising, and let rise for three or four hours.  Then bake as directed above.

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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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10 thoughts on “Refrigerator White Rolls (a/k/a Crescent Rolls)

  1. Patty,

    We hardly ever eat crescent rolls, but I sure use them a lot in recipes, everything for main courses to appetizers to desserts. Have you used this dough in place of crescent rolls in recipes before?


    1. I don’t think you can use this dough in place of crescent rolls in recipes. It isn’t the same as the crescent rolls you buy in a can. The canned rolls are made with a lot of butter and are very flaky. These aren’t flaky – they’re very soft.

      That being said, you could try but I don’t guarantee they would work. But if you do try, let me know how your recipe turns out. I hate buying those expensive canned crescent rolls.

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