Refrigerator Crescent Rolls

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Tender, fluffy rolls hot from the oven are a must have for Thanksgiving dinner. Be sure and make plenty because these light as air rolls will be gone in a flash. 

Homemade rolls are my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. You just can’t buy rolls that taste as good as homemade. So I’ve teamed up with Red Star Yeast to show you just how easy they are to make at home. I know some people are afraid of using yeast, but this two step roll recipe is so easy, there’s nothing to be afraid of.

Refrigerator Crescent Rolls

The refrigerator roll recipe from Red Star Yeast makes having hot homemade rolls for Thanksgiving a breeze. You can make the dough up to three days ahead of time. On their website, Red Star has step by step instructions for making dough, as well as videos to show you how to make dough by hand, in a bread machine, and in a stand mixer. (I almost always use my stand mixer because it’s so easy.)

Collage of how to Shape Crescent Rolls

Crescent rolls are easy to shape. Roll the dough in to a circle. Cut the circle in to twelve pieces like you’d cut a pizza. I even use my pizza cutter to cut the dough. Take one section of the dough and gently stretch each piece to widen the top and lengthen in it. It sort of reminds me of a thong shape. Once you’ve stretched it, just start a the widest part and roll it up, tucking the point underneath the roll and curving the ends in. Then just repeat with the remaining pieces.

Refrigerator Crescent Rolls Barbara Bakes

This recipe uses shortening instead of butter. Using shortening makes a lighter fluffy roll, but if you’d rather use half or all butter, feel free to substitute it. I think I’ll use half and half this year for Thanksgiving.

Overnight Refrigerator Crescent Rolls Barbara Bakes

I made three dozen rolls from this recipe. If you want smaller rolls, you could divide the dough in fourths and make four dozen rolls.

I’m having 10 people for Thanksgiving dinner and Ill make three dozen rolls. Hopefully, there’ll be a couple rolls left the next day, because I love leftover turkey sandwiches on homemade rolls.

Featured Image for post Refrigerator Crescent Rolls
Yield: 3 dozen rolls

Refrigerator Crescent Rolls

Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup shortening*
  • 6 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast**


  1. Measure 2 1/2 cups of the flour into a large mixer bowl. Add yeast; blend.
  2. Combine water, shortening, sugar, and salt in a pan or microwave safe bowl. Heat until warm (120°-130°F), stirring constantly.
  3. Add liquids to flour-yeast mixture. Add eggs. Beat 1 minute at low speed. Scrape down dough from sides of bowl. Beat 3 more minutes at high speed.
  4. Switch to the dough hook, on low speed gradually add the remaining flour, add more or less as necessary flour to form a soft dough. Scrape down dough from sides of bowl.
  5. Cover bowl first with wax paper, then with aluminum foil. Refrigerate no more than 3 days for best results. Punch down dough every 30 minutes for the first few hours until it is chilled, then once a day.
  6. When ready to make rolls, divide the dough in to thirds. Refrigerator remaining dough until ready to shape.
  7. To shape crescent rolls: Roll 1/3 of the dough into a 10-inch circle. Cut into 12 pie-shaped pieces. Roll each piece of dough from the wide side toward the point, stretching the dough slightly as it is rolled. Place on baking sheet a little apart; curve ends.
  8. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, 1 to 2 hours.
  9. Bake dinner rolls on baking sheet 10 to 20 minutes, depending on size, in preheated 400°F oven.
  10. Remove from pan and set on rack; brush with butter.


*Can substitute half or all butter

**Use active dry yeast for this recipe. Instant yeast is not recommended for refrigerated dough.

Recipe slightly adapted from Red Star Yeast.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast, but all opinions expressed are always my own.  You can also find Red Star Yeast on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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originally published November 18, 2013 — last updated January 28, 2019
Categories: Rolls