Buttery Sage Crescent Rolls

Recipe by PJ Hamel

Think of Thanksgiving and you'll find the aromas of childhood coming back: apple pie, pumpkin pie, cinnamon and nutmeg, sage-y stuffing, cranberry relish, creamed onions, sweet potatoes broiling with that sticky, gooey mass of miniature marshmallows on top, and of course, turkey. These fragrant sage rolls make the whole house smell great. They're easy to make and can be done a day ahead of time, or you can freeze them and pull them out whenever you need them.

30 mins
20 mins
2 hrs 25 mins
18 rolls
Buttery Sage Crescent Rolls


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  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix and knead together all of the dough ingredients, using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle. The dough should be soft but not overly sticky.

  2. Put the dough into a lightly greased bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it's doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

  3. Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half.

  4. Roll one piece of the dough into a circle 8" to 9" in diameter. Cut the dough into 9 triangles (as if you were cutting a pie).

  5. Roll each triangle into a crescent shape, starting with the curved side and rolling toward the point.

  6. Place the crescents on a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. Make sure that the tip of the crescent is pinched well to attach it to the roll, and that it's positioned underneath the roll.

  7. Curve the ends to form a gentle C-shape. Repeat with the remaining triangles, brushing them all with melted butter.

  8. Roll out, cut, and form the remaining piece of dough.

  9. Cover the crescents with a piece of greased plastic wrap and let them rise for 25 to 35 minutes, or until puffy but not quite doubled in size.

  10. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  11. Bake the crescents for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove them from the oven. Brush with additional melted butter, if desired. Serve rolls warm or at room temperature.

  12. Store rolls, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to three days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • This is one of those recipes that is easily adaptable to many shapes. You can make a few rolls in each shape for a festive-looking assortment. Here are a few of the classic shapes:

    • Fan tans: Butter muffin tins. Melt 1/4 cup (57g) of butter. Divide the dough into four pieces. Roll each piece into a rectangle 1/4" thick. Butter each rectangle and place them on top of one another so that you have a stack of four layers. Cut the stack into 2" squares. Place each 2" stack, a cut side up, in each muffin cup. Let rise as directed and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, until light golden brown.
    • Simple round rolls: Melt 2 tablespoons (28g) of butter. Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll each into a ball. Place the balls into two lightly greased 8" or 9" round cake pans, or into a 9" x 13" pan. Brush with melted butter and let rise as directed. Bake at 350°F for 20 to 24 minutes, until light golden brown.
    • Pull-apart bread: Grease a tube or Bundt-style pan. Melt 6 tablespoons (85g) of butter. Divide the dough into 24 pieces. Roll into balls and dip each ball into the melted butter. Layer the balls into the pan on top of one another. Let the dough rise as directed and bake in a 350°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown.
    • Cloverleaf rolls: Butter muffin tins. Melt 6 tablespoons (85g) of butter. Divide the dough into 24 pieces. Take each piece and divide it into three small pieces, rolling them all into balls. Roll each ball in melted butter and place three balls in the bottom of each muffin cup side by side. Let the rolls rise as directed and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, until light golden brown.
  • This recipe was originally written to make 36 crescents. We subsequently halved it to make just 18 crescents, but go ahead and double the quantities above if you'd like to make a full 3 dozen.