Buttery Cornmeal Crescent Rolls

A few weeks back, my Aunt Marilyn sent me a new roll recipe that uses cornmeal and milk as the base. Enter: major skepticism. But I trust my Aunt implicitly, so I gave them a go. Before I offer my verdict, let me explain that I don’t need a new roll recipe. I have several that I love and use all the time. I’d much rather spend my time looking for new double-chocolate-anything recipes than roll recipes.

But let me tell you, these cornmeal crescent rolls have skyrocketed to my new favorites. I feel slightly disloyal to my other faves, but the truth cannot be withheld. They are deliciously unreal.

If making them six times (yes, six!) in the last three weeks, including making 100 of them for a church function, is any indication, then yes, they are my new favorites.

Light, flaky and absolutely soft and tender, these rolls are decadent in their butteryness and while you can’t taste the cornmeal as a main, strong flavor, the subtle texture and lightness it provides is essential to the success of these beauties.

I can’t stop making them. I really can’t. Please, oh please, someone join me in my happy carb-induced nirvana.

Buttery Cornmeal Crescent Rolls

One Year Ago: Schoolyard Cupcakes
Two Years Ago: The Best Blueberry Muffins
Three Years Ago: Solid Peanut Butter Cups

Buttery Cornmeal Crescent Rolls

Yield: Makes 2 dozen rolls

Buttery Cornmeal Crescent Rolls

Note: if you need/want to use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, change the amount of yeast to 2 tablespoons active dry and dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let the yeast mixture activate and foam (approximately 5 minutes) before adding it to the cornmeal mixture with the butter and 1/3 cup sugar.

Also, as with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.

Lastly, I often use half to 3/4 finely ground white whole wheat flour with good results - and sometimes I get crazy and use 100% whole wheat flour (always finely ground white wheat) but the bread is a bit more dense with 100% whole wheat flour. If using part or all whole wheat flour, add a few minutes to the kneading time to help develop the gluten.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 ½ tablespoons instant yeast
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 ½ – 6 cups flour (see note)

Directions

  1. Heat the milk to just below a boil so bubbles are just appearing around the edges (this is called scalding milk). Add the cornmeal and cook and stir until thickened, lowering the temperature if needed so the mixture doesn’t boil (see picture below the recipe for an idea of what the consistency should be). Pour the cornmeal/milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl and let cool until lukewarm. Add the yeast, butter and sugar (if you dissolved active dry yeast with a bit of water and sugar until it foamed, add it now). Mix. Add the salt and eggs. Mix well. Add the flour gradually until a soft dough forms. Knead for 5-8 minutes.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl covered with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
  3. Divide the dough into three portions and roll each into about an 8-10 inch circle. Brush the top lightly with butter. Cut into 8 wedges and roll each wedge up starting from the wide end so it forms a crescent roll shape. Place each roll on a lightly greased or silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing about 1-2 inches apart to allow for rising. Cover lightly with greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise until doubled.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned. Brush with butter while still warm.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/buttery-cornmeal-crescent-rolls/

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from my Aunt Marilyn who got the recipe from her friend, Anne K.

Here is a picture of what the consistency of the cornmeal/milk mixture should look like when it is done cooking and thickening.

171 Responses to Buttery Cornmeal Crescent Rolls

  1. Kim in MD says:

    They look so soft and tender, Melanie! I can see why you have made them six times in recent weeks. Wow…you made 100 of them for a church function? Did you freeze them? How did you make that many at once? As you know, I throw large family parties with my BFF almost monthly, and I am always looking for any “make ahead” tips! Thanks so much! 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kim! Thankfully the church function I had to make them for wasn’t until the evening so I had time in the morning to make the dough, go through all the rising and bake them. If the party had been any earlier in the day, I would have made them the night before and let them rise (shaped on the pan) in the fridge overnight. I’m always trying to figure out make-ahead tips, too!

  2. my!! and here I am trying to eat LESS carbs 🙂 but I absolutely love your recipes esp roll recipes and i am trying it today! thanks for sharing.
    by the way we don’t get yellow corn meal here in south africa, we only get white one, so i will hv to use the white one. i hope it doesn’t alter the taste or quality much!

  3. Jody, RD says:

    These look amazing! I am always trying to find a way to use corn meal. I may have to try this 🙂

    Blogfoodbetter.blogspot.com

  4. Corinna says:

    I must admit to sharing your original skepticism, but you’ve yet to steer me wrong. Your recipes are delicious and I can’t wait to try this one.

  5. Haley says:

    Can’t wait to try these! They look beautiful!

  6. I love the recipe for Parker House Rolls that I got from your site and have featured it and raved about it on my own blog. And these… these Cornmeal Crescent Rolls also look fabulous. I can’t wait to give them a try too!

  7. Patti S says:

    new to your blog…and so glad I found you.
    These sound amazing…much better than my usual cornbread I make to go with chili. Ooooh, I’m envisioning them filled with jalapeno, creamcheese and cheddar jack. Might have to do some experimenting after the first batch. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  8. Aly says:

    Ok fine, I’ll join you. 🙂 That sounds delicious!

  9. These sound just amazing – I’ve got all the ingredients on hand, I’m flagging this to try!

  10. Paula says:

    looks so delicious and cute! I`d like to have such for my breakfast 🙂

  11. Kylie says:

    Alright you convinced me! Sounds like they are the best 🙂 I will have to give them a try!

  12. Allison says:

    Ooh just in time for Easter! Thank you!!

  13. Katie says:

    I also have a FAVORITE roll recipe: http://wonintheoven.blogspot.com/2011/03/orange-buttermilk-dinner-rolls.html

    I am always up for trying something new though. I will make these because you always have great recipes and I love the idea of cornmeal in my rolls.

  14. Abby H. says:

    Yay, I’m so excited to try these. Just the other day I was wanting to make crescent rolls. And another thought I had the other day was that I wished I used my corn meal more, because I’ve had that bag of cornmeal forever, and I want to use it up. Looks Delish.

  15. Those look incredible! I can’t wait to give them a try and join you in carb heaven!

  16. I need to try this! I’m a big fan of cornmeal b/c it has a lot of iron! Thanks for a healthy roll recipe 🙂

  17. kira says:

    We had these with dinner tonight-enchilada lasgna- and they were even better than your description- if that’s possible! A new favorite for us. Thanks as always.

  18. Melanie Erickson says:

    I got my new grain grinder in the mail last week and knew I had to try these. I ground my popcorn to get the corn meal and away I went. OOO BABY! These rolls are AWESOME!!! I was surprised at how light and tender they are! This will definitely be repeated many times over. Thanks for another home run!

  19. Alisha says:

    Oooooo… another roll recipe! Yipee! What’s the time scale on this one? More like Lion House Rolls or shorter like French bread rolls?

  20. Mel, I’m making them RIGHT NOW and have a question. What heat do you scald the milk at, low, medium, or what? Are you supposed to just let it sit on the burner and not stir until there are bubbles? Thank you! By the time you see this, I will probably be done! But I will know for the future.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kelly – it sounds like these worked out for you (based on the comment you left on the potato salad) but in answer to your question, I usually keep my heat at medium to scald the milk and let it sit there without stirring until it starts steaming. Hope that helps!

  21. Amy says:

    Holy moly. I made these last night and just ate one for breakfast! So GOOD!!!!! Thanks for the recipe!! I have tried a couple of your roll recipes and have never been dissapointed and yet again am in love with this!!! Thanks!!!

  22. StephenC says:

    It takes a lot to tempt me to bake anything. But you may have done it. Thank you for sharing.

  23. Debbie says:

    I made these for dinner tonight and it was a big hit with everyone! They are so soft and buttery. Just perfect! My family and I thank you for the wonderful recipe.

  24. leslie says:

    what the heck just happened? i could not stop thinking about these so today i decided to make some. they just came out of the oven and i devoured 6 of them. thanks so much aunt marilyn! you never dissapoint!

  25. Cheryl says:

    I too have been making rolls for years and have what I think are the best recipes. I just couldn’t help but try these rolls, they were so different than any other recipe I have. They were delicious and easy! I have a suggestion for anyone that wants to make these rolls ahead. Make them, roll them out and put them on a pan. Don’t let them rise on the pan, just pop them in the freezer until they are frozen. After they freeze put them in a freezer Ziploc bag. Pull as many as you need out about 5 hours before you need them, place them on the pan and cover until they thaw and double in size. Bake according to directions. They taste as good or better than fresh!
    Mel, thank you again for your amazing site! It is so fun to cook now!

  26. chelsea says:

    I am not sure what happened..but, these did not turn out & I am so disappointed 🙁 It may have happened because I tried the substitute for instant yeast with active dry/warm water/sugar. The dough never completely doubled in size and they didn’t rise at all once formed into rolls..they turned out very dense..bland. Please help!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Chelsea – I’m sorry these rolls didn’t turn out for you. There may be a number of factors…when you activated the yeast in the warm water and sugar did it bubble and foam? Did they rise at all – just not doubled? If they rose even slightly, it means your yeast was active but it could also mean that the dough was overfloured. If too much flour is added to a yeast dough (bread or rolls), the dough will be too stiff and won’t rise well which can cause dense rolls. Using active dry versus instant yeast should make a huge difference as long as the yeast activates (bubbles and foams) when using active dry yeast. Another factor is if the cornmeal/milk mixture is still too hot when adding the yeast mixture, it can kill the yeast and the rolls won’t rise. But if your rolls rose even slightly then it makes me think the dough might have been overfloured. I hope that helps a little – it’s hard for me to know exactly if I’m not right there with you but this could be a starting place if you want to attempt making them again (and I hope you do!).

  27. Andrea says:

    Melanie, either I’m the worst bread maker or my kitchen is cursed. I’ve tried many of your roll recipes and they never turn out perfect. These cornmeal rolls turned out fine except for the fact that they had globs of cornmeal that I couldn’t get to dissolve and they weren’t filled with flavor. I know it’s me, I just have to figure out what I am doing wrong. But thank you for posting these recipes! I had them with baked spaghetti and salad!!

  28. shelvia says:

    Mel – I’ve loved your recipes ever since i tried your banana bread! 🙂 Thanks for such a reliable source of things to try. Tried the chewy pretzel bites last nite. Lovely even though I didn’t get a chance to stand it for 30 mins. 🙂

    Can’t wait to try this out – but I was wondering if you’ve ever tried making only 1 dozen rolls? I can’t decide between 2 eggs or 1 egg to use… Help!! 😛

    Thanks in advance!

  29. grace says:

    methinks cornbread has just been replaced as my go-to bread-using-cornmeal–these look and sound quite incredible!

  30. Sherri says:

    These rolls are absolutely delicious! We had them for dinner last night – and for breakfast this morning 🙂 By the way, I used the active dry yeast and they are light and fluffy and tender. Thanks for a great recipe!

  31. Made these for Sunday dinner yesterday and they were amazing!!! Everyone loved them and I loved the little bit of texture the cornmeal added. My daughter had a friend staying with us for the weekend and I even got a shout out on Facebook for the rolls she liked them so much!!! They are just as good the next day as I ate one for breakfast this morning. I did end up with yeast all over my countertop though as my yeast really had no problem rising!!!

  32. JaNae says:

    I tried these last Friday and agree that they are AMAZING! They were perfect! I felt quite proud of myself for how beautiful and delicious they were. 😉 I LOVED your tutorial on yeast! That totally helped me make sure I had the right amount of flour. Thanks for making me successful in the kitchen once again!

  33. We used to make a hamburger bun recipe growing up that had a cornmeal mush with milk and cornmeal with butter in it for a base. They were really good!

  34. n82 says:

    Is the butter meant to be melted?

    • Mel says:

      n82 – no, you shouldn’t melt the butter. I have used butter straight out of the refrigerator or butter that is at room temperature. Either way, I add it to the hot cornmeal mixture and it melts into it perfectly.

  35. n82 says:

    Ok…one more question? I’m I meant to knead the dough? I ended up kneading 10 mins by hand…or is that not necessary for these rolls?

    • Mel says:

      n82 – that’s a great question and I need to edit the recipe. Yes, you should knead the dough – so it sounds like your 10 minutes kneading by hand was just right. I’ll add the kneading step to the recipe since I left it out.

  36. Amy M says:

    I’m thinking you should post a picture of Aunt Marilyn. I love her recipes 🙂

  37. d says:

    These were amazing and light. Loved the ease and simplicity. Thank you for posting this great recipe!!!

  38. n82 says:

    These were just awesome! So simple and easy to make. It’s the first time I ever made rolls and I was so glad they came out perfect! Thank you!

  39. Angela says:

    So, once it’s in the bowl of a stand mixer, can I mix with the flat beater until I add the flour & then switch to the dough hook?

  40. Anne says:

    Okay, you are going to be the death of me! What kind of flour do you use? I never buy flour at the store anymore. Between hard white and soft white wheat, which would work best here? Maybe a combination? I am planning to make these for Easter. Yum!!

    And to the question about milk — scalding milk breaks down the protease, which inhibits or fully prevents yeast activation. I use an instant read thermometer (Thermapen, best investment ever) and scald to 190 degrees. Then cool to between 105-114 degrees before using. Any hotter and the yeast will die. Also, if you live overseas like me, and have only ultra-pasturized milk available, you do not need to scald it, and it has already been scalded. Just warm it to 110 degrees (lukewarm, same as a baby bottle) and you are good to go.

    • Mel says:

      Anne – I either use unbleached all-purpose flour or I grind my own white wheat. I also alternate between hard white and soft white. My real preference is soft white but I use both. In these rolls, I’d say soft white wheat would be your best bet. I’ve only made these rolls with 1/2 whole wheat flour. If you try them with 100% whole wheat, let me know how they turn out! Thanks for the info on scalding. For the purposes of this recipe, scalding is mainly meant to heat the milk so that it will thicken the cornmeal. I could probably use another word besides “scald” since it seems there is a lot of technical info behind the term!

  41. Sarah Secrist-Cartwright says:

    I have to thank you for making me into a great roll/bread maker! Your tutorials have helped me so much! I wanted to quickly share a little something that happend by accident while I was making these rolls for the 3rd time. 🙂 I ran short on my cornmeal but I didn’t realize it until I already started to warm the milk. Not wanting to waste or run to the grocery store, I decided to add to the cornmeal, some of the ZOOM hot cereal that I had in my pantry. Let me tell you that I wasn’t sure that this recipe could be anymore delicious……but it was! The added bit of the “wheat germy taste” was amazing! Now….if I could only get the rolls to look as pretty as yours do in the picture…:)

  42. Janel says:

    Happy Easter Mel! We will be using a few of your recipes today! One question about the rolls, when you make them overnight and place them in the fridge, how long to you let them warm to room temperature before baking them? Thanks so much!

  43. jenny says:

    Thank you. I made these last Sunday and they were requested again today. They were delicious and so easy.

  44. Mel says:

    Hi Janel – I usually take them out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before I want to bake them. This gives them time to come to room temperature and finish rising. If it looks like they rose quite a bit in the refrigerator than you could err on less time, but 2 hours is about my standard.

  45. Megan says:

    We had these today for Easter. Loved them! Thanks for the recipe. We are also addicted to the honey lime fruit salad….I need to get my sister a lime tree she makes it so much. You are our go-to recipe source. I love how you credit your sources and I love hearing how you got recipes….we were telling my mom where you got the honey lime salad recipe from and it just makes recipes more meaningful to know where they are from. Thanks again….and keep it up!!

  46. Cherie says:

    They just came out of the oven and I had to try one! So light and fluffy. I cut each of my three circles into 12ths, so got 3 dozen rolls and they are still so big (maybe I let them rise a little too much?) but they look great and taste great and I get a whole dozen more! My 4 year old daughter loved helping me roll out the dough, then ‘paint’ it with the butter, cut with the pizza cutter, then roll up the rolls for me. Thanks for the recipe.

  47. Marci says:

    I am so awful at making bread products that I gave up for the past year. Haven’t even gone there. I saw these and wanted to make them so bad, but just knew I would screw them up. So I through all the ingredients into a breadmaker and hoped for the best. Well……with the cornmeal mixture on the bottom, it wouldn’t mix. I didn’t want to waste all the ingredients, so I through them all in my bosch, gave it a spin and decided to got for it figuring it would all go into the trash. But then…They raised! And they cooked beautifully! They were amazing! I froze half after rolling them up and I think I liked those ones even better! I don’t know why it worked, but it did, and you got me my confidence back. Thanks!

  48. Alison says:

    These sounded delicious so I gave them a try on Easter. I don’t know what I did wrong but I had clumps of cornmeal that I couldn’t break up. I didn’t want people getting clumps when they bit into their rolls so I tossed it and went back to my regular recipe. Any tips on getting a clump-free cornmeal mixture?

    • Mel says:

      Alison – it’s hard to know exactly what went wrong…I’ve never had that happen, but my guess is maybe too high of heat that caused the clumping when cooking the cornmeal/milk. It seems to me that cooking it too hot could cause the cornmeal to clump. I usually have my stovetop on medium-low heat during that step. If not that, then I’m not sure, to be honest! Perhaps more vigorous stirring or whisking next time?

  49. Beckie says:

    Heavenly!!! I made these tonight for dinner and they are now a favorite!!! The only thing I would do differently is separate it into 4 sections instead of 3. Mine turned out pretty large. They would be really, really good with different Italian seasoning. Thank you for sharing!!!

  50. Amy M says:

    Perhaps this is a wierd question, but do you think I could sub these crescents whenever a recipe calls for the crescent rolls you can buy in a can? I don’t hate the flavor of the cresecents in a can but I do try not to eat processed foods. What do you think?

  51. Mel says:

    Amy – not a weird question at all, actually. I’ve wondered the same thing but have yet to try it, although I believe another commenter mentioned they had made some chicken pillow-type things using this recipe. I plan to try it, with the assumption they won’t taste exactly like the crescent rolls from the can (although that may not be a bad thing). I think the trick will be to roll the dough as thin as possible.

  52. Sheila says:

    Loved these for Easter and Mother’s day and my boys enjoyed helping roll them. The second time I made them, I took the last circle of wedges and smeared butter, sprinkled sugar and cinnamon on them, and baked them for breakfast. My new favorite “mock” cinnamon roll.

  53. Amy M says:

    Mel, I trust you completely so I tried this recipe for the first time for a bake sale. I made a double batch. Lovely! Someone who bought the rolls even called me to tell me how wonderful they were while her mouth was still full of the buttery goodness 🙂 These were so easy to put together other than a double batch of dough will not fit in my kitchen aid for kneading very well so I ended up doing that by hand for 10 min. I used regular yeast desolved in the water & sugar as you instruct. I made them the night before the sale and placed the shaped rolls in the fridge covered with greased plastic wrap. I was surprised at how quickly they rose once I took them out. Took maybe 40min max to warm up and double and I wouldn’t say my kitchen was overly warm. I did find that when I rolled the dough out into a larger circle, about 10″to 11″, that the shape of the resulting roll looked better. I like a previous commenter’s tip to freeze the shaped rolls. Anything I can take out of the freezer that gives me a head start on dinner makes me happy.

  54. Melanie says:

    Awesome rolls! These are so tender and delicious. I have made them twice now, once with half whole wheat flour, half bread flour, and once with mostly whole wheat flour and just about a cup of bread flour. I just kneaded the dough for a little bit longer when I used more wheat flour to develop the gluten.

  55. Erin says:

    Mel, forgive my roll baking newness….but does it matter what % fat milk you use? I typically have skim in my house.

    • Mel says:

      Erin – I always use 1% and they turn out fine. Definitely try them with the skim – I think they should work just fine.

  56. Cookies4kids says:

    Hi Mel
    Thanks for so many great recipes. It is always fun to see what is coming up next. I have to try this recipe and was wondering if you thought I could switch the yellow cornmeal to white cornmeal which I have on hand. I am head of a large group of local women who raise money to help send severely handicapped children to camp each summer. Each December, we have our big event and serve a large array of fabulous appetizers which we need to change up each year. I am going to try and use this recipe in some way making small “chicken bites” with the sauce as a dipping sauce. Thanks.

    • Mel says:

      Cookies4kids – I’ve never tried it with white cornmeal, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Yes, give it a go! What a worthy event you are working toward in December. I hope it is a great success and I bet your little chicken bites will go quickly!

  57. Cinda Atherton says:

    Oh, my gosh…were these ever good! This is my daughter’s fb post for t0day: “the blog that my mom and I got a recipe from for rolls said they created a “carb-induced nirvana”. she was definitely right :)” Another melskitchencafe hit! Thanks!

  58. Teresa Wilson says:

    These are SO incredible! I’ve made them twice already, and am making them a third time today (plan to freeze them and get them out Sunday morning to serve at my son’s mission “farewell”). Oh, and a friend needed a good crescent recipe to serve chicken salad on (for her daughter’s wedding), and I suggested these. Thanks for sharing such divine recipes!

  59. Karie says:

    Love-love-love this recipe! Thanks for posting!

  60. Laura says:

    Ok, I am now addicted!!! We made them and they were so amazing delicious! It made so many it was nice to be able to have leftovers. We made hot ham and cheese sandwiches on them for lunch the rest of the week and they were outstanding! Thank you so much!!

  61. Heather says:

    You are officially my “go-to” for roll recipes. Everything I’ve made from your site turns out great and is favorite with my kids (and me). I’ll definitely be trying this one soon.

  62. Evelyn Ross says:

    Can’t wait to try these! Will do a test batch this week before Thanksgiving. Question, though: can these be baked in other ways other than a crescent?

    • Mel says:

      Evelyn – I’ve only ever made them as crescent rolls or rolled similar to the Lion House rolls, pictured here. The dough is very soft and tender so they may do ok being rolled into a round dinner roll shape, too, but I’ve never made them that way.

  63. Jess says:

    I found this recipe on Pinterest & gave it a try today. In the past, I have had trouble with yeast breads – they never seem to rise enough (or I let them rise too much & they fall). But I loved the cornmeal idea, so I went for it. I followed the directions as closely as I could & tried not to overflour the dough (I ended up using about 5 cups, because I live in a dry climate). They are in the oven now, & they smell amazing & look beautiful. We’re eating with family tonight, & I am so excited to bring these beauties. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  64. Lindsey says:

    Made these today (testing this recipe and another one for Thanksgiving). These were really great and will be the ones for Thanksgiving! One question: what brand of cornmeal do you use? My hubby and I both got “grits” of corn meal when we ate the rolls hot (but they weren’t noticeable when the rolls had cooled). I used Quaker corn meal and compared it to Kroger and it is not quite as fine. I think I’ll use the finer corn meal when I make them for Thanksgiving.
    I made the rolls in crescents today, but think I might try a batch of these for Thanksgiving, because I just love them and they’re so festive: http://lindstewfoodies.blogspot.com/2009/11/thanksgiving-turkey-rolls.html

    Thanks!
    : : lindstewfoodies : :

    • Mel says:

      Lindsey – I’m pretty sure I have the Quaker brand of yellow cornmeal in my pantry right now. You might like the finer corn meal if the texture was off-putting at first. Love the idea of the turkey rolls – so cute!

  65. Jessica says:

    The first time I tried these I was expecting flaky crescent rolls like you get in a tube. They were nothing like that but better in their own way! They were soft and tender with a little bit of texture from the cornmeal. And no weird ingredients; homemade with love in my kitchen, just the way it should be! The second time I made these I was a few tablespoons short on cornmeal so I used instant grits to make up the difference and I loved them even more! Thanks for another winning recipe!

  66. Cinda Atherton says:

    I made these for Thanksgiving. My nephew ate 6 at one sitting. They are so good and surprisingly easy. I’ve made them twice, both times with perfect results. The first time I put half of the dough in the freezer. My daughter got it out one Sunday when I was out of town (can’t believe I didn’t get in on a second helping!), thawed out the dough, and they baked up just as tasty as the first go round!

  67. Aly says:

    I know it’s a little late but just a not for Evelyn Ross. Last night I made a double batch with half of the rolls shaped as the Lion House Rolls and the other half as traditional dinner rolls and it worked great.

    Mel- HUGE fan of your site. I daresay that you are the equivalent of my mom’s Better Homes and Gardens cookbook when it comes to how I use you as my go-to “cookbook” for all recipes. Thanks for all your hard work!

  68. […] outside is probably one of the best bread items I have ever tasted. Ever. EVER. Find that recipe here. There are two main keys to the rolls’ deliciousness: 1) a cornmeal and milk base (polenta, […]

  69. Deb says:

    Three words – worth every minute!

  70. Kat says:

    I made these rolls last night, and they were so good! I loved how light and fluffy they were, and the flavor was just right. This is now my “go-to Sunday dinner roll” recipe. The only thing I messed up on is I didn’t whisk in my cornmeal, so I got a few clumps. I pulled them out as I shaped the rolls, so it turned out just fine.

  71. Shannon says:

    I made these the other day….and they are a new favorite! I’m making them again tonight to go with the sweet and sour meatballs.

    I’ve been making so many of your recipes and they are all excellent! When my husband comes home to work, he smells the food cooking in the oven and asks if it’s one of Mel’s recipes….when I say yes, he knows he’s in for a good dinner 🙂

  72. Cassidy davis says:

    About how long from start to finish do these take? Have you ever tried using quick rise yeast?

  73. Mel says:

    Cassidy – quick rise or rapid rise yeast is the same as instant yeast and I use instant yeast exclusively so the quick rise yeast will work just fine in this recipe. I can’t say for sure how long they take start to finish because so much depends on the warmth of your kitchen, but a ballpark estimate is probably around 3-4 hours.

  74. Mom 2 3 Boys says:

    Another poster asked this earlier, but I don’t think I saw an answer — and I’m new to break making; so for the first part when it’s in your stand mixer, do you use the paddle blade until you add the flower, and then do you switch to the dough hook? Thanks

  75. Mel says:

    Mom 2 3 Boys – I use my dough hook the entire time (I have a Bosch mixer).

  76. Mom 2 3 Boys says:

    Thank you — I have a Kitchen Aid, so I’m assuming that will work fine as well. Thanks again.

  77. Tara says:

    I had a question about the butter. I noticed in one of the comments above, you said that you use butter either softened or straight out of the refrigerator and you put it in the hot cornmeal mixture, but the recipe states to add the butter after the cornmeal has cooled to room temperature, so I just wanted to clarify what method should be used. It seems that the two approaches would possibly produce a different dough, as one method incorporates melted butter and the other would incorporate softened butter. Wouldn’t that produce different results with the finished dough, or no? I only know that most recipes require either melted butter or softened butter for a reason and the two are not interchangeable.

  78. Mel says:

    Hi Tara – the recipe isn’t specific about the butter method but the last probably 10 times I’ve made these, I add the butter to the hot cornmeal mixture and let it melt and then let that mixture cool to warm room temperature before proceeding. I love the results…although I can’t tell a significant difference than adding softened butter after the cornmeal mixture has cooled. I think either way is fine.

  79. Tara says:

    Thanks! Good to know. I made them last night using softened butter and they turned out great. I’ll have to try melting the butter in the cornmeal sometime.

  80. Salem says:

    So there is probably no way you will get this in time to help me, but …. I added my cornmeal to the milk before it was hot. And it’s on the stove right now, heating and thickening. Is that going to be a problem? Do I need to start over? =)

  81. Mel says:

    Salem – no, don’t start over! I have done the same thing before and if you watch the heat and stir carefully, it will still thicken.

  82. Melanie says:

    Mel,
    Is there any way to half this recipe? I’ve always wondered how you half an egg…

  83. Mel says:

    Melanie, when I halve a recipe with one egg, I usually just use the egg yolk or the egg white and it seems to work pretty well.

  84. Melanie says:

    Thanks for replying!! If I didn’t stick this in the refrigerator overnight, how long does it typically take for the rolls to rise/double?

  85. Mel says:

    Melanie – it kind of depends on the temperature of your kitchen but I’d say anywhere from 1-2 hours.

  86. Lindy says:

    Mel,
    I want to make these for Thanksgiving, however after making one recipe of these today (they are rising again right now…so excited) I am not sure that I will have enough room in my kitchen aid to double it. How would you suggest to double it or more without having to make the entire recipe 2-3 times? I know that I can knead by hand, but when you made 100 for a church function how did you do it?

  87. Lindy says:

    Oh and by the way…I just took these out of the oven and have eaten 3! Yikes! Right before dinner!

  88. Mel says:

    Hi Lindy – I have a Bosch mixer which easily lets me double the recipe so that’s how I’ve made so many for church functions. I usually make two double batches. You can knead by hand, like you mentioned, if your mixer doesn’t have room. Good luck!

  89. Melanie says:

    Made these over the weekend and they were delicious…my first time ever not failing at a recipe that involved yeast!!! Granted, they didn’t look as pretty as yours, but I’ll definitely make these again and hopefully they will look prettier each time. Thanks Mel!

  90. Alicia says:

    I am attempting these for the first time tonight… and they do not look right. The dough was really hard to roll out into a circle. At a 10 inch circle, the dough was about an inch thick… and that doesn’t roll into a crescent shape very easily. So they aren’t holding their shape. I hope they taste better than they look!

  91. Michelle H. says:

    When I found this recipe I was immediately reminded of my Grandmother’s recipe for Andama Bread, which also starts with a warm cornmeal base. It’s a old New England bread recipe that sweeted slightly with molasses and absolutely delicious. I make it from time to time but not nearly as often as I should. The cornmeal works great in the bread so I’m definitely going to give this roll recipe a try!

  92. Megan says:

    Hi Mel,
    After adding the flour, should the dough form a ball and pull away from the sides of the mixer when it is ready to be put aside to rise? I had to add quite a bit more flour (about 7 cups total) to get it to what I was thinking the proper consistency should be, but I don’t know if the consistency is supposed to be different because it has the cornmeal base or something. I used active dry yeast so I had extra liquid from the water used to proof the yeast, and I’m hoping that’s why I needed the extra flour. The dough is attempting to rise right now, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it turns out okay!

  93. Mel says:

    Hi Megan – I think you did it just right. The flour amount is simply a guideline and can vary widely based on altitude, temperature, humidity, etc. I often find myself adding different flour amounts to my tried-and-true recipes based on the weather or who knows what. Did the rolls rise? Just take care not to overflour. When I make them in my Bosch mixer, the dough does pull away from the sides of the bowl but stays slightly tacky to the touch.

  94. Linda says:

    These are the most awesome rolls. I’m changing my recipe for Thanksgiving, they were that good.

  95. Haley says:

    Mel, are you using all-purpose flour in this recipe? How long do you think it will take for the dough to double in size (the first rise)?

    I’m so excited to try these!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Haley – I use all-purpose flour and almost always throw in some ground white wheat flour (up to 1/2 of the flour amount). It really depends on the warmth of your kitchen on rising time but 1-2 hours is a safe guess.

  96. Megamaso says:

    I’ve been trying your recipes out for about a year, and you never disappoint! Thanks for all the great ideas and tips that let me know whatever recipe I try from your site will turn out well. I made these rolls (my first rolls ever, because, although I love to cook, I’m not much for baking) for a baby shower yesterday, and I think everyone ate about 5 each. They are delicious and I’ll definitely be making them again.

  97. Brandy says:

    Hi Mel,
    I love all your recipes, and I have had huge success with the lion house rolls. I came here looking for a roll that would be good to eat with chicken salad, tuna salad or egg salad on it. Is this the roll you would recommend, or is a different one better? I am hoping to avoid the super high fat crescent rolls you buy at the store, but still want something light in texture like a crescent roll.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Brandy – this is probably the roll with the texture closest to what you are looking for. They aren’t flaky like a croissant but the are very tender and buttery.

  98. Melissa says:

    I love these rolls! I make them a lot. Thanks for sharing!

  99. Melissa says:

    I’m no baking expert but I have made these multiple times. I think for those who are having the problem of a clumpy cornmeal mixture, it’s because the cornmeal/milk mixture is too hot. I’ve had it happen to me before. Today when I made them I made sure that the milk/cornmeal never boiled and I did not have any clumps in the mixture at all. Just my 2 cents!

  100. Cindy Hovey says:

    I finally made these about 10 days ago. Wow. It’s a good thing I splurged on the big bag of cornmeal because I have made 3 batches since then. My family stops everything when these come out of the oven. We had them with your favorite clam chowder last night and my husband was worried about going into a food coma. Thanks for keeping us all happy over here!

  101. Salem says:

    Here’s to making these amazing rolls for church functions! I sign up for rolls every time and then come home and make these. Although today my husband suggested we just buy some, and I was shocked!! 🙂

    Thanks for great food!

  102. Salem says:

    So Mel, when you put these on the pan to bake, how do you arrange them? I never know how to do it.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Salem – I usually try to fit three rolls across lengthwise across the top and five or six down (on a large 12X18-inch baking sheet) for a total of 15 or 18 per sheet. Does that help?

  103. marlow says:

    I tried this recipe on thanksgiving, wasn’t sure if they would turn out like yours, but to suprise they were wonderful and the most picky of my family were delighted with them, thanks again, have a wonderful holiday.

  104. marlow says:

    I just tried this recipe for thanksgiving. I wasn’t sure if they would turn out like yours, but to my suprise they were wonderful. Even the pickest of my family agree they were the best. thanks again.

  105. Carolyn D. says:

    I can’t wait to make these after reading all the posts about them. Is the butter that is brushed on the rolled out dough in addition to what you have listed in the ingredients?

  106. Cindy says:

    Here is our latest thing. Before we roll these up, we stick in a mozzarella cheese stick and some pepperoni slices. Oh my! Don’t worry, we eat them the regular way at least twice a month too.

  107. Barbara says:

    You can’t possibly know how much I’d love these, but 2 dozen for two old people is way more than we can handle. Do you suppose that it would be just as successful if I cut the recipe in half? (I’d still have plenty to freeze.) Oh, I do hope it would work well because I just know I’d love these! If not, I’ll be sharing with at least two other people, and probably three. I have several widowed neighbors who help me eat cookies, LOL!

  108. Sarah says:

    If I want to add a filling to these crescent rolls, at what point in the recipe would you do that? Thanks! Love your website 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Sarah – If you are thinking a filling like, say, nutella, I’d spread it on before cutting the dough into wedges – then just roll up, let rise and bake. Good luck!

  109. Bri says:

    I’m thinking these are going to be my Easter rolls this year!

  110. Lori S. says:

    Went searching fora recipe for Beef Barley soup and found yours. You suggested making these to go along with it. Am I ever glad I took your suggestion – these are fabulous! (The soup was mighty fine as well!) I am not the patient type so after I put the cornmeal mixture into the bowl of my stand mixer, I added cold butter and once it had melted, beat it in and continued beating the mixture until it got to the lukewarm stage. Worked very well! I also used a fine white cornmeal. Next time I try these I am going to try the cinnamon sugar filling!! Thank you for your awesome recipes!!

  111. Beth W says:

    I made these last night and were they ever a hit! I have a couple questions, though. First, mine turned out huge and not nearly as pretty as yours in your pictures. About how big are yours when they’re done? Also, how do you store them? Even though we’re a family of 6, it’s going to take us a week or so to work through 24 big rolls. Thanks!!

    • Mel says:

      Beth W – I’ve never specifically measured the finished rolls but they are probably a couple inches across (maybe 3?) and an inch or so in width. If they came out too big, you could cut more triangles and get more per batch. If we have leftovers, I usually store them in a freezer ziploc bag in the freezer and pull them out as we want them.

  112. Windflower says:

    Eating one of these hot out of the oven – this is the first time I’ve ever made yeast rolls (or yeast anything outside of pizza crust) and they came out perfectly. I now feel like I can bake anything! Cinnamon rolls are next….

    I only had access to polenta, which is maybe why I only needed 4 cups of flour. I was sure the enormously heavy lump in my mixer bowl would never rise, but it did, and rolled out beautifully, and rose again (though maybe I didn’t leave it quite long enough, but I was starving).

    I doubled the salt as I was using unsalted butter, but may use salted plus the doubling next time. Thanks for the recipe!

  113. cibele says:

    Hey there Mel, love your recipes, I’m always coming back to check on the new ones!
    Got a question for you, how can I freeze these rolls? Have you tried freezing them before?
    Does it change the texture or taste? Thx.

  114. Brenda says:

    Is it possible to not roll into crescent shapes and just make a normal shapes dinner roll? I am thinking for the large amount I need having one less step would be sooooo much easier

    • Mel says:

      Good question; I haven’t tried it that way but it’s a pretty soft, great dough to work with so I think it should work just fine to roll them into a dinner roll.

  115. ErinM says:

    These sound delish! I’m so excited to make them! Any estimates on how long they take to make with the rising and such?

  116. Megan lemon says:

    Hey Mel! I love these rolls and have made them a few times for dinner. I recently found a quick breakfast recipe where I use crescent roll dough in a tube and put eggs, ham and cheese in them and then bake. My husband loves them! Do you think there is a way to make this dough ahead of time and roll them in the morning with the other ingredients? Thanks for your help!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Megan – I think you could definitely make this dough and then refrigerate it (letting it go through a slow rise instead of rising in a bowl at room temperature). I’d take it out a couple hours before you want to use it so that it’s soft and pliable but I think it could definitely be made ahead of time. I actually think, also, if the eggs were patted dry so they weren’t overly liquidy that you could assemble the little ham/cheese pockets and refrigerate those – then bake the morning you want them.

  117. Kat says:

    Is the 1/2 c butter supposed to be melted, softened, room temp?

  118. Amber Petersen says:

    I have made these multiple times and want to make them for thanksgiving but I’m hosting so I have a ton to do. Can you form the rolls and put them in the fridge overnight and then let them do the second rise in the morning?

  119. Ami says:

    Made these today for a mini Thanksgiving dinner and they were FANTASTIC! So tender and buttery. Everyone loved them. Thanks for taking the time to make, photograph, and share your recipes.

  120. Maria says:

    Had to change some things at high elevation in Utah but we love them! Made these twice this month-once to practice and once for Thanksgiving. The changes I had to make: First, I doubled it both times and used between 9-10 (instead of 11-12) cups of flour and it was PLENTY. The second time I used 10 c. and they were a little denser and less fluffy than just 9. I don’t pack my flour either so I’ll definitely change that on my copy of the recipe. Secondly, I rolled out my circles bigger (and thus thinner) and cut them into 10-12 rolls each and they turned out much prettier than the first time when I did an 8″ circle and 8 rolls. And last, both times we made these (and in different ovens both times) it took more like 20 minutes to get them lightly golden brown. Thanks, Mel for another home run hit. Everyone loved them at Thanksgiving! 🙂 (I made your apple pie and sour cream crust too. We talked about how much we love your site over dinner. 🙂

  121. Erin says:

    Oh wow! I made them tonight and ate 1 1/2 before I even had them on the table! I used 1 cup whole wheat flour & the rest “regular” flour. We live at almost 7,000 feet, so I had to add more flour to have the right feel (almost 6c white flour & 1c whole wheat). I also baked them at 375 degrees instead of 350.
    I mixed all of the ingredients except the yeast with half of the flour & let my stand mixer develop the gluten (less kneading) before adding the yeast/ water mixture & the rest of the flour. I followed the rest of the directions exactly as written. Thank you soooo much! They were fantastic!

  122. Julianne says:

    These are great. I used about half whole wheat, half white flour. I was planning on halving the recipe, and so only used 1 cup of milk and 1/3 cup cornmeal…and then my brain blew a fuse or something, because I used the full amounts for everything else. I didn’t realize my mistake until after the first rise. However, they still turned out fantastic. Very light and fluffy (and PERFECT with jam or honey, or nothing at all), even with the missing ingredients. We had these with the Spicy Brown Sugar Pork Loin and this was a hit of a meal for us.

  123. Laurie says:

    I would love to try these rolls, but the 1/3 of a cup of sugar in them makes me wonder – do the rolls end up tasting sweet? I don’t like sweet rolls – or rather if I am making rolls/bread I want them to be savoury, not sweet. I know I will need sugar to activate my dry (not instant) yeast – but do you taste the 1/3 c. of sugar, or do these taste like “normal” non-sweet rolls? Thanks if anyone can advise!

    • Mel says:

      You could definitely reduce the sugar if you like. They aren’t overly sweet tasting to me so I’ve never adjusted the sugar amount but if you are worried about it, you could start with 1-2 tablespoons.

  124. CindyP says:

    These look so yummy! I am going to make them for Easter….. How did you prep yours for Church?
    I will be making a dinner for 50… wondering if I should make these ahead and freeze, make the day of (which is doable with oven usage but not convenient), or ???
    Any suggestions?
    This crowd happens to be pretty big bread lovers 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Well, nothing beats fresh rolls so if you can make them the day of, that’d be the top preference. You could even make the dough, let it rise, shape the rolls and cover with plastic wrap – then pop them in the fridge overnight and bake them the next day.

  125. JC says:

    OH WOW. These are delish! Winner! I have to admit I almost didn’t make them – the idea of scalding milk and thickening the cornmeal sounded tedious (just being honest!) But wow! These whip up pretty quickly and are so light and fluffy! I’m a fan. Thanks, Mel! This is a keeper 🙂

  126. Kassie says:

    Maybe this is a dumb question…but do you melt the butter? or just leave it softened?

  127. april says:

    I just made these yesterday and the texture is unbeatable! so soft and fluffy! i am wondering if you use unsalted or salted butter? I used unsalted and they lacked a little flavor so i am going to try to use salted next time. thanks for all the delish recipes.

  128. margaret says:

    My mother made these rolls for fifty years. Everyone asked for the recipe. She cooked the cornmeal mixture in a double boiler, thus no lumps or clumps. Delicious!

  129. Amy says:

    I’ve been looking for a great recipe for homemade pigs in blankets in crescent rolls and I’m wondering if you’ve tried to make pigs in blankets with these beautiful crescent rolls. We’re planning a birthday party with about 40 people attending so I’m hoping to make and freeze them and bake them off before the party. If you haven’t tried that, do you have thoughts about how it would work to wrap the hot dogs up after the first rise and then baking and freezing or would you think about freezing before baking? I’m planning to experiment but wanted to get your thoughts.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Amy, I haven’t used it for that specifically, but I continue to love these rolls beyond belief. I made them the other day – forming small round rolls instead of crescents for chicken salad and they are so light and fluffy, it’s crazy. I think you could definitely use them for pigs in a blanket and I’d probably freeze after baking, just for simplicity and ease of heating up.

  130. Hillary says:

    quick question have you ever used Malt o Meal in this recipe? Instead of corn meal? just wondering. I have no idea if the consistency is the same. I just have Malt o Meal and don’t have any corn meal!:)

  131. Kathy says:

    Hi,
    So you use 3/4 white whole wheat and the rest unbleached white?

    Thanks
    Kathy

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