Flavor Profile: Sweet but not too sweet, slightly salty, and melt-in-your mouth delicious. These rolls are perfect for holidays, special occasions, or a nice Sunday dinner.
Texture: Pillowy soft and tender all the way through. Period.
Butterhorn rolls hold a special place in my heart. These rolls are synonymous with Thanksgiving because my mom made them every year. Sure we had turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, butter beans (if you know what they are, high five!), and dressing. The rolls, however, were the one part of the meal that I looked forward to the most!
Just the smell of the dough rising is enough to elicit happy memories from my childhood. The smell of the dough, even before it is cooked, is very fragrant and wonderful. When the rolls bake, the smell is even more divine and sweet.
I started making these rolls for my husband’s family when we got married, and I am “highly pressured” to make them every Thanksgiving (pressured in the nicest and most flattering way of course!). When we bring the rolls to Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s family, we often have to hide them so that they don’t all disappear before dinner has even started!
Baker Street Breakdown
- The dough comes together quickly, taking no more than 15 minutes to make.
- Be patient and allow the dough to rise enough. It should double in your pot as shown below, raising for about an hour or a little longer.
- With a spatula, deflate the dough and scrape the sides of the pot to bring the dough together.
- Rolling the dough can be a bit tricky if this is your first time. Roll dough is usually thick and easy to handle by hand, but this dough is thinner and stickier than your average bread dough.
- Flour your rolling mat or counter generously so the dough doesn’t stick to it. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on top of the dough once it is on the mat, and rub your rolling pin with flour. We don’t want the dough sticking to anything!
- Only roll 1/3 of the dough at a time so it is easier to manage. The dough should be about a 12 inch circle for 1/3 of the dough.
- Cut the dough circle into quarters, and then cut the fourths into even crescent strips and begin forming each roll.
- Transfer rolls to a sheet pan lined with parchment, and cover with a towel so the rolls can raise. On a rimmed half sheet pan, you should be able to fit 20 to 30 rolls, depending on their size.
- Let them raise for 1 to 2 hours so they can double in size.
- Remove towels as each pan is ready to go in the oven and bake at 350 for 8 to 11 minutes.
- Brush away excess flour from the tops of the rolls with a soft pastry brush once the rolls are cooling on a wire rack.
**I made one adjustment as the original recipes call for margarine, but there is really no comparison between margarine and good quality butter for a roll as special as this one.
Essential Baking Tools
A big metal pot or dutch oven pot is a must for this recipe. The dough needs room to raise, and there is less chance of making a big mess with an adequate pot.
A rolling mat will save your life when you roll this dough out! If you don’t flour your mat enough, dough can still stick in spots. It is much easier to scrape and clean a rolling mat than a sticky flour counter.
Towels are also important for the raising/proofing process. If you do not cover them with towels, then the dough will form an unappetizing skin. Make sure you have 3 to 5 towels ready to cover your baking pans as you fill each pan.
Resistance and patience so you don’t eat tons of rolls as soon as they come out of the oven! It will be so tempting! If you make them small, it is easy to eat 5 or 6 or 10 before you know it!
- Prep Time: 15 min + 2 1/2 hours
- Cook Time: 10 min
- Total Time: 2 hrs 45 min.
- Yield: 4–5 dozen 1x
- 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 5 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- Extra flour for rolling the dough
- Dissolve yeast in warm water and cover with a dry towel.
- In a large pot, melt butter. Add milk and 1 TBS. sugar. Heat, but do not boil, and remove from heat. While this is cooling to almost lukewarm, stir eggs with 1 cup sugar in a small bowl.
- When the milk/butter mixture is slightly warm, add the egg/sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add yeast mixture and stir well. Then add flour and salt and stir well. The mixture will be very soft and sticky. Cover with lid.
- Turn oven on to 100* for 30-45 seconds to warm the inside, and then turn off. Place covered pot in oven and let dough rise about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Punch dough down with a large spatula and scoop out 1/3 of the dough onto a well-floured pastry mat or surface. Roll dough into a 12 inch circle or just slightly bigger. Dough should not be super thick when it is rolled into a 12 inch circle. Dough can be between 1/8″ to 1/4″ thick.
- Cut circle into quarters with a pizza cutter, and then cut the quarters into triangle strips as shown in the photos below. Roll each strip of dough into a crescent starting with the wide end of the triangle, and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Cover pans with clean towels and let rolls rise again 1 – 1 ½ hours in a slightly warm oven until doubled in size.
- Remove towel from each pan as rolls are ready to be baked and bake at 375* for 8 – 11 minutes. The tops of the rolls should be golden brown, and the bottoms will be just slightly golden. Remove rolls from parchment immediately and place on cooling racks. Gently dust off remaining flour with a pastry brush if there is a lot of excess. Let rolls cool, and enjoy!
Keywords: rolls, thanksgiving rolls, holiday rolls, crescent rolls