These are my Mom’s famous rolls. Well actually, this is my attempt to bake my Mom’s famous rolls. She’s been perfecting these rolls for as long as I can remember, and I’ve only just now thought to make them myself.

Furthermore, this is only half of my mom’s recipe. I come from a family of nine and an entire sheet pan of these rolls can easily be devoured in an evening (and they are, usually before they’ve even had a chance to cool). But since it’s just me and my husband at home, that kind of yield seemed a bit unnecessary.

Besides, then I would have been forced to eat 2 dozen rolls all by myself, and while it would have been delicious, I don’t think the top button on my jeans would have appreciated it.

I struggle with yeast breads, and it never ceases to frustrate me. But these rolls are nearly foolproof. There’s no kneading required, and the rising time is remarkably short. But the end result is no less delicious because of it. I find it unusual that the recipe requires a whole tablespoon of yeast and also some baking powder, but like the saying goes— if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. And so I won’t.

I’m not sure how these crescent-like rolls got their name. Perhaps it’s an allusion to their light texture and soft crumb. Or perhaps it’s because just when you think that making rolls is difficult and not worth the effort, these Fairy Rolls will magically swoop in, fill your belly, and make you feel better about yourself.

Fairy Rolls
Makes 2 dozen rolls

1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Egg wash, as needed

Melt the butter and pour into a large bowl to cool slightly. Combine the water and yeast and allow to sit for five minutes. Add the yeast mixture, egg, and sugar to the butter and whisk together until combined.

Add the flour, baking powder, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined and comes together into a ball. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Split the ball of dough into two equal pieces and put one half back in the bowl. Roll out the other half on a floured surface to about 12 inches in diameter. Cut into 12 equal triangles. Starting with the fat end, roll up each triangle and place in a buttered baking pan. Repeat with the other half of dough.

Cover the baking pan with a towel and let rise for an additional 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Brush the rolls with egg wash and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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19 Responses to Fairy Rolls

  1. Jessica Foreman says:

    These look yummy! I'm learning to bake yeast breads myself these days, and this seems like a great recipe to start with!

  2. Lo-mo says:

    Nice buns! These look great. I forsee rolling some chees up in these…perhaps some ham and a brushing of mustard! Love it!

  3. NicoleD says:

    Gorgeous! There's nothing like a tried and true mom recipe :)

  4. Joanna Jeffries says:

    Mmmmm…cannot WAIT to try this!

  5. Frieda says:

    Love the name of the rolls! I agree, nothing like a tried and true MOM recipe and for YOU to carry on the tradition!

  6. Victor says:

    There is nothing more delicious than rolls made by mom. Looks delicious!

  7. Jackie says:

    What a fabulous name for these! I love it. I've never really made crescent rolls before – are they like croissants?

    Jax x

  8. branda says:

    I also have troubles with yeast breads, but I'm going to try these this week. Have you tried them with whole wheat flour?

  9. Isabelle says:

    Gotta love fresh rolls that are foolproof, delicious and easy! I have a go-to recipe for dinner rolls, but I could see this becoming a new favourite, what with that whole no-knead thing. Thanks to you (and your mom) for sharing.

  10. Sarah@AlpinePoppy says:

    So so so yummy! I made these yesterday for dinner, my family was so impressed, to be honest, I was so impressed. I will make these again and again, thanks!

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  12. Demeaus says:

    What kind of yeast are you using?

  13. Scott says:

    Made these for Easter 2012. They completely reminded me of the fairy rolls my grandmother used to make, however she would roll them and put them vertically in muffin tins to bake. I followed your recipe exactly and I cannot tell you enough how great they were. Thank you for this recipe.

  14. Jocelyn says:

    Looks easy enough even for a total kitchen klutz like me. I wonder if I could add cinnamon sugar inside it?

  15. di says:

    I wondering if I could have the full recipe as I cook for a crowd. These rolls look awesome.

  16. di says:

    Thank you some times double does not work, I was worried about yeast.

    Your reply is appreciated.

  17. Emily says:

    I made these today for Easter- my first experience with baking with yeast. They were fun to make and delicious- soft and light. I found myself sneaking a roll here and there throughout the day, too! Put the second half of dough in the fridge so that we can eat more tomorrow.

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