Indulge in a classic comfort food favorite with a modern twist – a mouthwatering ham and cheese crescent rolls recipe that even the picky eaters in your family will love! Although this recipe could easily be adapted for Pillsbury crescent roll dough for convenience, we’re going old school using an old-fashioned dinner rolls recipe as the base. So come on in to my kitchen as we knead, stuff, and roll up this family favorite recipe perfect for school lunches, picnics, and potlucks!
Why you and your family will love these ham and cheese crescent rolls
- These rolls are so convenient for school lunches: These ham and cheese crescent rolls are my kids’ favorite lunch snack.
- Freezer friendly. I freeze these rolls in ziploc bags or Tupperware containers and the boys can quickly pull a few out to stick in their lunch before they run out the door to catch the bus
- This recipe includes an old fashioned dinner rolls recipe that can be adapted many ways: I’ve mentioned before that I’m super sentimental about recipes, and this one is definitely a sentimental recipe. It’s my mother-in-law’s. She’s now gone to glory, but while she was here on earth, she faitfully baked buns and bread nearly every week of the year.
If you knew my mother-in-law, you’d know that she never used a recipe for buns, and rarely made them exactly the same 2 times in a row! However, her daughter carefully grabbed everything her mom used one day and measured it to come up with this “Mom’s Old Fashioned Dinner Rolls” recipe. I’m forever grateful it is written down.
This recipe is a true “old fashioned” dinner rolls recipe
Let me explain. Back in the “olden days” – you know, before the internet, Pinterest, and copious amounts of food blogs – recipes were passed to one another on hand written recipe cards. They often had many abbreviations for words, and the instructions were often super vague – with the assumption that the person reading the card was very experienced in the art of cooking and baking.
This recipe is written that way. If you have never made yeast buns of any sort before, I suggest you peruse a few more instructional sites for some basic information in working with yeast dough. In looking at that picture closely, I realized I (sort of) halved the original recipe. Apparently, my mother in law baked 8 dozen buns at a time…;)
Ingredients needed for these ham and cheese crescent rolls with Mom’s Old Fashioned Dinner Rolls recipe
This dinner roll recipe makes 4 dozen ham and cheese crescent rolls
- 1/8 cup white sugar
- 1/2 Tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 and 1/2 cups hot tap water (The temperature is important. See note below.)
- Approximately 7 cups flour
- Miracle whip or pizza sauce for bun “sauce” – about 6 tablespoons
- 16 slices deli ham
- 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
Step by step instructions for the old fashioned dinner rolls recipe
- Mix together the 1/8 cup sugar and 1/2 Tablespoon salt into a large bowl. Set out the other ingredients so they are prepped and ready to use (quickly) when needed. The water temperature is very important. It needs to be 110-115 degrees fareinheit in order for it to activate the yeast. As a general rule I run the tap water until it’s just about too hot to put my hand under it.
- Melt the butter and add to the sugar and salt in the large bowl.
- Pour in the hot tap water and 1 cup of flour. Whisk until smooth.
- Add the beaten egg, mixing constantly so it doesn’t “cook” in the hot mixture.
- Stir the yeast into another cup of flour and whisk into the bowl. Keep adding flour until you can’t stir in any more. Then add a little more, kneading it right in the bowl until the dough becomes smooth and not sticky. (I sort of lost count, but I think I added about 7 cups flour.)
- Butter the inside of the bowl and the top of the dough. Let it rise about an hour, or until doubled. (*Note: Because my house is so drafty, I let the dough rise in the oven. This is how I do it. I preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Then, right before I put the dough in, I shut off the oven. That is a very important step! If you don’t shut off the oven, it will be too hot for the dough to rise properly..)
- After it is risen to double in size, flip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 sections. Each section will become 1 dozen buns.
- Lightly form each section into a ball.
How to make Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls with Old Fashioned Dinner Rolls Recipe
- Using a rolling pin, roll into a large circle. Spread on a thin layer of mayonnaise or pizza sauce, whichever you prefer.
- Using a pizza slicer or knife, cut the round into 12 triange shaped pieces.
- Layer on cut deli ham (I used prosciutto this time) and grated cheddar cheese.
- Starting at the wide end of each triangle, roll up the dough until it looks like a little crescent roll.
- Place on greased pan. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
(To save time and cleanup, you could use a parchment paper lined pan instead of a greased pan if you’d prefer.)
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. (Baking time differs greatly depending on what type of baking sheets you have.)
- Cool on wire racks.
Now, grab a warm roll with a little potato salad and have yourself a delicious lunch! You’ve earned the reward of putting your feet up for a few minutes!:)
How to Freeze these Ham and Cheese Crescent Rolls
Let the rolls cool completely and then freeze in ziploc bags or in an airtight container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Tools for this dinner rolls recipe:
The story of this dinner roll recipe
This post was originally written years ago (March 5, 2015 to be exact) in our farmhouse by the sea kitchen with the sun streaming through the window. It was back before I had a photo studio for food photography, and due to an unfortunate situation involving a computer and losing ALL my digital photos, I no longer have the original photos of this recipe to update.
But, at this point, I’ve chosen to leave in the original photos. It was real life back then. Making buns with my mother in law’s recipe…and praying (like I always do when I make yeast rolls) that they would rise!;)
Other Dinner Rolls Recipes:
- This dinner roll recipe for bread machine is so delicious!
- These overnight dinner rolls are so convenient.
- How to form dinner bun dough into cinnamon buns and braids.