Crescent rolls and croissants are only superficially similar. In many ways, these baked foods are very distinct. What’s the distinction between crescent rolls and croissants? Crescent roll dough is not laminated, whereas croissant dough is. Crescent rolls and croissants are also made in quite distinct ways. Croissants, unlike crescent rolls, must be made with cold milk and butter.
This article compares crescent rolls with croissants in great depth. Continue reading to learn more about the texture and flavor variances of these rolls, as well as the type of dough used and, most significantly, how they are created.
What Are Croissants?
A croissant is a pastry with a crescent form and light, flaky dough. Although practically everyone believes croissants were created in France, they were actually developed in Austria. The city of Vienna is where croissants first appeared. As far back as the 13th century, there existed a type of croissant known as a kipferl. The German word kipferl means “crescent” in English. Due to a historical incident, Austrians began using a different dough to manufacture this crescent-shaped pastry in the 17th century.
Ottomans attempted to conquer Vienna in 1683. A legend holds that Viennese bakers heard the Turks excavating tunnels beneath the city and informed the populace of the threat. The Austrians were successful in holding back the Turkish invaders in their city. Croissants, a pastry with a crescent shape that represents the crescent moon, a well-known emblem of the Ottoman empire, were produced by Viennan bakers to commemorate their victory.
Why do people believe croissants are French, then?
Croissants were first served to the French in the 19th century by Austrian pastry masters. The late 1840s saw the establishment of a bakery in Paris by Austrian businessman and baker August Zang. The bakery’s “exquisite and crisp buns” helped it gain popularity. The locals enjoyed the more flaky dough in the croissants made in Paris. The recipe for the contemporary French croissant was created in 1915 by French baker Sylvain Claudius Goy. So, while no one can deny that the croissant’s beginnings are Austrian, one could argue that the croissant we all eat and adore today is French.
What Are Crescent Rolls?
Crescent rolls are fluffy rolls that have a visible crescent form. These rolls have a fluffy texture and a more handcrafted appearance and feel than croissants. Unlike croissants, crescent rolls have a relatively short history and no legends, albeit they are closely related to kipferl rolls. The term alludes to the shape of these rolls. It’s worth noting that the French term croissant translates to “crescent” or “moon crescent,” so there’s definitely a resemblance in both name and appearance!
Crescent Roll Vs Croissant — Similarities And Differences
Many people mistakenly believe croissants and crescent rolls to be the same thing because of their similar appearances. But there are quite a few significant variations that merit understanding.
Type Of Dough
Crescent roll dough is not the same as croissant dough. The key distinction is that croissant dough is a laminated dough. Lamination is the technique of mixing butter into dough several times, resulting in layers of flaky dough when baked. Furthermore, croissants fall into the pastry category of baked items, whereas crescent roll dough is more bread-like. This is due to the fact that crescent roll dough is not laminated. The fact that both crescent roll dough and croissant dough are yeasted is a resemblance (i.e., leavened with yeast).
The components for producing croissant dough and crescent roll dough are essentially the same, while certain recipes may have a little variation. You’ll need flour, butter, sugar, yeast, milk, and salt to make croissants. The same components that are used to make croissants can also be used to produce crescent rolls. You actually end up with a different type of dough entirely because of the technique of preparation and the temperature of the butter.
Many crescent roll dough recipes also ask for eggs in addition to the aforementioned ingredients. Eggs are used in the dough as well as to brush the crescent rolls before baking. Croissants are also given an egg wash brushing to give them a lovely golden brown hue and a tasty gloss.
Croissants and crescent rolls have varied textures. Croissants are highly flaky and wonderfully crispy on the outside whereas crescent rolls are softer on their exteriors. Both rolls are soft on the inside, yet croissants are clearly more airy because to their laminated dough.
Croissants have a crescent-like, shape which is the main reason why they are confused with crescent rolls. But you can notice the difference between these two rolls if you look closer! Baked croissants have obvious layers and a flaky texture, while crescent rolls don’t have layers and look much smoother.
Thanks to the layers of butter in them, traditional croissants have a highly buttery flavor. These pastries also have a slight sweetness. Crescent rolls are buttery too, but not in the same beautiful way as croissants. They are mildly sweet with notes of yeasty flavor and salinity.
In terms of applications, crescent rolls are pretty similar to croissants. Thanks to their neutral flavor, they can contain both sweet and savory contents. From chocolate to fruits, and from eggs to smoked salmon and avocado, you can use practically any filling of your choice with crescent rolls and croissants so that you can have them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
It is usual to bake plain croissants and then cut them open to stuff them with sweet or savory contents. In the case of crescent rolls, it is more practical and popular to bake them already stuffed.
The preparation technique of crescent rolls and croissants is significantly different. It takes more effort to make croissants as you need to fold layers of butter into the dough. Making croissants also takes numerous hours. So, if you are a newbie, it would be a good idea to start with crescent rolls.
Here are the step-by-step directions for preparing crescent rolls and croissants. Read on to find out the fundamental distinctions in the preparation process of these seemingly similar rolls!
How To Make Crescent Rolls
Start with heating milk and water. Unlike croissant dough that employs cold milk, crescent roll dough uses warm milk to activate the yeast.
Add the yeast and sugar to the warm milk, then let aside for a few minutes.
Mix the sifted flour, sugar, and salt together.
Add the room-temperature butter to the dry ingredients and stir.
Next, add the yeast mixture.
Crack in the eggs if you are using any.
Form a soft dough.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out.
Fold and roll 3-4 times to produce layers.
Refrigerate the dough for another 45 minutes.
Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out to a 1/4 inch in thickness.
Cut into triangles, then roll them toward the tip to give them a crescent form.
Let the crescent rolls rest for 1 hour before you brush them with egg wash and bake.
How To Make Croissants
Add flour, sugar, salt, and yeast into a large mixing bowl and stir until well blended.
Pour the cool milk over the yeast mixture. The trick to producing croissant dough is to constantly keep it cool!
Use a stand mixer to beat the dough.
When a soft dough forms, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, carefully flour your working area and start rolling out the dough into a rectangle.
Refrigerate the dough for 4 hours or overnight.
In the meantime, form the butter into a thin rectangular sheet.
To start laminating the dough, place the cool sheet of butter on the sheet of dough. Fold the dough over the butter, then fold and roll 3 times to produce 3 separate layers.
Chill the dough overnight.
In the morning, roll out the dough, cut it into triangles, and shape the croissants.
Let the unbaked croissants rise and proof at room temperature for 1 hour.
Brush with egg wash and bake.
Due to the ingredients needed to manufacture them, both crescent rolls and croissants contain a significant quantity of calories. As croissants have layers of butter folded into the dough, they have a higher amount of fat than crescent rolls. Crescent rolls, on the other hand, are heavier in carbs.
Croissants and crescent rolls should both be consumed in moderation. The nutritional content of these rolls mostly depends on the fillings you choose to have in them. Try to choose nutrient-dense healthy fillings for both rolls.
It might be difficult to preserve croissants flaky and crispy when storing them. As a result, whether you’re storing croissants at room temperature or in the fridge, it’s preferable to wrap them separately in aluminum foil. To restore the crispiness of leftover croissants, warm them in the oven for a few minutes. With crescent rolls, everything is simpler. Because of the type of dough, these rolls can be stored at room temperature in an airtight zip-top bag.