They look the same, sound the same, but are crescent rolls and croissants really the same? In short, no they aren’t. The debate between crescent roll vs croissant has been going on since the 1900’s and although expert chefs can clearly tell the difference between one and the other, it is important that the common man knows it too.
In this guide, we will cover the differences between the two, help you understand which one is better, give you tips on making crescent rolls and croissants at home, whether they are diet-friendly or not, and answer the most popular questions.
What’s the Difference? Crescent Roll vs Croissant
The primary difference between the two is that a croissant is a pastry, originating in Austria and a crescent roll is an American bread.
Croissant is actually French for ‘crescent’ and is made by folding butter into the dough in multiple layers which results in a soft and flaky pastry. It is a time-consuming process and requires quite a bit of muscle to do it right.
Crescent rolls, on the other hand, are beginner friendly. They are made by rolling out a yeasty dough, shaping it into a crescent, and then baking which results in a dense, dinner-roll like bread.
Are Crescent Rolls Better Than Croissants?
Since crescent rolls and croissants differ in texture and taste, one cannot be substituted for the other. However, in terms of baking, versatility and dietary needs, it actually depends on user preferences.
Crescent rolls are easy to make at home, can be eaten with any meal of the day, and tastes great with sweet and savory dishes.
Although homemade croissants are hard work, they offer a fine dine experience and pair well with sweet dishes.
Both doughy goods are high in calories but croissants also contain saturated fat from the butter, unlike crescent rolls, which can be bad for cholesterol.
Tips on Making Crescent Rolls at Home
Homemade crescent rolls are a delight with every meal and since they are quite easy to make, there isn’t much that can go wrong while baking. Still, to take your experience from better to best, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Toast them in an airfryer and then layer it with butter for breakfast or to soup some gravy for a fulfilling meal
- Have them compliment the dish on the table i.e add in a layer of Italian seasoning before rolling it into a crescent for a pasta dish at lunch
- Store uncooked rolls for 3 days in the refrigerator and cooked rolls at room temperature, in an airtight container
All You Need to Know Before Making Croissants at Home
Homemade croissants are a delicacy to have and though the process is lengthy, giving it proper time and knowing these tips will make the process more enjoyable.
- The key to a flaky croissant is keeping the butter solid between the dough so make sure the temperature is cool enough, below 20 °C is generally recommended
- When adding in the filling, spread out a very thin layer before shaping the dough, so the layers of the butter in between remain unaffected
- Before placing the croissants in the oven, proof them well at room temperature, uncovered, for at least an hour
- If the dough wobbles when the baking tray is lightly shook, they are ready to be baked
- They can also be air fried by spraying the bottom of the basket with oil spray, placing them in a single layer, and letting them proof before airfrying
Are Crescent Rolls and Croissants Diet Friendly?
Since both crescent rolls and croissants are high in calories, it is recommended to have them in moderation, regardless of being on a diet.
Croissants have a higher saturated fat count than crescent rolls because of the added layers of butter which is why it is best to avoid eating them every day. Though they are unhealthy, croissants can be a good source of energy when added into a diet plan and also will help improve metabolism.
Crescent rolls are carb-heavy and contain trans fat which can affect cholesterol adversely. However, it is okay to eat them in moderation and substitute them for equally nutrient-dense foods like lentils, oatmeal, or beans which do not have as much fat.
Crescent rolls and croissants can also be made gluten-free, keto-friendly, as well as vegan. The secret lies in how the dough is made and layered.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to eat croissants?
Having croissants fresh off the oven, lightly toasted with a spoonful of cream on the side is the most popular way to eat one. Also, to avoid having butter fingers, it is recommended to wrap a napkin on the bottom half and eat it from the top like a roll.
Is crescent dough the same as puff pastry?
No, a crescent roll dough uses softened butter which makes it dense and yeast which helps it rise whereas a puff pastry dough uses cold butter in between the layers of dough which results in its signature flakiness and does not use yeast.
Is croissant dough and puff pastry the same?
No, a croissant dough is different from a puff pastry dough since the former incorporates yeast which makes the result softer and lighter than a puff pastry. Even though the dough for both is prepared by folding cold butter into layers of dough, a croissant dough also needs sugar and milk while a puff pastry dough doesn’t.
This is where the culinary debate of crescent rolls vs croissants ends. Despite their similar looks, the doughy goods are vastly different in their taste, texture and baking style. Knowing the differences between them can help you become a better baker, eat what your body actually needs, and ultimately live better.