Crescent Rolls: If the smell of fresh baked bread doesn’t get your mouth watering the soft inside and golden crust of these crescent rolls will. It’s definitely a go to recipe for adding a side to any meal. They’re easy, economical, can be made ahead of time, and are oh so delicious.
This is super delicious, and versatile enough for a formal thanksgiving meal or a casual night at home. These are buttery, fluffy pillows of goodness, that are sure to have everyone round the table popping their tops.
Are crescent rolls and croissants the same thing?
Even though the names are often used interchangeably, there is a difference. Namely, crescent rolls are a bread and croissants are a pastry. What that means is:
- Crescent rolls use yeast and rises to make them lighter.
- Croissants, on the other hand, use a technique of layering butter and dough (aka laminated dough) to produce a light flaky pastry.
- Crescent rolls are rolled into a crescent shape with one layer of dough
- Croissants are rolled after creating many layers of flat dough compacted on top of each other.
Something to note is, there is a tricky similarity which might account for any confusion between the two. They both contain yeast. The difference comes in with the point in the recipe that the yeast is activated.
- Crescent rolls the yeast is activated at the beginning of the mixing process to get a lighter texture.
- Croissants the yeast is activated right before baking to soften lift the already existing dough layers.
This recipe is a tried and true crescent roll recipe.
How do you make crescent rolls?
Making crescent rolls is basically like making any other dinner roll recipe. The basic steps are:
- Warm your liquids, sugars, and fats to the right temperature to activate the yeast.
- Add the yeast and let it sit until it’s frothy.
- Mix in the flour and knead.
- Let it rise.
- Divide and shape the rolls. For a crescent dough that means rolling it out into a circle and cutting it into wedges like a pie then rolling them from the widest part to the thinest to form a layered crescent shape.
- Put them on the baking sheet
- Let the rolls rise again in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Brush with an egg wash.
- And Bake.
Baking often seems overwhelming, but when you break it down into these simple steps it makes it so much more approachable.
Do crescent rolls have dairy?
The store bought pop cans of crescent rolls don’t have dairy, but in this recipe and in many other crescent roll recipes milk serves a purpose. It’s true, a basic bread recipe is water, flour, yeast, and salt. Milk, though adds that extra something to make bread soft and tasty. What it does is:
- Acts as a tenderizer, because the fat prevents too much gluten formation. Think of gluten like glue, if there’s too much the bread would turn out tough and chewy.
- It adds flavor.
- And, the milk sugars caramelize and create a nice brown crust and sweetness in the rolls.
This recipe does have milk in it, so you can look forward to getting a soft yummy roll with a lovely crusty outside.
Is crescent dough puff pastry?
In short, yes and no. But mostly no. Straight forward I know. First let’s look at the qualities of a puff pastry. They are:
- It’s made of what’s called laminated dough, which is lots of thin layers of dough with a layer of butter on both sides.
- It’s leavened by the butter melting and the steam lifting the layers apart
- It’s light, airy, and flaky.
If we’re using the term crescent dough in the strictly technical way there are fundamental differences. Which are:
- Crescent rolls are leavened with yeast.
- They’re rolled with only one layer of dough instead of many.
- And although they are soft and delicious on the inside, they’re not flaky and airy like a puff pastry.
If puff pastry is being compared to a croissant the difference is much more subtle. That’s yes it is basically the same thing. A croissant is a laminated dough with all the same characteristics, but the thing that a croissant has that a puff pastry does not is yeast and sugar. What that does is make the dough soft and flaky but not too crisp.
Even Though, these crescent rolls aren’t a puff pastry they are delicious a perfect addition to any meal.
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 3/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons yeast
- 2 cups of warm water
- 9-10 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of butter
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbs water
- Heat 1 1/2 cups of milk, 3/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of butter, in a microwave safe bowl, for about 2 minutes. You want the milk hot!
- Stir in 1-2 cups flour, 1 egg, 1 Tbs salt. Then just let it cool a couple of minutes.
- Dissolve 2 Tbs yeast in 2 cups warm water, add in 1 Tbs of sugar.
- Add yeast mixture to cooled down milk mixture, making sure it is not too hot, or it will kill the yeast. If your yeast does not foam, start over!
- Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in 7-8 cups of flour, adding 2 cups at time and stirring in between.
- Mix by hand. With the final cups of flour the dough will be dense and sticky, and may be hard to stir, use your hands to incorporate the rest of the flour if needed.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let it rise until doubled in size
- When about done rising, butter 2 cookie sheets and set aside.
- Flour a work surface, and divide dough into 4 evenly sized balls.
- Using one ball of dough at a time, roll out into a circle form that is not too thick, you want it to be about half a centimeter
- Use 2 TBS of butter, and spread it over to the top of the dough.(You can use a butter spread if desired)
- Use a pizza cutter to slice dough into 12 triangles. (Cut into quarters, then each quarter into 3 evenly sized pieces).
- Roll the dough starting with the wide end of the triangle
- Place on buttered or greased baking sheet.
- Make 3 rows of 8 rolls.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix water and egg to make egg wash.
- Place the pans of rolls in a warm place to let rise.
- Once they are touching and full in size, brush with egg wash mixture, and cook until golden brown. About 15 – 20 minutes (watch carefully, time depends on oven).
- When fresh from oven, run a stick of butter over the top.
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.
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