Crescent dough is made very similarly to how you’d make regular bread dough. The difference comes in when you spread softened butter over rolled-out dough, fold it several times, roll it again, fold it, and so forth.
This results in buttery, flaky layers that melt in your mouth. Warm, fresh-from-the-oven crescent rolls are unbeatable when it comes to pretty much anything.
I’ve gotten this question a lot so I thought I’d answer it for you here. Yes, it’s similar in ingredients but very different in labor intensity. Both use the “laminated dough” process, which is essentially the layering of butter and dough, then rolled out, as described above.
To achieve puff pastry, you’ll need to create over seven hundred layers of butter and dough. Crescent rolls have just a few layers, making the final product very different. Although you can certainly use them interchangeably in recipes, some will work better than others, as puff pastry won’t have the same soft texture after baking as the crescent dough.
If the above descriptions have you wanting to run out and buy the ingredients to make homemade crescent rolls, by all means, do it! Once you’ve mastered the technique, you can still purchase refrigerated dough for everyday meals and save the labor for special occasions.
This video will show you the easiest way to make homemade crescent rolls, which only has you rolling out the dough one time. If you’d rather take the extra steps, you can try this recipe for Extra Flaky Homemade Crescent Rolls.
These are the most common shapes used for crescent dough:
- THE CRESCENT: The most common way to shape crescent rolls is, well, into the crescent shape. This is the shape you’d use when just baking the dough into rolls or making stuffed crescent rolls. This tutorial can be used whether you’re using store-bought dough or making your own.
- THE BRAID: This is another common shape used with crescent dough and it looks quite impressive after baking. It’s easier than it sounds and can be mastered pretty quickly. Although the video uses refrigerated pie crust, the method for forming the braid is the same, plus you get a bonus recipe!
- THE RING: This might be our personal favorite. With crescent roll rings, you can fill the center with more ingredients or a bowl of dipping sauce. For example, a taco ring might be filled with guacamole or lettuce, tomatoes, and chopped onions. A pizza ring might have a small dish of marinara sauce in the center. The possibilities with this shape are only limited to your imagination. And…bonus!! The video we linked to has a bonus recipe for the “Ring of Fire”, which would make a great addition to a Super Bowl party!
More ways to shape crescent dough:
Pillsbury has a great article that will show you how to shape five less common shapes. The best part is that they’re all simple but look impressive!
- Swirled Crescent Bun
- Slice Crescent Triangle
- Roll Up Crescent
- Twist into a Bun
- Easy Crescent Stars
Now that you’ve got the basics of crescent rolls down, it’s time get baking! Below you’ll find recipes for appetizers, dinner, and dessert, plus separate sections for breakfast & brunch and crescent roll rings.
CRESCENT ROLL RECIPES WITH CHICKEN or TURKEY
Pick up a rotisserie chicken or use up some leftovers to make these recipes even easier and faster!
CRESCENT ROLL RECIPES WITH GROUND BEEF
We're always looking for different and creative ways to cook with ground beef for an easy weeknight supper. These recipes will help you get dinner on the table fast and you're sure to find a new favorite!
MORE CRESCENT ROLL DINNER RECIPES
Using your waffle iron with crescent rolls? Making an upscale meal for guests? Make sure you have an extra few cans of rolls on hand so you can try every one of these unique and delicious recipes!