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What’s the Difference: Croissant vs. Brioche vs. Crescent Rolls vs. Danish vs. English Muffin?

By Lucy Yanckello, Ph.D.

Croissants, brioche, crescent rolls, danish, and English muffins are all popular options to enjoy for breakfast. When trying to decide which to eat, it is important to understand the differences between each treat. 

What are croissants?

Croissants are French pastries, made with yeast, flour, salt, sugar, milk, water, and a large amount of butter. Croissants get their signature airy and flaky texture through a process called lamination. During this process, butter is folded into dough many times before the croissants are shaped and baked. This results in the many layers that are signature to croissants.

Is croissant dough the same as puff pastry? Are croissants made of puff pastry?

Puff pastry only contains three ingredients: flour, butter, and salt. Puff pastry is similar to croissants in that it has visible airy layers. However, croissant dough is different from puff pastry because croissant dough contains yeast, but puff pastry does not contain yeast. The yeast in croissants give them a lighter and softer texture than that of puff pastry. Additionally, the milk and sugar in croissant dough that is not present in puff pastry creates a richer dough with better flavor. Puff pastry is flakier and more crumbly than croissants.

What is the difference between a croissant vs. brioche?

Brioche and croissants contain a lot of the same ingredients, including milk, sugar, butter, and yeast. One of the main differences between croissants and brioche is the density and texture. Brioche is more similar to a thick loaf of bread and is not as flaky or buttery as a croissant. Brioche dough does not contain as much butter as croissants, but it has more sugar and contains eggs, which contributes to the denser texture of brioche. 

What is the difference between a croissant vs. crescent rolls?

Crescent rolls have a similar crescent-moon shape as croissants, but most aspects of these baked goods are different. Unlike croissants, crescent rolls are not laminated. This makes crescent rolls more bread-like than croissants. However, both croissants and crescent rolls contain yeast leading them to rise and have a lighter texture. Additionally, because they are not laminated, crescent rolls have a softer exterior than croissants, which are crispier. 

What is the difference between a croissant vs. danish?

Croissants and Danish pastries are both multilayered and laminated. Like brioche, Danish pastries contain eggs, which is one of the main differences between these pastries and croissants. Danish pastries contain eggs because the dough needs to be sturdier in order to add fillings. During the lamination process, Danish pastries are not folded as many times as croissants.

What is the difference between a croissant vs. English muffin?

English muffins contain milk, butter, flour, sugar, eggs, and yeast. However, unlike croissants, English muffins are not laminated. English muffin dough is soft and cooked on a griddle similar to how you would cook a pancake; however, the yeast causes the English muffin to rise. English muffins are typically made with bread flour, which is high in protein and creates the chewy texture that they are known for. They have an open structure but are not flaky or buttery like croissants are. If you are looking for a healthier breakfast option compared to croissants, brioche, crescent rolls, and Danish pastries, English muffins are a great choice. Unlike laminated pastries, English muffins do not contain as much fat because the butter content is lower. For example, a croissant contains the daily need of saturated fat with 11.6 grams compared to 0.259 grams in English muffins).

Where can I buy fresh croissants online?

At Wildgrain, we specialize in making high-quality, fresh baked goods that are delivered directly to your door. Wildgrain is the first bake-from-frozen delivery subscription service for breads, pastries, and fresh pastas. Some of our popular baked goods include croissants, chocolate croissants, English muffins, and bagels. Learn more about Wildgrain and our artisanal baking and cooking methods.

 

About the Author

Lucy Yanckello received her Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. She currently works as a medical writer and enjoys being able to help people better understand nutrition and science.

 

This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional nutrition and/or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific nutrition and/or medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.

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