French and Austrian cuisine is an incredibly important part of the world and has contributed to many amazing dishes and foods. One of the most well-known items of food from this cuisine is the croissant, which is made using crescent roll dough, which can be made at home or can be store-bought to help save you some time. Despite how you acquire it, you are probably wondering how you can store it and, more importantly, if you can freeze crescent roll dough.

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What is crescent roll dough?

Crescent roll dough is a special type of pastry that is used for making food items such as freshly baked croissants. Pillsbury crescent roll dough is the most popular brand of this and is widely popular in supermarkets and grocers. This dough lets you enjoy the amazing taste and texture of baked goods without the insane amount of preparation time that it would normally take to make the dough from scratch. The only time-consuming activity when buying Pillsbury crescent rolls compared to homemade dough is the cook time.

How to bake crescent roll dough

Baking crescent rolls with Pillsbury dough is very simple. The instructions should all appear on the packaging and they are really easy to follow. All you need to do is line a baking tray with aluminum foil or parchment paper and preheat your oven to 375F. While your oven is heating up, remove the dough from the can and separate the triangular pieces from each other.

After you have each piece laid out flat, you want to roll one point of the triangle to the middle part of the opposite side of the dough. The instructions on the packaging should help with this but essentially you are rolling them into a croissant. If you want to flavor the dough before baking, you can spread some jam, cinnamon frosting, or other tasty flavorings on the dough itself. As long as the flavoring is not so thick that it stops the dough from rolling, you will be fine.

Once you have your dough rolled into the correct shape and your oven is heated, it is time to bake them. It should only take a few minutes, the baking time is around 10-15 minutes but you will know when they are done as they will turn golden brown. Once baked, it is best to store them in a warm place and let them cool a tiny bit before eating, If you used a similar icing found in cinnamon rolls, then they are best eaten while still warm. Be careful when removing them from your baking sheet or baking tray as they can be very hot.

Baking a treat such as these is great if you are in a baking mood but cannot deal with the hassle that comes from making an entire dough from scratch. The baked rolls give the same satisfaction as homemade rolls, with half of the effort or time.

Is it possible to freeze crescent roll dough?

The easy answer for this is yes, you can freeze crescent roll dough. There is something you should know first, however. It is not recommended that you freeze this dough while it is in the tube that it comes in. This is because the dough has water in it which expands when frozen, which will break the tube and will also expose your dough to the bacteria that may be in your freezer.

If you want to freeze the dough once you have taken it out of the tube then you will have to proof it first. This is to ensure that the rising and baking properties remain intact after you thaw the dough later on. To proof your dough you will need to roll it into the croissant shape, If you freeze the dough before it has had a chance to rise, then it will no longer have those properties when it is thawed and you will not be able to make anything with it. Therefore you need to let it rise before you freeze it. For this, you will have to set it in the shape you want it to be in when it comes to baking it. Roll the dough into a croissant shape and let it sit on a tray in the fridge overnight. The next morning the dough should have expanded in size and is now ready for you to store in the freezer. When placing in the freezer it is best to wrap your dough in plastic freezer bags or in clingfilm as your unbaked rolls risk being contaminated if left uncovered. Already risen dough is completely fine to be frozen, but Pillsbury rolls are yet to rise, therefore they cannot be frozen immediately.

A good rule of thumb is to just proof any dough before you freeze it, just to make sure. The frozen unbaked dough does not have an expiration date and is good to thaw and use for up to a year after being frozen. Baked dough, on the other hand, that you have frozen will only maintain quality, taste, and texture for 2 months after being frozen so it is best to consume within this time frame.

Can you freeze baked crescent rolls?

Freezing already baked rolls is very easy, but requires some preparation first. The most important part of this is to ensure that your baked goods have cooled to room temperature before you try and freeze them. If they are still warm or hot when you wrap them, they will produce condensation which is a great way for moisture to compromise your baked goods and make them soggy, or create mold. So, it is critical that you let your baked food sit and cool to room temperature before you try to freeze it.

After letting your food sit and cool, it is time to wrap it. The main point of this is to keep any air and moisture away from your food. This can be done by wrapping your baked food in several layers of plastic wrap such as cling film or other food wraps. If you are struggling for the wrap to stay tight and secure, you can use freezer tape to help you.

Now that your food is wrapped and ready to freeze, it is time to add an extra layer of security and organization to your freezing. Place as many of your rolls as you can into an airtight freezer bag without stuffing it, and expel as much air as you can. After this, it is worth labeling the bag with what is inside of it and the date of when you stored it in the freezer. This is because cooked food such as dough will only maintain its quality, taste, and texture for 2 months while frozen so you should keep track of the time to make sure it is not wasted. After the two-month period, your food will still be safe to eat but it will not be as enjoyable as it once was.

How to thaw/defrost frozen baked and unbaked goods

Now that you have frozen and stored either your crescent roll dough or your baked rolls, you may be wanting to unfreeze them for cooking or consumption. Thankfully that is very easy. To defrost the raw dough, just leave them overnight in the freezer and then when it comes to cooking them, add about 5 minutes of time to compensate for the dough being cold.

As for defrosting baked rolls, you can remove the plastic wrap covering them and heat them up in the oven or microwave. This depends on the power of your microwave or oven but it should be easy to judge for yourself. It is important to make sure that while thawing, you do not introduce any bacteria to the dough or baked food by accident. So it is best to keep them covered in plastic wrap until you are about to cook or heat them.

What to make with crescent roll dough

Crescent roll dough is primarily made for making croissants as it comes in pre-cut slices in the shape of triangles. Rolling one point to the middle of the opposite side will give you the perfect croissant shape. However, you can also make much more with this dough. If you spread jam or cinnamon icing on the dough before rolling, you can make flavored croissants.

Rolling the dough in a different way with chocolate chips being introduced will give you a delicious treat very similar to a pain au chocolate. The dough is versatile and perfectly suits baked goods with sweet flavors such as making different shaped cinnamon rolls. If you want to play around with the shapes then you can either buy non-sliced dough or you can cut the dough yourself to make new shapes for you to cook with.

Pain au Chocolat

Freeze appropriately!

You can indeed freeze Pillsbury crescent roll dough. It is best that you do this while it is raw and proof it first, ensuring that it is tightly wrapped in clingfilm before being frozen. You can also freeze it after you have cooked the dough, but you must make sure it is cooled to room temperature before you freeze it otherwise there is a high chance it will go either moldy or soggy.

As for defrosting both of these, the frozen raw dough can be cooked like normal with 5 minutes added to compensate, and the cooked rolls can be heated through in an oven or a microwave.

What happens if you freeze Pillsbury crescent roll dough?

The dough will not properly rise if it is instantly frozen. To avoid this, proof it in the fridge overnight.

Can you freeze crescent rolls before baking?

You can freeze the rolls before baking. When you defrost them and bake them, compensate for them being frozen by adding 5 minutes to your cook time.