Whether you love making them on your own or buy a big ready-to-eat stash from your local grocery store or bakery, this humble bread is a constant in many households.
But are crescent rolls vegan?
Crescent rolls can be vegan or non-vegan, depending on their ingredients. Most brands’ crescent rolls are vegan; however, some might contain dairy and/or eggs, making them unsuitable for those on a vegan diet.
Several fillings added to crescent rolls can also make them non-vegan. Therefore, it’s always best to check the ingredients label.
What Are Crescent Rolls Made Of?
Crescent rolls are essentially made with enriched yeast dough containing the following ingredients:
Most crescent roll recipes call for all-purpose flour; however, some might use bread flour. Both are plant-based and 100% vegan.
One thing that may raise concern for some vegans is the nature of additives that many brands add to the flour they use to make crescent rolls. These are essentially a combination of vitamins and minerals used to ‘enrich’ the flour.
While it’s difficult to know their exact nature as no brand discloses it, they are generally believed to not be of animal origin and vegan-friendly.
Some of the common additives used in flour include:
- Folic Acid
- Thiamin Mononitrate
All of these flour additives are 100% vegan.
Leavening is the most important part of the bread-making process, and yeast is the most commonly used substance, which is typically considered a vegan food. You may find some plant-eaters (a very small minority) questioning the vegan status of yeast or avoiding it because it’s a living organism.
However, the argument does not hold any weight as yeast is essentially not an animal but a type of fungus.
Many crescent roll recipes use yeast as the leavening agent, but some use baking powder instead (Pillsbury crescent rolls have baking powder). That, too, is vegan-friendly.
Salt and Sugar
Salt is vegan in every way, but sugar isn’t. The type of sugar most commonly used in the commercial food industry is refined using bone char, making it a controversial ingredient in the vegan community.
Wondering why controversial and not non-vegan?
Because many still consume it on the premise that the widespread use of refined sugar in the food industry makes it impossible to avoid it. However, some still do or, at least, try to avoid it wherever they can.
This is where things are most likely to go south for vegans in a crescent roll recipe. Like most bread, crescent roll dough requires fat to get its signature softness, moisture, and light texture. Fat also adds richness and a lot of flavor to these bread rolls.
Some recipes use butter, whereas others use shortening. The latter is sometimes made from plant sources and makes crescent rolls qualify as vegan-friendly. But the ones containing butter or regular (animal-based) shortening become unsuitable for vegans.
One more thing that needs to be discussed here is that although some crescent roll recipes use vegetable shortening, it contains palm oil (as is the case with Pillsbury crescent rolls), which raises concerns for many vegans.
Every crescent roll recipe requires liquid in some form to combine the ingredients and make dough.
Some people/brands use the good ol’ plain water for this purpose, and some add milk to give a creamier flavor to their crescent roll dough. While both work fine to create a perfect crescent roll dough, milk makes it inedible for vegans.
Do Crescent Rolls Contain Eggs?
Crescent rolls do not typically contain eggs. However, considering that many versions of crescent roll recipes and varieties now exist, it is very much possible that you will find one that has eggs in it.
This is why I said you should always check the list of crescent rolls ingredients.
What Brands of Crescent Rolls are Vegan?
Fortunately, many of the crescent roll brands available on the market offer vegan-friendly crescent roll varieties. The most widely known ones include:
- Trader Joe’s
- Immaculate Baking Company
It’s important to note that when I say crescent rolls from these brands are vegan, I refer to the plain (original) variety. Other varieties of crescent rolls from the same brands might contain some potentially non-vegan or controversial ingredients, so (once again) always check before buying/eating.
Conclusion – Are Crescent Rolls Vegan-Friendly?
Crescent rolls can be vegan-friendly or non-vegan, depending on their ingredients. Many brands offer vegan crescent roll varieties, but a few use animal ingredients, like animal fat and/or dairy, making them unsuitable for vegans.
Various fancier crescent rolls may also contain animal-based and/or controversial ingredients.
To avoid any mistakes, it’s best to always check ingredients before purchasing crescent rolls or making your own. Here’s a simple and quick vegan crescent roll recipe for your reference…
Looking to expand your vegan bread options but can’t find any new varieties? Check out my article Best Vegan Naan Brands to elevate your meals with this classic Indian flatbread.