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Biscuit vs. Croissant

Biscuit vs. Croissant | Alabama Sawyer

October 05, 2020

What are the differences between a biscuit and croissant? If given the choice between a biscuit or a croissant, which would you pick? 

Living in the south means I’ve probably eaten as many biscuits as there are Alexander Shunnarah* billboards, so I feel pretty familiar with them at this point. Biscuits tend to be circular and dense, and can be found sitting (or drowning) in my grandmother’s homemade gravy. 

That being said, I’ll take any excuse to throw on a goofy French accent and chow down on some croissants. But you don’t need to channel your inner Marion Cotillard to enjoy a good croissant. Speaking of French accents, “croissant” is French for crescent- which makes sense considering the shape of the food. 

So before I go any further, let’s look at some concrete differences between the biscuit and the croissant:

Biscuit Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons butter

¾ cup milk

Croissant Ingredients 

1 ounce fresh yeast

3 ½ cups unbleached flour

¼ cup white or brown packed sugar

2 teaspoons salt

1 cup milk

1 pound unsalted butter

2 tablespoons flour, for dusting

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

The most surprising thing here is that croissants require way more butter than biscuits. How can that be? Aren’t southerners famous for sweating, bathing in, and generally worshipping butter? 

Apart from butter quantity, none of these differences are all that surprising. Biscuits aren’t as fluffy as croissants because the recipe doesn’t call for yeast. Croissants are much less dense and tend to have more layers. I could keep going, but the basic idea is that biscuits and croissants vary wildly in taste, texture, density, and shape.  

What About Taste?

You probably noticed that I never even brought taste into the discussion. Mostly because it boils down to preference. Personally, I think croissants are way better tasting. The fluffy & flaky texture has always been more appealing to me than a hard crunchy biscuit. 

So to address the question of personal preference I posed in the second sentence: I’ll take croissant for 500, Trebek. 

*If you don’t live in Alabama, then you’ve probably never encountered an Alexander Shunnarah billboard. Alexander Shunnarah is a local attorney who has a bunch of billboards throughout Alabama- these billboards are what make him famous.