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A croissant is a buttery, flaky, viennoiserie pastry named for its well-known crescent shape. Croissants and other viennoiserie are made of a layered yeast-leavened dough. The dough is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, in a technique called laminating. The process results in a layered, flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry.

Crescent-shaped food breads have been made since the Renaissance, and crescent-shaped cakes possibly since antiquity.

Croissants have long been a staple of Austrian and French bakeries and p?tisseries. In the late 1970s, the development of factory-made, frozen, pre-formed but unbaked dough made them into a fast food which can be freshly baked by unskilled labor. The croissanterie was explicitly a French response to American-style fast food, and today 30–40% of the croissants sold in French bakeries and patisseries are baked from frozen dough.

Croissants are a common part of a continental breakfast.

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