Here are the authentic Viennese crescent rolls, based on the “Danish” sweet dough. Granted, with less sugar and no egg yolks in the dough, French croissants are flakier, but the jury is out as to which country’s crescents are the most delicious.
If you are serving these for a brunch, make the dough the night before and roll it out the next morning. Allow 2 hours for the rolls to rise and another 20 minutes for them to bake.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch square. Cover the dough with plastic and let rest for 5 minutes. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a pastry wheel or very sharp knife (you want clean cuts so the layers are not compressed), cut the dough in half lengthwise, making two 6 X 12-inch strips. Working with one strip at a time, stretch and pull out the upper right corner to bring the right side to an approximate 45-degree angle. Pull the lower left corner out to bring the left side to a 45-degree angle. Starting at the lower left corner, mark 4 inches in on the bottom of the strip. From this point, cut up diagonally to the upper left corner to make a 6-inch triangle with a 4-inch base. Make a mark 4inches in on the top edge of the strip, and cut diagonally from the left corner to make another triangle. Continue in this manner to cut out four more triangles. Repeat with the other strip. If the dough has softened, refrigerate the triangles until they are chilled and firmer.
Roll out a triangle on a lightly floured surface to make it wider (about 5½inches) and longer (about 7inches). Starting at the base of the triangle, roll up the triangle. Place it point side down on the baking sheet, and curve it into a crescent. Repeat with the remaining triangles, placing them 1½inches apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until the crescents look puffed (they won’t double in volume), about 2 hours. Be patient; it takes time for the chilled dough to rise.
Position the racks in the center and top third of the oven and heat to 400°F. Beat the egg and salt in a small bowl. Brush the tops of the crescents with the egg glaze. Bake, switching the sheets from top to bottom and front to back after 10 minutes, until the crescents are golden brown, about 20 minutes. (The crescents may seem a bit underdone inside at this point, but they will cook further as they cool.) Let cool completely on the sheets.