Every year on the 11th of November, Poland is celebrating Independence day. Thousands of people are marching in cities across the country on various occasions.
But there is one more tradition which is definitely worth mentioning. And it is a food-related one. In the Wielkopolska region (Greater Poland voivodeship) besides Independence day, people are also celebrating St. Martin’s day. (św. Marcina)
And on that day, people are eating a so-called St. Martin’s croissant. A croissant whose recipe is legally and geographically protected not only in Poland but in the whole European Union.
The history of St. Martin’s croissant.
The history of St. Martin’s croissant started in Poznan in 1891 when a priest called Jan Lewicki said to the Catholics that they should give out something to the poor people.
The legend says that when St. Martin was riding his white horse, he lost 1 of his horseshoes. That was found by one of the bakers who got inspired by its shape and decided to bake a croissant-like that.
The croissant was filled with almonds.
After a few years, the croissant got very popular that it was baked all over the region. The rich people bought it in the bakeries and the poor got it for free.
Since then each year people in Poznan (the main city of Greater Poland) bake and eat thousands of croissants on the 11th of November. According to the latest data, they eat more than 700 thousand croissants only on that day.
The protection of the St. Martin’s croissant.
As I told you before the recipe of St. Martin’s croissant is legally protected in the whole EU. If you want to make an original one it has to be made with local ingredients and according to the rules.
And one last interesting fact is that the original croissant has 81 layers. The dough is folded 3 times, then again 3 times, again 3 times, and at the end 3 times.
In order to give you the best possible recipe, I have decided to use one from a certified St. Martin’s croissant bakery. All the credit goes to them.
The recipe is long and takes up a few hours, but just take your time to stay calm in every situation. Once, the croissants will be ready you will be very happy.
When do I add the cake crumbs and eggs into the filling?
Hi Sarah, you should add the sponge cake crumbs in step 3 when combining the ground poppy seeds with the rest of the ingredients. Also, I have adjusted the recipe and there are 2 egg whites folded into the filling in step 4. I hope this helps. Jan