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.

St. Martin’s croissant. The real Polish classic and one of the most delicious Polish desserts. (Rogal Świętomarciński).
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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.

St. Martin’s croissant. The real Polish classic and one of the most delicious Polish desserts. (Rogal Świętomarciński).
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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.

So how to make the St. Martin’s croissant?

St. Martin's croissant. (Rogal Świętomarciński).
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St. Martin’s croissant. (Rogal Świętomarciński).

Recipe by tasteisyoursCourse: DessertCuisine: PolishDifficulty: Hard
Servings

15

pieces
Prep time

12

hours 
Baking time

20

minutes

The real Polish classic and one of the most delicious Polish desserts.

Ingredients

  • The filling:

  • 1 cup of white poppy seeds

  • 2 cups sponge cake crumbs

  • 1 cup of caster sugar

  • 120g of nuts (a mix of walnuts and almonds is perfect)

  • 120g of raisins

  • 400g of margarine

  • 10ml of almond extract

  • 120g of candied orange peel

  • 2 egg whites

  • The dough:

  • 4 1/2 cups of flour (flour 500)

  • 2 free-range eggs

  • 20g of fresh yeast

  • 1/2 cup of caster sugar

  • 1 cup of warm milk (the best is to use full-fat milk with 3,2% fat)

  • 1/2 cup of oil

  • 2 flat teaspoons of salt

  • 300g of French margarine

  • The frosting:

  • 200g of powdered sugar

  • 70g of chopped walnuts

Directions

  • Place the white poppy seeds into a sifter and rinse under cold running water. Then transfer to a bowl and pour over with hot boiling water. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and leave for at least 60 minutes.
  • After that time drain the poppy seeds from all the excess water. The best is to use a bag for making the nut milk. Transfer the drained poppy seeds into a poppy seed blender and blend twice until smooth.

    Transfer to the pot and add the sugar and the margarine. Mix well and saute for several minutes over medium-low heat. Just be careful and do not let the poppy seeds burn.
  • Add into the filling the nuts (walnuts and almonds), raisins, candied orange peel, almond extract, and sponge cake crumbs, and stir well.
  • Beat 2 egg whites and fold them gently into the mixture. Once ready, place the filling into a cold place (a fridge can be good too) and leave it to cool down completely.
  • Sift the flour into a bigger bowl. Then add the yeast dissolved in the milk, sugar, eggs, and salt. Stir gently until you will have an elastic dough. Then add the oil and knee for a few more minutes.

    The final dough should stay a bit sticky and cold.
  • Place the final dough on a flat surface and roll it out into a rectangle, then cover it with a cling foil and place it into the fridge, and cool down. (remember, the dough should be a size that fits into your fridge)
  • Transfer the cold dough to a flat surface dusted with some flour. Spread the margarine on 2/3 of the dough, leaving 1/3 empty.
  • Now you will fold the dough.

    Fold the left 1/3 of the dough into the center and then the right 1/3 of the dough in the center. Roll out the dough into a rectangle (the same size as your first dough) using just a tiny amount of flour.

    Repeat the folding and the rolling another 3 times.
  • Transfer the dough to the fridge and let it cool completely for 5-10 hours.
  • After the dough is ready, place it again on a flat surface and cut lengthwise into 2 smaller rectangles. Then cut each rectangle into triangles.
  • Spread 2 tablespoons of the filling on each triangle, and roll them like normal croissants. Start the rolling at the base of the triangle.
    At the end curve both ends so the final croissant gets the horseshoe shape. Repeat this step with all the triangles.
  • Place the ready croissants on a flat surface and leave them to rise until they doubled in size.
  • Beat the 2 eggs with water (ratio 1:1) and smear over each croissant.
  • Bake the croissants in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes or until they get brown on top.
  • Make the frosting from the powdered sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of water. The final frosting should be thick enough to stay on top of the croissants.
  • Pour the frosting over the croissants while they are still warm and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts.
  • Enjoy your St. Martin’s croissants.

Notes

  • For blending the poppy seeds do not use a regular blender. It could make the filling runny.
  • If the filling is too thick and the pieces of nuts or raisins are bigger you can blend the filling in the poppy seed blender one more time.
  • Before you start to fold the dough you can stick the sides of the dough together with your fingers. Thanks to this step the margarine will stay inside.
  • In case your frosting is not having the right consistency feel free to add more powdered sugar or water.
St. Martin’s croissant. The real Polish classic and one of the most delicious Polish desserts. (Rogal Świętomarciński).
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