Saint Martin’s Croissants
Saint Martin Croissants is a traditional baked pastry filled with white poppy and prepared on 11th of November to celebrate the day of Saint Martin in Poznan (a city in west-central Poland). This tradition originates from pagan times, when during the autumn holidays folding gods sacrifice of oxen or as a substitute - the rolled dough into a shape of oxen horns.
The Church took over this practice, combining it with Saint Martin person. The history of baking croissants began in 1891 when the parish priest of St. Martin church - John Lewicki, appealed to the faithful to model patron did something for the poor. Saint Martin was known for his kindness and help the poor. As the legend goes, one day visiting the faithful on his white horse lost a horseshoe, which found the local baker and he formed the oxen horns shape of the dough with almonds. When the croissants were baked - keeping in mind the intentions of the saint - he gave them to the needy.
And so St. Martin Croissants hit the streets of Poznan, where wealthier Poznanians bought a treat, and the poor were given it for free. Croissants have proved so successful that the custom of baking in 1901 took over Confectioners Association. For several years the European Union has also certifies St. Martin's croissant as a regional product Protected Geographical Indication.
It is true that their preparation is a little time consuming (although the division of work for 2 days, it is not so tiring), but after the first bite you confirm that you do not regret the time spent 🙂 They are just tale tasty. Ideally delicate pastry, delicious, flavourful filling and crowning the icing topping with chopped almond.
- Makes 18-24 Croissants
- plain white flour - 1000g plus extra for dusting
- dried yeast - 20g
- milk - 400ml (lukewarm)
- caster sugar - 120g
- eggs - 3
- unsalted butter - 80g
- salt - a pinch
- unsalted butter - 320g (frozen)
- white poppy seeds - 500g
- caster sugar - 300g
- honey - 200g
- eggs - 5
- unsalted butter - 80g
- raisins - 80g (chopped)
- walnuts - 50g (chopped)
- ground almonds - 100g
- candied orange peel - 50g
- marzipan - 100g (chopped)
- cakes - 250g crushed (cookies, muffins, etc. - without cream and fruit, can be with nuts and raisins)
- hot water - 3 tablespoons
- icing sugar - 200g
- lemon juice - 2 tablespoons
- almond flakes - for garnish (chopped)
- To make the filling – one day earlier: Place white poppy seeds in a large bowl and pour boiling water over to soften for 40 minutes. Drain poppies through a cheesecloth covered net sieve. Grind three times poppy seeds using grinder. In a pan, heat 80g of butter, honey and sugar.
Add raisins and candied orange peel, than cook for around 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add ground almond and poppy seeds, than cook for around 10 minutes stirring gently. Cool to room temperature and add crushed cakes. Add the eggs – one egg at a time and mix gently.
- Put the dried yeast and a pinch of sugar into a bowl, add 100ml of warm milk and mix well.
- Cover with a clean cloth and let it grow in a warm place (the temperature will speed up the growth process). When the yeast mixture has doubled its volume, is ready to prepare yeast dough.
- Meanwhile, beat the eggs with sugar in the bowl. Melt 80g of butter and cool slightly.
- Put the sifted flour, yeast mixture and eggs beaten with sugar into a large bowl and mix well to form a dough. Gradually add melted butter.
- Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Cover with a clean cloth and let it rest. Leave the dough in warm place for 30 minutes.
- Coarsely grate the butter on a grater (large holes) and chill in the refrigerate.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll the dough out to a rectangle. Put the cold butter at 2/3 the width of the rectangle and 1/3 remain without butter.
- Take one-third of the pastry (without butter) and fold into the middle. Fold over the remaining third. Roll out again to a similar size as the original rectangle and fold the third to the centre, then the left third over the top. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Repeat the rolling, folding and chilling twice. Wrap in cling film and chill overnight. In this way, we get 81 layers of dough.
- Roll onto a floured surface a long rectangle with a thickness of 5mm and 30cm width. Cut alternating triangles with the basis of 12cm. Place the poppy seeds filling using a piping bag – two strips of the filling - on each triangle leaving 5cm without of filling from the vertex of the triangle. The base of the triangle wrap at about 3 cm and cut through the middle. Gently fold the sides and then roll croissant.
- Place on backing trays lined with baking parchment, leaving space between each.
- Cover with a clean cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake 20 minutes. The croissants are ready when golden brown.
- Once it’s done, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack and spread the icing and
sprinkling with chopped almond. Leave to cool.
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