Saint Martin’s CroissantsDifficulty: Hard
A St. Martin’s Croissant is a traditional pastry of Poland, prepared in celebration of the Feast Day of St. Martin on November 11th. The making of a St. Martin’s Croissant is a serious affair. The recipe is protected under European Union law and true St. Martin’s Croissants must adhere to strict guidelines regarding ingredients, shape, and weight. Our recipe is an easier (but still tricky) variation of the original. Traditionally a white poppy seed filling, which requires special equipment to make, is used. We have opted to use canned poppy seed filling which uses black poppy seeds instead.
Ingredients (Scale needed for this recipe)
1 can poppy seed filling
- Croissant Dough
160 ml milk, room temperature
400 grams all-purpose flour, sifted
48 grams unsalted butter, melted then cooled
48 grams plus 2 teaspoons of sugar
10 grams yeast, room temperature
110 grams butter, frozen, grated
pinch of salt
80 grams powdered sugar
2 – 3 tablespoons water
50 grams almond flakes
- Mix the yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 40 ml of room temperature milk, and 1 teaspoon of flour together in a bowl. Cover and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the egg and sugar for a few minutes, until fluffy. Wipe down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the rest of the flour, rest of the milk, a pinch of salt, the melted butter and the prepared yeast mixture to the stand mixer bowl. Using a dough hook on the stand mixer, knead together for 5 – 10 minutes or until a dough forms. Once a dough forms, transfer to a clean counter and continue kneading by hand until the dough becomes soft, flexible and not overly sticky.
- Make the dough into a ball and place it back in the mixing bowl. Cover it with a cloth, place it in a warm place, and let the dough rise for about an hour.
- After this time, gently deflate the dough with your fist before rolling it into a large rectangular shape on a floured counter using a floured rolling pin. The dough should be three times longer than it is wide and no more than a centimeter thick.
- Grate the frozen butter on the ? part of the rectangle on the left side and leave ? the right side blank.
- Now fold the dough, like a letter, starting with the right 1/3 part without butter. Fold the unbuttered section in towards the center, covering the center 1/3 of buttered dough. Then fold the left 1/3 of dough on top of the rest, creating 3 layers of dough and 2 layers of butter.
- Turn the “folded” dough 90° and repeat the process of rolling the dough into a rectangle about 1 cm thick. Fold the dough again using the same method in Step 7. Wrap the twice folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Repeat this folding action two more times, each time cooling the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes in between. Line a baking tray with baking paper while the dough is cooling.
- Roll out the prepared dough into a long rectangle about half a centimeter thick. Using a dough cutter or knife, cut the dough into triangles.
- Spread an even layer of the poppy seed filling on top of each triangle. Be careful not to place too much filling or it will pour out when rolling. Cut a small notch in the middle of the base of the triangle before rolling the dough into the shape of a croissant, starting with the wide end and rolling towards the small end. (The notch in the base allows you to add a little more curve to the croissant shape.) Make sure the small end is tucked underneath and be sure to curve the side of the croissants to have the classic curved, horseshoe shape.
- Place the rolled croissants on the baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover the croissants with a cloth and let them rise for about 40 minutes until noticeably puffy.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through. Allow the croissants to cool briefly on the pan before placing them on a rack to cool completely.
- While the croissants are cooling, prepare the icing by mixing the powdered sugar and water. Make the icing thicker by adding more sugar or thinner by adding more water. Once the croissants are completely cooled, drizzle the icing on the croissants and sprinkle with almond flakes.
Helpful Tip for Steps 6 – 11:
- Temperature and speed are important when lamenting dough. Complete the folding process as quickly as possible to avoid the butter melting. Keeping the kitchen cold also helps give you a little more time to complete the process without it becoming a buttery mess!