They call it the Poznan Croissant Museum. I’m not sure if a museum is the right word for this place. More like the experience! The St. Martin Croissants are super unique and special. In fact, they are so special that they are protected. Yes, they are legally protected – not only in Poland but in all of the EU. Come with us to the Poznan Croissant Museum, or Rogalowe Muzeum Poznania, as it is called in Poland.
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Poznan Croissant Museum
Did you know that the Rogale Świętomarcińskie (in Polish) or the St. Martin Croissants are only allowed to be made in the region of Poznan? I have heard of local produce before but this is taking it to a whole new level. We were pretty skeptical visiting this place. I mean how interesting can a museum about croissants be? Let me take it all back! This place is awesome!
Not so much a museum, more like an interactive experience where you get to make a batch of the famous (and protected) croissants. In fact, it’s the recipe that is protected and you have to use the EXACT recipe to be able to call them by their name. However, like all the designer bags that have cheap knockoff – so do these croissants have their fakes. There are people selling knockoffs and calling them something like Martin Croissants. So to be sure that you really taste the real deal – make sure to visit the museum! Or make sure that the bakery has a sign allowing them to make the croissants.
The Croissant Experience in Poznan, Poland
There is a story behind the croissants and why they came to be so famous. It has to do with St. Martin’s horse that lost a shoe (that’s why they are shaped like a horseshoe). It is part of a charity action “Help your neighbors survive winter” and where they made the croissants and gave them to poor people. They have been made since 1891 so that’s really impressive.
A genuine St. Martin’s croissant should be made from puff pastry and filled 35 percent with a white poppy seed filling. The weight is also strictly defined – between 150 and 250 g. Talk about strict baking!!! And it takes time like crazy to make them. Since they are supposed to have 81 layers – yes 81 layers of pastry before they are done. And between every three layers, you have to wait 30 minutes. So now you’re thinking that we were at the museum working but that’s not how it works. At the museum, you only get to do some parts of the baking and there is no waiting!
Let’s get interactive at the croissant museum
According to bakers, every year the locals consume about 700 000 croissants (120 tonnes) on St. Martins day, 11:th of November. And they are always made the same way. So let’s get back to the museum and to the experience of making the famously protected croissants. Mini and I
got super lucky! On our tour, there was us and about 50 children from a nearby school. So much fun and not noisy at all!!! No I’m joking because it was actually not that bad. The teachers made sure that the kids behaved.
So with our guides Boleslaw and Janek we all started to make the croissants together and with some fun information along the way. But first, we had to learn some traditional words in “Poznanian”. Like “syry” means cheese in polish but feet in Poznanian. It’s the old dialect that’s different from the rest of Poland. And no one washed their hands before playing with the dough. I told Mini that and after a few seconds, Boleslaw said the same thing. But he said that it’s not necessary because the germs will all die in the oven. I’m pretty sure that it was a joke – or at least I hope so.
Interactive and fun making the St. Martin Croissants
There were jokes and a lot of laughter during the making of the goodies. And then it was time for tasting (not the once we made) – with some goodies that they came out with. And yes the Rogale Świętomarcińskie are super good! I loved them and Mini thought that they tasted nice. One thing that I missed was that I would love to be able to buy some of the croissants with me and I did not see that you could do that. I love the taste of poppy seeds and there are white poppy seeds in the St. Martin croissants. And they are heavy and loaded with “yumminess”.
The whole experience was really fun and great. And to finish this I have a surprise to all of you bakers out there. I have searched and searched and I have the recipe for the St. Martin Croissant. I can not swear that this is the “real” one but I’m pretty sure I got the right one. And then I also have a secret to tell you guys… Some of the “faked” St. Martin Croissants might actually taste better because the bakers are free to add whatever they want to the pastries. Like maybe some cinnamon?! And another thing… I love butter, not margarine. And the croissants are made with margarine and not butter because that was cheaper and you are not allowed to change the recipe.
Recipe for Saint Martin Croissants – 15 of them
Poppy Seed filling:
- 25 gram White poppy seed
- 300 gram Crushed Biscuits
- 1 cup Sugar
- 120 gram Nuts
- 120 gram Raisins
- 400 gram Margarine
- 10 milliliter Almond essence (1 small bottle)
- 120 gram Orange Peel
- 2 Eggs
- 4,5 cups Wheat Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 cube of yeast
- 1/2 cup of Sugar
- 1 cup of Warm Milk
- 1/2 cup of Oil
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 300 gram Margarine
For the Finishing:
- 200 gram of Sugar Paste
- 70 gram Crushed Walnuts
This is how you do the Saint Martin Croissants
Make sure you have all the ingredients and that you have loads of time. Let’s face it – it will take you a few hours so be sure to fill up on patients to! The process requires commitment :).
Start with the Poppy Seed filling:
- Rinse the white poppy seeds and leave them for about an hour so they dry.
- Filter the poppy seeds and grind them so they get fine-grained.
- Put the grained poppy seeds in a pan.
- Add sugar and margarine and fry it at a low heat. Make sure that it doesn’t get burned.
- Add the raisins, peanuts and almond essence and mix it together into a nice paste.
- Cover the paste and place it in a cool place. Now it’s time to do the dough!
Time for the dough:
- Take the wheat flour. Add dissolved yeast in milk, sugar, eggs and salt.
- Mix it all together until you get a resistant mass.
- Add the oil. Combine with the dough and work the dough for a few minutes.
- It can not take too long to work the dough because it should be lightly coiled and cool.
- Mold the dough into a rectangle, cover with foil and cool in the refrigerator.
- The cooled dough should be put on the table and re-rolled into a rectangle.
Let’s create the croissants:
- Take the rectangle shaped dough and spread margarine on it.
- Fold the dough three times and roll the dough out again. A tip is to stick the ends together so that the margarine doesn’t get out of the dough.
- Redo the process another 4 time until you get 81 layers of dough and margarine.
- Now it’s time to put the dough in the refrigerator for another 5 – 10 hours! Yes, patience is a virtue!
Soon the croissants are ready!
- Take the rolled out dough and cut it into triangles. Use a good knife. At the croissant museum, they used a real sword!!!
- Put the filling into a plastic bag and cut the tip off.
- Spread the filling onto the dough.
- Roll the croissants, It’s best to start from the base. Don’t forget to shape then like a horseshoe!
- Now it’s time to cower the croissants and wait until they rise to twice their size.
- Warm up the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Put some eggs on with a brush over the croissants.
- Bake them for 20 minutes.
Ok, so the last thing is to cover them with the sugar paste and some crushed walnuts. Make sure that they weigh around 250 grams and then you’re done!
Yes, so that’s how you make the Saint Martin Croissants. Or you just visit the museum in Poznan and eat the croissants while there!
Good to know before you go to the Poznan Croissant Museum
Address: Stary Rynek 41, first floor. Entrance from Klasztornej 23. You see the museum from the square but you enter it from another street.
Opening hours: 11:10 – croissant + goat show – In Polish. 12:30 – croissant show – In Polish. 13:45 – croissant show. In English on Saturdays and Sundays (all year round) and daily (except Mondays) in summer season (July-August-September). 15:00 – croissant show – In Polish.
They are closed on Mondays and on holidays.
A tip is to book the 11:10 t0ur if you want to see the goats. On the downside – you need to understand Polish because it’s not in English during that time!