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The people of Poznań on St. Martin’s Day (November 11, 2015) will buy and eat rogale marcińskie, locally produced croissants with almonds and poppy seed filling, made especially for this occasion.

Unlike French croissants, they are crescent-shaped sweetrolls. The Polish croissants also get a confectioner’s sugar glaze, then are topped with chopped peanuts.

Poznań is a city on the Warta river in west-central Poland, in the region called Wielkopolska (Greater Poland). It is best known for its renaissance old town, destroyed during World War II and then rebuilt, and Ostrów Tumski cathedral. After the second partition of Poland Poznań was administrated by Prussia, and then, with the unification of Germany after the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, the province of Posen became part of the German Empire. Furthermore, the city of Posen was officially named an imperial residence city, leading to the construction of the Imperial Castle, the Imperial District, the Opera House, new city walls, railway station and many other sites which make a big part of its landmarks to this day. Today, Poznań is an important cultural and business center and one of Poland’s most populous regions with many regional customs such as Jarmark Świętojański, traditional Saint Martin’s croissants and a local dialect.

Ingredients:

Dough:

1/3 cup flour
4 tsp fresh yeast
1/2 – 1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 package butter
pint of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Glaze:

1/2 lb. of powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk
4-7 tbsp water

Directions:

Combine yeast, few spoons of warm milk and 1 tbsp of sugar until yeast has dissolved.

Blend into flour along with the rest of milk, sugar, egg yolks, salt and vanilla. Mix well.

Add 4 tablespoons melted butter and knead the dough until smooth.

Cover, and let rise until over triple in volume (about an hour). Deflate gently, and let rise again until doubled. Deflate again and chill 1 hour.

Determine that both butter and dough are about the same temperature. 65°F  is perfect. The block of butter shouldn’t break (that means it is too cold), just bend.

Place the dough on a floured work surface and with the hands press it into a 10 square. Lay the block of butter diagonally on the dough. Bring each point of dough into the center, overlapping the edges at least 1. Press the dough into a neat package. With a heavy rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle, approximately 8 x 18.

If the butter seems to be breaking into small pieces under the dough rather than remaining solid, allow the doughbutter to warm a few minutes. If the butter softens and becomes sticky, put the dough back into the refrigerator for few minutes.

Fold the length of dough into thirds, as for a letter. Turn, so that the open ends are at twelve and six o’clock. Roll again into a rectangle. This time, fold both ends into the middle and then close, as one would a book. The dough will be now in 4 layers. Wrap the package of dough in a cloth and place in the refrigerator to chill for 1.5 hours.

To shape, roll dough out to a 20 x 5 inch rectangle. Cut in half crosswise, and chill half while shaping the other half. Roll out to a 15 x 5   inch rectangle. Cut into three 5 x 5 inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally.

Place 1 tablespoon of almond (or almond and poppy seed) filling at the wide edge of the triangle and roll away from you. Place, point side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet forming into a crescent shape. Repeat with the remaining triangles. Cover with plastic and let crescents rise until doubled.

In a small bowl, beat together egg and 1 tablespoon water. Glaze croissants with egg wash

Bake in a preheated 350-375 degrees F oven for 15-20 minutes.

When the pastries have cooled for 30 minutes, brush the tops evenly with the glaze, then sprinkle with chopped peanuts (optional). Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the glaze to set before serving.

  Almond Filling:

  Ingredients:

3/4 cup almonds

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

few spoons of sour cream (enough to keep all ingredients together)

few drops of almond oil

  Directions:

Chope almonds. Mix with confectioners’ sugar and add as much of sour dough as the filling mix will be thick. Note: You can also use poppyseed filling (recipe below). You can buy it ready or replace the third part of almonds with white poppyseed (grinded) To do that put the poppy seeds in the mixing bowl. Pour the water over the seeds until they are just covered. Cover the bowl with the dish towel and allow the poppy seeds and water to stand for one to three hours.Grind the poppy seed mixture with a mortar and pestle or with a food processor.

Poppy Seed Filling:

Ingredients:

1 cup of milk

1/2 a cup of ground poppy seed

1/2 tbsp flour

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cups sugar

1 tbs of butter

Note: some people also ad a pinch of cinnamon and/or cocoa powder. Some ad a bit or rum and raisins to it. Feel free to experiment!

Directions:

Heat milk in a small pot and when it boils add sugar, flour and grinded poppy seed, stirring vigorously. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add butter or margarine and then add vanilla. Cool filling before adding onto the dough.

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