Friday, February 7, 2014


Kolaches:  a Czech or Slavic pastry that is filled with a semi-sweet fruity filling.   
Also known as one of my favorite things.  My mom used to make them and use an apricot filling.  However, I decided to treat my husband and use an almond filling - and they turned out very rich and yummy.  I also made a few cream cheese/strawberry ones - which the teenager tends to prefer.  Give these a try, they are wicked good.  Although, you may think they look complicated - they really are not.  Rather, you do need a few hours to make them, but it is mostly wait-time for the dough to rise.


1  Cup Milk, room temp
10  Tablespoons  Butter, melted
1  large Egg
2  large Egg Yolks, whites reserved
3-1/2  Cups  Flour
1/3  Cup  Sugar
2-1/4  teaspoons  Rapid-Rise Yeast or instant yeast
1-1/2  teaspoons  Salt 

2 Cups Jam or Fruit Preserves

Streusel Topping:
2  Tablespoons -plus- 2 teaspoons  Flour
2  Tablespoons -plus- 2 teaspoons  Sugar
1  Tablespoon  Butter, chilled and cut into 8 pieces

Reserved Egg Whites, beaten with 1 Tablespoon Milk

For the Dough:
Step 1:  Grease a large bowl, set aside.

Step 2:  Whisk the milk, melted butter, egg and yolks together in a medium bowl.

Step 3:  In a mixer bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together.  Fit mixer with the dough hook, add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and knead on low speed until no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes.  Increase the speed to medium and knead until dough clears the sides of the bowl but still sticks to the bottom of the bowl, about 8 to 12 minutes.  If the dough hasn't cleared the bowl after 12 minutes, add more a little more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.  

Step 4:  Transfer the dough to greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Adjust the oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions.  Place dough on the lower-middle rack and place a loaf pan on the upper-middle rack.  Pour 3 cups of boiling water into loaf pan, close oven door, and let dough rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Step 5:  While the dough is rising, you can prepare your the streusel.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and butter stir/mash with a fork until the mixture resembles wet sand.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Step 6:  Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 7:  Remove the dough from the oven and punch it down.  Dump it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Then, divide the dough into 16 equal pieces.  The easiest way to do this is to cut the dough in half.  and then keep cutting each piece of dough in half until you've got 16 pieces.  Form each piece into a smooth, tight ball.  Arrange 8 balls on each baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Place the baking sheets in the oven, replace the water in the loaf pan with 3 fresh cups of boiling water, close the oven door and let them rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.

Step 8:  Remove the baking sheets and loaf pan from the oven.  Heat the oven to 350*.  Grease and flour the bottom of a 1/3 measuring cup (or a 2-1/4-inch-diameter drinking glass).  Make a deep indentation in the center of each dough ball by slowly pressing until the cup touches sheet.  The perimeter of the dough balls will deflate slightly.

Step 9:  Gently brush the Kolaches all over with the egg-milk mixture.

Step 10:  Place about 2 scant tablespoons of jam into the center of the dough and sprinkle with streusel.  Repeat this until all Kolaches have been filled and sprinkled with the streusel.

Step 11:  Bake for 10 minutes.  Then, rotate the pans and bake another 10 minutes, until they are golden brown.  Let cool enough to touch before serving.  Makes 16 Kolache.

To store them, place into an air-tight container and layer with wax paper between the Kolaches.  They should keep about a week.

Tips:  For a cream cheese and fruit filling, combine 1 cup of cream cheese and 1 cup of jam together.  For a less sweet filling, use jarred baby food (fruit).  

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