Introduction: Kolaches (Czech Pastry)
Ah, Kolaches. If you grew up in an area with Czechoslovakian roots, you've had these. I remember eating these for breakfast growing up. These are also one of the biggest sellers in the town of West, TX. The recipe I am sharing with you is a variation from Ganado, TX that is very close to what I grew up with.
Step 1: Ingredients.
You will need:
2 packages of yeast
2.5 cups warm milk
3/4 cups sugar
7.5 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening
3 beaten eggs
Note: This recipe yields about 50 pastries. It's possible to reduce the recipe down for a smaller batch, but I chose to follow the original recipe for the sake of ease.
Step 2: Fillings
You can fill these with nearly anything you like. For today's batch we are using 4 different fillings:
Peaches and Cream
The homemade apple is made by peeling and dicing 3 medium apples. Place in a sauce pan with 3/4 cups sugar, 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, 3 tbsp water, and a tsp. cinnamon. Simmer on medium heat until the apples become soft and translucent (app. 20 mins.)
Allow to cool before adding to pastries.
The cream cheese is a recipe we found on all-recipes. Simply mix 8 oz. of cream cheese with 1 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Mix well and add to pastry before baking.
Note: You will have a lot of filling left over with these portions. You can reduce the amounts or you can make something else while you are at it.
Note: For the peaches and cream pie filling, we pureed it to make it easier to spoon into the pastries.
Step 3: Mix
Mix the yeast, milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 3 cups of flour. Set aside for 30 minutes. This will allow a small amount of rise.
After time is up, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. let it set for 20 minutes.
Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Note, This is a very sticky dough when mixing. In order to really incorporate the ingredients well, I recommend hand mixing. Additionally, it's not a bad idea to smear a small amount of shortening on your hands to prevent sticking.
Step 4: Form and Fill
Pinch off golf ball size pieces and roll into balls. Place on greased baking sheet. Punch in center of dough and add filling of your
choice. About a TBSP is enough.
Note: Try not to overwork the dough at this point. You don't want them to get tough!
Step 5: Bake.
Bake at 350 for 18 minutes. The pastries will not brown up much. We like to brush them with melted butter while they are still hot. It tends to soften the crust and make them melt in your mouth good.
You can eat them as soon as they are cool enough. They go great with coffee, hot chocolate, or cold milk.
These do not keep for more than 3 days so I recommend giving them to friends, co-workers, family, etc. It's also recommended to refrigerate them if you went with the cream cheese filling.
Thanks for reading and enjoy!