How to Make Kolaches

Two Methods:The CrustThe Filling

The baking of Kolaches has been a long held tradition in many families. They are usually considered to be either a Czech tradition or a Chastka when they are baked around Christmas time in large batches. They can be eaten anytime, but to many people, the perfect Kolache is enjoyed in the morning with a good cup of coffee.

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 cakes yeast (fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • assorted fillings

Ricotta Cheese Filling (optional):

  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese (or farmer cheese)
  • 1 egg separated
  • 2 Tbsp softened butter
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 c raisins
  • 1 Tbsp milk

Method 1
The Crust

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    Soften yeast in the warm water.
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    Heat milk until almost boiling, continuously stirring so as to avoid skin formation on the top.
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    Dissolve the sugar and salt into the scalded milk.
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    Transfer the milk to a mixing bowl and let cool until lukewarm.
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    Add the yeast, eggs, and shortening to the mixing bowl.
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    Add flour GRADUALLY into the mixing bowl.
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    Knead approximately 60 times for correct consistency.
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    Cover and let rise until doubled in size.
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    Roll out dough to half inch thickness and then let rest for 10 min.
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    Cut out circles approximately 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) in diameter. It is usually easiest to do this with a cookie cutter. If you do not own a cookie cutter, use a glass or cup as a template.
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    Place each of the small circles on an ungreased cookie sheet.
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    Punch depressions into circles with your thumb and fill with around one Tsp of filling.
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    Bake in 400 degree oven for 10-12 min.The key to a good Kolache is all in the dough. Good Kolache dough should be soft and slightly chewy.

Method 2
The Filling

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    Cream the butter, sugar, and yolk together.
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    Blend in cheese, vanilla, raisins (if too thick add a bit more milk).
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    Fold in beaten egg white.
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    Apply liberally to pastry.Almost any type of canned pastry filling will do, but if you want to go the traditional route apricot, prune, or almond is the norm. These can be found at your local grocery store (the “Solo” brand has been found to be particularly good in Kolaches). A favorite of some people, however, is ricotta cheese and raisin, which cannot be found canned.
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    Finished.

Article Info

Categories: Russian and Slavic Cuisine | Baking