Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Homemade Kolaches

A kolach is a type of Czech pastry holding a dollop of fruit filling surrounded by a soft, fluffy dough.  If you've ever made the drive between my hometown and Waco, Texas then you know all about the delightful town of West, Texas.  It's home to several authentic Czech bakeries and our favorite is The Czech Stop.  No one around here makes a trip to Waco without filling up their gas tank AND their bellies at The Czech Stop.  They are known far and wide for their homemade kolaches.  You can get just about every filling under the sun from cottage cheese to chocolate and apple to raspberry.  Until I wrote this blog I thought you could also get them with a savory filling like sausage, jalapeno or egg.  Upon doing a little research I found out the savory kolaches are a variation called klobasnek. Basically a Czech version of Pigs in a Blanket.  It is said Czech settlers created the klobasnek version once they immigrated to Texas.  Which sounds entirely accurate that someone would learn to stuff a pastry with a spicy jalapeno sausage one they moved to Texas.  Both the sweet and savory versions are wonderful and I've used this dough for both.  I used a smoked sausage, but feel free to add breakfast link-style sausage, scrambled egg, cheese or whatever else you can think of. 

Homemade Kolaches with
apricot filling and raspberry filling...
Homemade "klobasnek" with smoke sausage...

Homemade Kolaches

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
7 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 melted unsalted butter
sausages or filling of your choice (if you prefer savory)
canned pie filling  of your choice (if you prefer sweet)

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the milk just to the scalding point.  Add the 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/2 cup sugar and the salt.  Stir to dissolve sugar and melt butter.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool until lukewarm in temperature.  In another bowl, dissolve the packet of yeast in the warm water with 1 teaspoon of sugar.  Let set about 5 minutes until yeast begins to appear foamy.  Add to the cooled milk mixture.  Place mixture in the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with a bread dough attachment.  Mix in flour to make a medium soft dough. Place dough in a greased bowl.  Cover with a towel and let sit in a warm place until doubled in bulk.   Once dough has doubled in size, punch dough down.  Divide dough into pieces about the size of an egg.  Flatten each piece of dough to a 3-inch diameter circle.  Place a sausage (or pie filling) in the center of the dough and pinch the opposite ends of the dough together .  Place close together but not touching in a greased 9x13-inch baking pan.  (I wound up with one pan of savory and one pan of sweet)  Brush the tops of the kolaches with the 1/3 cup of melted butter.  Cover lightly with a towel and allow to rise again until doubled in size.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree F oven about 18-20 minutes or until a delicate golden brown.  Best eaten warm, but delicious cold too!

Prep Time:  Approximately 2 hrs (needs to rise)  Cook Time:  Approximately 20 minutes

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