I’m not sure about other parts of the country, but anyone from central Texas isn’t wondering what a kolache is. As a kid I have fond memories of stopping in West, Texas , a Czech community on I-35 in between Austin and Dallas, for kolaches. I made them once in college, right when I was beginning to really enjoy baking, but I haven’t made them since, which is a shame! I was really excited to have the opportunity to try them again this month.
The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!
We were given the option of making 3 different types of kolaches. I’d never heard of the first two types, Prague Kolach and Kolache from Chodsko. Both looked so beautiful but were larger scale, more like a cake or tart, and would be better for a group breakfast. The Moravian kolaches are the type I am more familiar with and they lend themselves better to sharing and enjoying over a few days since they are individual servings.
My favorite kind of kolache are cream cheese and fruit filled. The recipe we were given for this month used a quark filling, something I’d never heard of. After looking in to it I found that it’s a cheese spread, somewhat similar to cream cheese. Instead of searching it out I opted to follow the same instructions and use the dough recipe provided but make a cream cheese filling. I took another short cut and bought a can of raspberry filling instead of making my own.
The dough recipe seemed weird to me, powdered sugar instead of granulated. I looked up quite a few other recipes before finally deciding to just go with the one we were given. It turned out really well! It rose nicely, was a breeze to roll out and cut and tasted just like kolache bread should.
When I made kolaches 10 years ago I rolled them into balls, made a little hole in the center and filled it with the fruit. These kolaches are interesting in their assembly. You divide the dough into discs, flatten it out, dollop on some cream cheese filling, wrap the dough around it and then make an indentation for the fruit. It creates more of a layer of cream cheese that melds with the bread instead of a mass of cream cheese filling. Since this was my first time making these I went easy on the filling and had quite a bit left. I’d definitely use more cream cheese filling next time.
I loved the raspberry filling, nice and tart and it paired well with the cream cheese and the bread. Poppy seed is traditional and I have seen many recipes with prune/plum filling. I had grand plans to make another batch with pumpkin filling, but my grand plans rarely come to fruition. Maybe next time.
The streusel topping, posypka, is beautiful and delicious. Don’t skip it and don’t skimp on it! You won’t use all of the recipe below, but it freezes well. So save it for later or make another batch of kolache.
These are best the day they’re made, but are still quite good for a couple days, especially warmed just slightly in the microwave. Just watch out for the fruit filling. It gets really hot and your mouth will not forgive you for days.
If you haven’t tried kolache before, I encourage you to! They’re fun to make and will yield tasty rewards. Enjoy!
Raspberry and Cream Cheese Moravian Kolache
Makes 10 large kolaches
- 3-2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup milk, warm
- 1/3 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 4 teaspoons yeast
- pinch of salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg for egg wash
Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 can fruit or poppy seed filling
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons butter, chilled
- In a small bowl mix together yeast and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar. Add 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) warm milk, mix well and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes.
- In a bowl of your electric mixer (or in a large bowl) mix flour, sugar, salt, egg yolks, butter, milk and leavened yeast. Knead with dough hook (or with wooden spoon) on low speed for about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for one to two hours until doubled in volume.
Cream Cheese Filling
- Beat together all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
- Using a pastry blender combine all ingredients and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 340°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Roll gently to a thickness of about 1 cm. Using a 3-inch cutter make as many rounds as you can. Re roll the scraps and cut as many more as you can.
- Take a dough round and flatten it a bit more. Scoop on some of the cream cheese mixture, about 1 tablespoon. Gather the dough around the cream cheese and pinch it together. Place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place 5-6 on each cookie sheet, well spaced.
- Brush the tops of each with egg wash and using the back of a spoon make an indentation in each. Fill with raspberry filling and sprinkle with posypka.
- Bake one sheet at a time, 15-20 minutes until tops are beginning to become golden.
- Let cool briefly and then eat up!