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- Dish type
- Biscuits and cookies
- Fruit biscuits and cookies
Kolache are Czech biscuits traditionally made with a yeast dough and fruit filling. In this version a non-yeasted dough is used.
38 people made this
- For the filling
- 100g (4 oz) dried apricots
- 350ml (12 fl oz) water
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- For the dough
- 225g (8 oz) butter, softened
- 1 (200g) tub cream cheese, softened
- 150g (5 oz) caster sugar
- 250g (9 oz) plain flour
MethodPrep:1hr15min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:1hr40min
- To make filling: Combine apricots and water in heavy saucepan and cook covered over medium heat for 10 minutes or until apricots are soft. Continue to cook UNCOVERED 5 to 10 minutes or until most of the water has been absorbed.
- Mash apricots, stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and let filling cool. Set aside.
- To make dough: Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy; add 150g sugar and beat well. Add flour and mix well. Shape dough into ball and chill 1 hour.
- Turn dough onto well-floured surface, working with only half the dough. Roll into .25cm thickness and cut into 5cm squares. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of apricot filling into the centre of the square. Bring four corners to centre, pinching to seal.
- Bake at 200 C / Gas mark 6 for about 15 minutes. You may baste the kolache with butter halfway through baking period, if desired.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(30)
Reviews in English (27)
Altered ingredient amounts.Great recipe! I added 4 tbsp extra flour to dough, due to previous review that it was too sticky to work with and my dough came out fine. I divided my dough into 3 parts and rolled out each part, spread filling and cut into triangles like a pizza. Each wedge was then rolled up like croissants. To the apricot filling I added and extra tbsp. sugar. My kids and family loved them.-21 Jul 2008
These turned out well. I chilled my dough a little longer than an hour because it still seemed a little too soft when I checked it. I will definately try these with other fillings.-21 Jul 2008
The dough was very soft and despite using a well-floured surface to roll it on, I couldn't fold up the corners. I put the smeared little lumps on parchment to prevent scorching, and they did taste good.-21 Jul 2008
Here is a recipe for koláče, typical Slovak (and Czech and Moravian) sweet treats. Here in the US, this word, or at least it’s English version, kolache has come to mean the nut and poppy seed rolls. But this is not quite right. The word koláč (the singular form) is a generic term for anything sweet and baked – sort of like cake in English. The nut and poppy rolls are called orechovník and makovník. But even the modern Slovak meaning is not right. In the past, koláče (the plural form) referred to circular breads with sweet filling in the middle. This history is still retained in the name itself. The word koláč shares a root with kolo and koleso, both meaning a wheel. And of course, these terms surely derive from an even more ancient language (Greek perhaps?).
These old traditional circular baked goodies are popular at fairs (jarmoky). My hometown of Banská Bystrica is famous for a huge fair, Radvanský jarmok. This ancient fair is said to be the king of fairs. And for a good reason. It has been held in September for now over 340 years! It all started back in 1655 when then a village of Radvaň held its first market. Much has changed since then, the village has merged into the city to become one of its “suburbs”: Radvaň is now one of the two main residential parts (called sídlisko, the other is Sásová in the north end). The fair has also migrated to the center of town and is now held in conjunction with “Banská Bystrica Days“. But it is still a great place to find unique crafts and sample various culinary delicacies. In that article, in the second picture from the top, you can see another popular offering at Slovak fairs: gingerbread hearts. These are always lavishly decorated and sometimes even contain a mirror baked into the dough. Such hearts were given by boys to their loved ones, and in the past, mirrors were not as common as they are now so they were highly prized. That is at least the explanation I was given…
Ingredients: sweet leavened dough, your favorite toppings (plum jam, poppy seeds, walnuts, and farmer’s cheese are traditional)
Poppy seed / walnut filling: ground poppy seeds/walnuts, powdered sugar, milk
Tvaroh filling: farmer’s cheese, powdered sugar, raisins, egg
Prep time: 1 hour, plus few hours to the dough rise
Start by preparing the sweet leavened dough (click on the link for the recipe). While the dough is rising, prepare your favorite filling. Check out the poppy seed roll recipe for the poppy and walnut filling, and the tvaroh cake recipe for the farmer’s cheese filling. I also used plum jam (slivkový lekvár), which I found in a Russian grocery store under “plum butter”. You will also find steps for preparing these same fillings in the Christmas Eve cake recipe.
Once the dough is ready, transfer it onto a dusted board and roll out to about 4mm thick.
Then take a tall drinking glass and dust the rim with flour. Turn the glass upside down and use a twisting motion to cut out a circle. Then turn it the right side up and use the flat base to press out the edges. Or use a tablespoon, your fingers, or even a fancy kolache press. Spoon your favorite topping into the dimple.
Transfer the filled kolache onto a greased baking sheet. Brush the edges with egg yolk. Let rise while you preheat your oven the 400F. Bake for about 15 minutes until the edges turn light brown color. The poppy seed koláč went into the oven solo: my baking pan was filled with a nut roll, buchty and tvarožník. There was simply no room for it!
And that’s it, homemade koláče. Enjoy!
And for a slightly different version, checkout Alena’s recipe.
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Adapted from an award-winning recipe provided by Dorothy Kubena, a longtime participant in Caldwell’s Kolache Festival, these kolaches feature sour cream in the dough for extra tenderness.
- 1 c. sour cream
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
- 2 pkgs. dry yeast
- 1/2 c. warm water
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 c. flour (maybe more)
- Prune or Apricot Filling (recipes, below)
- Streusel Topping (recipe, below)
- 1/3 c. additional butter or margarine, melted
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If necessary, work in enough additional flour to make dough spongy but not sticky. Put dough in a large, greased bowl cover, and refrigerate overnight.
Remove dough from refrigerator. Shape into balls about 11/2 inches in diameter, and place on lightly greased baking sheets about an inch apart. Flatten balls to 1/2-inch, and let rise for about 10 minutes.
Make indentations in the middle of each kolache by pressing down firmly with the first two fingers of both hands. Spoon about 1 T. Prune or Apricot Filling into each indentation. Sprinkle about 1/2 tsp. Streusel Topping over filling. Cover kolaches with a sheet of wax paper, and let rise until double in bulk. Remove wax paper, and bake in 350° oven for 15-20 minutes, or until light tan. Remove from oven, and brush top edges and sides of kolaches with melted butter. Yield: About 2 dozen kolaches.
Dorothy also makes peach, apricot (see recipe below for Apricot Filling), sausage, and poppy seed kolaches. She raises her own poppy seed—she harvested more than three gallons last year—and uses a poppy seed grinder that has been in her family for generations.
- 2 (12-oz.) pkgs. dried, pitted prunes
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1/8-1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- additional sugar to taste (1/4 to 1/3 cup)
Cover fruit with water an cook 12 to 15 minutes or until tender, stirring often drain. Puree fruit in food processor or blender. Immediately stir in cinnamon and 34 c. sugar. Add more sugar to taste and mix well. Yield: Enough filling for about 2 dozen kolaches.
Note: For Apricot Filling, us 3 (6 0z.) pkg. dried appricots and follow the same recipe, except cut apricots into pieces before cooking, omit cinnamon, start with 1 c. sugar instead of 3/4 c., and add another 1/2 to 3/4 c. sugar.
- 2/3 c. all purpose flour
- 1 c. sugar
- about 1/3 c. melted butter or stick margarine
Blend flour and sugar in a bowl. Add just enough melted butter to moisten dry ingredients (mixture will be crumbly) mix well. Yield: Enough topping for about 2 dozen kolaches.
American Cakes – Kolache
‘Show him the spiced plums, mother. Americans don’t have those,’ said one of the older boys. ‘Mother uses them to make kolaches,’ he added. Leo, in a low voice, tossed off some scornful remark in Bohemian. I turned to him. ‘You think I don’t know what kolaches are, eh? You’re mistaken, young man. I’ve eaten your mother’s kolaches long before that Easter Day when you were born.’
– Willa Cather’s novel My Antonia (1918), about Bohemian immigrants in Nebraska in the 1880s
Sometimes there is a fine line between cakes, breads, and pastries. The Czech koláč (koláče plural) –- the hacek mark over the letter “c” makes it a guttural “ch” -— consists of a large sweet yeast dough round topped with pools of a sweet mixture (or several types), while its diminutive koláček (koláčky plural) denotes smaller individual versions. In America, the names were anglicized, depending on the part of the country, as kolache or kolacky (typically used for both large and small cakes as well as both plural and singular).
Round breads are some of the earliest of ritual foods, variously symbolizing the sun, moon, and female. In this vein, the Slavonic word for wheel (kolo) gave its name to an ancient Eastern and Central European ritual round savory bread loaf. Then, around the 15 th century with the arrival in Eastern Europe of yeast breads enriched with butter, eggs, and sugar (the first light cakes in the region), the name kolo was applied to round sweetened yeast loaves enjoyed for celebrations from the Balkans to the Baltic Sea, including the Polish kolacz (pronounced kowatch), Russian kulich, Ukrainian kolač, Serbo-Croatian kolač, Hungarian kalacs, and Yiddish koyletch (an early synonym for egg challah, considered a cake by Sephardic Jews). Distinct from the unadorned yeast cakes of Eastern Europe (or those additionally flavored with raisins), varieties from Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovenia were paired with povidla (plum butter made from cooking down Italian plums without the addition of sweeteners). Some speculate that originally people simply spread the beloved povidla on chunks of baked sweet bread to enhance the gastronomic experience. Then around the 18th century bakers began making indentations in the dough rounds before baking and filling them with povidla, resulting in a sort of a massive ‘prune Czech’ (instead of Danish). The radiating pockets of topping actually looks more like a wheel. Related to kolache are Czech buchty (buchta singular), a bun with the sweet mixture enclosed inside. The rich dough is also wrapped around a large sausage (klobasnek).
Besides plum (slivkóvý koláče or povidlové koláče), two other venerable central European baking favorites became traditional Old-World kolache toppings: Poppy seed (makový koláče) and cheese (tvaroh koláče). These items were easily produced by families with even only a little land and capable of extended storage to be on hand when needed for various treats. Regular jam cannot be used for kolache as it soaks into the dough and boils over during baking. In Europe, Czechs used a form of the Teutonic quark for the cheese topping and, in 19th century America, substituted drained clabber more recently, cream cheese and/or farmer cheese emerged as the principal cheese. More modern toppings include apricot, blueberry, cherry, lemon, pineapple, and raisin. For a dazzling presentation, each indentation of a large cake round is filled with a different flavor and color. A relatively recent innovation is an optional streusel topping known as posipka.
Many Czech families had their own secret kolache recipe handed down from generation to generation, mothers and grandmothers assiduously instructing the young girls. The dough, abounding with butter, should be rather dense, not fluffy. Some prefer a plain flavor, while others add a hint of spice or lemon zest to the dough. Most traditional versions call for three risings, but some aficionados insist that five risings are necessary for proper texture and flavor. Modern cookie adaptations, particularly prominent among Poles, use sour cream or cream cheese pastry dough instead of the traditional yeast, but the latter remains the most common and authentic.
Perhaps the first mention of this treat outside central Europe was in Leaves From My Journal During Summer of 1851 by Robert Grosvenor (London, 1852): “Outside the sacred precincts [of ritual baked goods] there are such things as Kugellhopf, a species of Baba, and Bohmische kolatchen [the German plural spelling], a local luxury, made of heavier materials, sometimes a little cheese finding its way into it excellent in their way, but not to be thought of by the docile water-drinker the latter he must not approach till he has left off drinking six weeks.”
Czech immigrants began arriving in central Texas in the 1840s, with many more following in the ensuing four decades, founding in that state more than 250 small communities, constituting the largest rural Czech population in America. Significant numbers of Czechs also settled in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and other parts of the Midwest. Although most quickly adopted American fare, they tended to continue to enjoy certain traditional foods, in particular kolache. In Europe, home ovens were exceedingly rare, whereas in America they were commonplace, facilitating home baking. In Europe, these treats contained very expensive ingredients (sugar, eggs, butter, and white flour) and were initially reserved for very special occasions, specifically Epiphany and, along with masquerades and dances, on Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday) in the pre-Lenten festivities. For Christmas there might be depressions in a large round cake for candles. Traditionally, newly engaged women sent small kolache with three toppings to family and friends as an invitation to the wedding. In America, kolache became common not only for all special events but also as a beloved comfort food and vehicle for ethnic identification. Czechs in America enjoyed their coffee with kolache, becoming a way of entertaining neighbors and making more bearable the hardships and isolation of farm life. These treats became ubiquitous at church dinners and bazaars. Many Czechs in America grew their own poppies to ensure an adequate supply of seeds for the topping (Minnesota: A State Guide Federal Writers’ Project, 1938) and numerous families bottled their own povidla. Others had to make do with stewing prunes. A “kolache odor” was considered the characteristic aroma of Midwestern Czech homes.
An early written presence of this cake in America was in The Chicago Record Cook Book (Chicago, 1896), a collection of ten thousand recipes submitted by readers to a regular newspaper column, the instructions (along with “Brown Farina Soup,” “Chopped Veal Leg,” and “Noodle Pudding”) provided by Mrs. Mary A. Cizkovsky of Chicago: “Stuffed Biscuits (Bohemian kolace) — Into one pound of flour put a cent’s worth of yeast, prepared, one egg, one tablespoon butter or lard, one scant pint of lukewarm milk, one level teaspoonful salt. Mix thoroughly with wooden spoon, working the dough till smooth. Set in warm place to raise and cover it. When raised put on a floured kneading board. Roll out to about half an inch in thickness, cut in circular shape, place in greased dripping-pan without touching. Rub over with butter or lard (melted). Take out pits from prunes left over from luncheon. Chop the prunes and put a little of the Jam on the center of each biscuit. Let raise again and bake to a light brown. To prepare the yeast crumble it into a cup with one tablespoonful sugar and one quarter cup warm milk. Mix and use as soon as it rises.”
Soon thereafter, the cake appeared in the initial edition of The Settlement Cook Book (Milwaukee, 1901), as a trio of different small types of “Kolatchen” with a German-Jewish influence: Bohemian Kolatchen, Sour Cream Kolatchen, and Ice Kolatchen. The “Bohemian Kolatchen” resembled the modern American small type, but was filled with beaten egg white sprinkled with sugar rather than prune or poppy seed: “Make Kuchen Dough, No. 1, 2 or 3, pages 311 and 312. Add a little cinnamon and mace and 1 teaspoon anise, seed well pounded, or flavor to taste. Let rise till very light, then take out on mixing board, and roll out to about half inch. Cut in rounds, 3 inches in diameter, and lay on a well-buttered pan, pressing down the centre of each so as to raise a ridge around the edge. When well risen, brush the top over with stiffly beaten white of an egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar.” The “Sour Cream Kolatchen” were rather small yeast cookies, the dough dropped from a teaspoon and topped with a small piece of dried or candied fruit. The “Ice Kolatchen” utilized a rudimentary form of Danish pastry “cut into rounds with biscuit cutter 3 inches in diameter, place on floured board and let rise in a warm place until light several hours. Place a teaspoon of raspberry jam on lower half of each piece, then fold over the other half and press edges together.”
Lady Bird Johnson, in the July 7, 1967 entry in her White House Diary (published in 1970), described a trip to Praha, a community in Fayette County Texas founded by Czechs and named for Prague, reflecting the assimilated Czechs retaining their kolache tradition: “The tables were loaded with fried catfish and black-eyed peas, fried chicken and thick slabs of homemade bread, and for dessert a typical specialty of the area – ‘kolaches,’ a rich pastry that has a center of dried apricots or prunes.” Since 1984, Burleson County Texas to usher in the fall has sponsored an annual one-day “Kolache Festival,” celebrating Czech heritage and featuring baking competitions and a kolache-eating contest. The 71 st Legislature of Texas proclaimed the Burleson County Seat of Caldwell as “Kolache Capital of Texas.” At the 2007 festival, around 25,000 guests consumed more than 60,000 kolache. In the following year, the festival went on despite the threat of Hurricane Ike. Similar large celebrations emerged in several other Texas communities, including Crosby, Fayetteville, Hallettsville, and West.
The southern Minnesota town of Montgomery, just south of New Prague, claiming the title of “Kolacky capital of the world,” holds its own annual Kolacky Days Festival. The Montgomery celebration, dating from just days before the stock market crash in 1929, eventually became a three-day series of events during the first weekend in August. Although many of the original ethnic overtones of the festival dissipated over the years, kolacky remain, including the home-baked kolacky contest featuring prizes for the Best Tasting (in traditional and non-traditional toppings), Most Perfectly Shaped, and Largest. Kolache are also featured at annual Czech Fests and Kolache Days in Wilson, Kansas Wilber, Nebraska Prague, Oklahoma (nicknamed Kolache-ville) Yukon, Oklahoma and the Kolache Shoot-out in Elba, Nebraska. These events most commonly occur in August and September corresponding to the maturation of Italian plums.
Until well into the 20th century, kolache generally remained the province of Czech homes. Even Ray Kroc’s attempt in the 1950s to add “kolacky,” his mother’s specialty, to McDonald’s menu failed. A recipe was included in the Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book (1950) as well as the New Picture Cook Book (1961), the cake introduced to General Mills by a staff member from Minnesota. Webster’s Dictionary added kolacky and kolach in 1961, signifying its movement into the American mainstream. The treat, proving rich and flavorful but not cloying, became commonplace in many American bakeries and cookbooks.
Meanwhile, kolache in America transposed from being a homemade treat to increasingly a commercial product. Besides bakeries, a number of doughnut stores and other franchises in Texas sell them. There are even restaurants in Texas and Indiana specializing only in assorted sweet and savory kolache. A few of these establishments no longer make traditional plum kolache, but offer unorthodox versions, such as sausage-jalapeño-and-cheese (actually a klobasnek) and, in November, pumpkin-cheese. Still, some Czechs insist on preparing their own kolache at home (or church), like their mother and grandmothers before them.
Food Photography and Styling by Kelly Jaggers
Filling recipes for Kolache
Fresh or Frozen Fruit Filling
1 qt fresh or frozen fruit such as raspberries, cherries, peaches, etc
4 tbsp cornstarch
1 ¼ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
In a small bowl, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt together. Combine all ingredients in top of double boiler, cook until thick stirring often. Cool until thick. If cooking in regular pan be careful not to scorch your fruit. Be sure to premix your sugar and cornstarch, or you're likely to get lumps.
Dry Fruit Filling
Prune, peach, or apricot filling: Cook 2 lbs of dried fruit in enough water to cover until tender. Drain and pit if necessary. Then blend in ½ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla and/or ¼ teaspoon cinnamon.
Use 1/4 cup tapioca granules for every four cups of applesauce. Add cinnamon and sweetener to taste.
Finding Lard or Poultry Fat
If you don't have lard, you can use butter, palm shortening or coconut oil, but the flavor and texture varies a bit with each type of fat.
Some grocery stores do carry it, but much of the regular grocery store lard is hydrogenated.
When we don't have home rendered lard or poultry fat, I hit the small butcher near us. They sell 2 cup containers of plain, non-hydrogenated lard. Ethnic stores would be another good place to look.
Print Friendly Recipe
Tell Me About These Apricot Cream Cheese Cookies
- Texture: Have you ever tried lemon ricotta cookies before? These apricot cream cheese thumbprint cookies have a similar melt-in-your-mouth texture with the bonus of a jammy filling. In fact, if cream cheese pound cake was a cookie, it’d be this. The almonds add a little crunch, so if you crave a little texture contrast– don’t skip them.
- Flavor: When I first tested this recipe, I kept the cookie dough plain. It’s sweet with a little tang, but benefits from extra flavor. In another test batch, I added lemon zest for a fresh zing and almond extract, both of which pair beautifully with the apricot center. If you enjoy soft and fruity cookies, you’ll enjoy biting into these!
- Ease: Mixing the cookie dough together is pretty easy, but assembly requires a little extra effort– rolling the dough balls, coating in almonds, making a thumbprint, and filling with jam. Take your time and don’t rush.
- Time: Set aside enough time to chill the cookie dough. We use enough cream cheese in the dough to make a uniquely tender cookie, but it also creates a very sticky creamy dough. This dough needs time in the refrigerator to thicken properly before shaping and baking. As you wait– and if you need more cookies– bake some no chill cookies like these crunchy crisp lace cookies.
About kiffle (kifli) fillings
It is very important that you use fillings that are made specifically for pastry in your kiffles. Pie filling will be too loose and jams and preserves can produce unpredictable results.
We’ve always used Solo Brand Cake & Pastry Filling and have never been disappointed. Solo makes a variety of flavors in 12-ounce cans. Pictured here are poppy seed, cherry, almond, and apricot.
Prune (lekvar in Hungarian), walnut, and poppy seed are the most traditional Hungarian choices and if you read through the comments, you’ll see that a few of our readers have included instructions for making these two fillings from scratch.
Apricot Kolache recipe - Recipes
F ollowing is the Kolache recipe for my family.
H ow the written recipe came to be as recounted by Patricia Rektorik
" I n the spring before my wedding, I started collecting things I
thought I would need for my kitchen. One of them was a recipe for
kolaches, of course. I asked my Grandma, Johanna (Jennie) Mrazek
Rektorik, but she did not have a written recipe. Grandma made her
kolaches without measuring anything! A few months later, she told me
she had found a recipe about like what she did in the Progressive
F rom the recipe in the Progressive Farmer, I developed a "novice's
version" of the recipe for those who are just starting to make
Kolache--A Guide for the Novice by Susan Rektorik Henley
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Packages of yeast
1/2 Cup warm water (105 - 115 degrees)
2 Cups milk
1/2 Cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
2 Teaspoons salt
2 Egg yolks
1/2 Cup sugar
6 1/4 Cups flour, sifted
1 1/2 Sticks of melted butter
S prinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over the yeast and dissolve in lukewarm water. Set aside to rise.
[The Betty Crocker Cookbook states that the water used to dissolve
granular yeast should be 105 to 115 degrees. Use a thermometer or
test drop on the inside of the wrist (the water should feel very warm
but not hot).]
H eat the milk in a small saucepan add the shortening to dissolve. Allow to cool to lukewarm then add salt, slightly-beaten egg yolks,
[It is only necessary to heat the milk until the shortening melts. Any additional heating just requires more cooling time. Butter may be substituted for the shortening. Butter not only adds a more rich flavor but also melts at a lower temperature so it does not take as long to melt. Use a thermometer to gauge when the milk is cool enough to add to the yeast mixture without killing the culture. May chill in refrigerator if closely watched and frequently stirred.]
C ombine milk-egg mixture and yeast mixture. Add flour gradually and
work dough by hand or with a mixer until glossy. Keep it a little sticky, if at all possible.
[Use bread flour if at all possible. Bread flour creates a much more airy result than all-purpose flour. About the first three cups of flour can be added in the beginning. Stir with a wooden spoon until too heavy to handle. Gather dough
together with clean, floured hands, and knead. If the dough sticks to your hands or the surface, a little more flour is needed. Add flour by putting
a slightly thicker coat on hands and surface. Continue to knead until
the dough acquires a sheen.]
C over, place in a warm, draft-free place, and let rise until double
in bulk, about 45 minutes to an hour.
[You can tell if the dough has doubled by pushing two floured fingers
into the top of the dough about 1/2 inch deep. If the impressions
remain, the dough has doubled.]
A fter the dough has risen, punch down the dough, and lightly knead.
Divide into egg-sized portions with a spoon and form balls. Place in
well oiled baking pans about an inch apart and butter well half
margarine may be substituted, but some butter is essential for the
[One may also "pinch off" the large egg-sized portions from the dough
mass. It is best if the "raw" edges are kept to just one or two. Work
the portion into a ball shape by pushing the raw ends down and under.
Pinch any openings together and roll the ball between your hands to
shape and smooth.]
L et rise (about 15 minutes), then make indentions in the dough balls
for the fruit filling. Fill each indention with a large teaspoon full
of fruit filling.
[Use your thumb and forefinger to spread the dough and make a deep,
round hole. The indention must be firm and deep or the filling
will "pop out" while rising or when in the oven.]
B utter each kolachewell. Over the fruit filling, generously sprinkle
P lace pans of kolache in a warm, draft free place, and allow to
double in bulk again, about 45 minutes to one hour.
P lace in an oven preheated to 375 degrees. Bake until golden brown.
[Some recipes say that the kolaches will brown in 20 to 40 minutes.
Browning time can vary by the type of pan used. It is best to avoid
dark pans. Check the bottoms of the kolaches to ensure they do not
R emove the kolaches from the oven and slather with melted butter.
Cool slightly, remove from pans, and cool on wire racks. Recipe makes
3 to 4 dozen.
Linda Conrad's Prune Filling
1 large package of dried prunes (the pitted ones cost more but are
easier to use.)
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon vanilla
3/4 Cup sugar
C over the prunes with water in a medium-sized saucepan and simmer
until tender. Drain the liquid. Mash the prunes until smooth if the
pitted type is used. If using prunes with the pits still in them,
remove the pits with your fingers. then add the cinnamon, vanilla,
and sugar. This recipe makes enough filling for one batch of
kolaches, 3 to 4 dozen.
A variety of fruit fillings can be used for one batch of kolaches.
Common fruit used are apple, apricot, peach, and prune. The following
recipe works well for most fruits. if using dried fruit.
1 1/2 Cup of dried fruit
1/2 to 3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1 Teaspoon vanilla
N ote: Some cooks prefer to use almond extract instead of vanilla
extract. It is all a matter of taste.
P lace the dried fruit in a medium saucepan and cover with water until
the fruit is covered by about an inch of water. about 2 inches if
using dried apples. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook
until tender (about 35 - 45 minutes or until the fruit falls away
freely when skewered and raised on a dinner folk.
R emove the pits, if present. Mash the fruit until smooth. Add the
cinnamon and vanilla. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and taste. More sugar may
be added, if desired.
Virginia Atkinson's Cottage Cheese Filling
1 (24 ounce) container cottage cheese, drained 1 Cup sugar 1 Teaspoon vanilla 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract 3 egg yolks
M ix all ingredients together well.
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup flour
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons of melted butter
C ombine all ingredients until the mixture resembles a course meal. A
fork and then fingers are useful in breaking up clumps.
O riginal recipe: Kolace. Progressive Farmer, December 1963.
R emember that this a forgiving dough. It is easy to work and
T he scents and texture are glorious to me.
Have fun baking!
To make ham and cheese kolaches, you’ll need thinly sliced deli ham and some good, old-fashioned sliced American cheese.
Cut the American cheese slice in half, then wrap a slice of deli ham around it, enclosing it completely. Then, wrap a dough ball around the ham until it is fully enclosed and pinch to seal any seams.
Czech Kolache Pastry FAQs
1. What kind of fruit can I use on kolache?
Seasonal, local, fresh, and ripe fruit is the best. Here’s what we use in my family: strawberries, apricots, blueberries, red and black currant, gooseberries, rhubarb, plums, cherries (pitted), sour cherries (pitted). Raspberries and blackberries work too, but if you hate the tiny seeds getting into your teeth, don’t use them.
Harder fruit, such as apples or pears need to be cooked first.
Peel and core 2 pounds of apples or pears, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place in a small pot, add 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, and cook covered over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The fruit should will get a little softer, but stay compact. Let cool completely before using as a topping. You can do this a day ahead.
Strawberries and apricots might sometimes be too big, so cut them into smaller pieces. You want the fruit to cook through during baking, but also to fuse with the streusel.
2. Can I use frozen fruit or fruit from a jar?
You can use frozen fruit. Don’t rinse it though, because you’d loose the juice. Cut big pieces of fruit (strawberries, apricots) in half. Place it directly on the prepared, flattened dough. Evenly sprinkle with the struesel and lightly press down.
IMPORTANT: The frozen fruit will shock the dough, which will temporarily stop rising. Therefore, don’t put the kolach into the oven right away, because it would cause the crust to shrink and harden. Instead, let it rest on the counter for 15 minutes, and then bake.
Fruit from a jar works too, but make sure it’s not mushy. Apricots and cherries are typically great.
3. What about bananas, mangos, and exotic fruit?
Kolache are a Czech specialty so only locally grown fruit as mentioned above is mostly used. I think bananas and mangos would turn into a pool of mush. But feel free to experiment and let me know how it goes—who knows, maybe a pineapple kolach will be the next big thing.
4. What other kolache toppings are typically Czech?
- Ground poppy seeds cooked in milk, and flavored with honey, rum, butter and raisins
- Plum preserves called povidla.
- Czech soft fresh cheese called tvaroh (somewhere between ricotta and cream cheese) mixed with an egg, lemon zest, sugar and raisins.
- Cooked grated apples or pears, topped with grated gingerbread.
- All of the above combined in circular layers, which makes the kolache look like a pretty dart.
5. Can I use fresh yeast to make the kolache dough?
Yes! In fact, my mom always uses fresh yeast. It’s widely available in stores in the Czech Republic, and it’s also more reliable than dry yeast. Always check the expiration date on dry yeast.
If you have access to fresh yeast, use this helpful article to figure out the conversion for this recipe.
6. Can I freeze baked kolache?
Let them cool for an hour after baking, then slice. Stack four slices, layering each with a piece of parchment paper. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil and freeze for up to three months. (They won’t be as good after three months).
To thaw, spread the slices over a clean kitchen towel or paper towels, and let come to room temperature. The towels absorb any condensation.
Eat right away. Don’t freeze them again.
7. Can you reheat kolache?
In the oven or toaster oven for a few minutes. In the microwave for 20 seconds. You don’t want them to be super hot & steaming.
8. Do you eat kolache warm?
Everyone’s taste is different, but I wouldn’t eat them hot like pizza. They’re just perfect about 80 minutes after coming out of the oven, still a little warm and getting to room temperature. In my family, we like to eat kolache within 12 hours of baking—they won’t be as fresh after that.
9. Can I make the kolache dough ahead?
Make it, let it rise and double in size, then place the covered bowl in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
10. Can I freeze kolache dough?
Let it fully rise and double in size. Cut it into individual portions, then form it into buns. Lightly coat all over with vegetable oil and place in a plastic bag. Make sure it’s tightly wrapped with no air around it. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw fully for 12 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
11. What else can I make with the kolache dough?
This dough is amazingly versatile! My grandma used to roll the dough out to make it flat, brush it with melted butter, sprinkle with cinnamon, cocoa, sugar and chopped nuts, re-roll and stuff it into a bundt cake pan. It was completely free-form and rustic, but delicious.
You can also use it for buchty, another type of classic Czech pastry. Or for monkey bread.
12. When do you actually eat kolache?
They’re perfect for breakfast or with coffee in the afternoon. Or as a snack throughout the day. But they’re too filling to eat as a dessert after dinner.
Czechs eat sweet entrées for lunch btw, especially in the countryside. As a kid, my grandma would make this potato soup, which we would eat first, followed by kolache as the main thing. Unusual, but so good.
13. How do you store kolache?
Kolache will be good for about one day after baking them. Place them on a tray or a large cutting board, and loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel. Store in a cool place, but don’t refrigerate. Kitchen counter, larder or cellar work the best.