Kolaches were a special occasion treat. I mean, a REALLY special occasion treat. Someone was coming to visit, Christmas, Easter, days like that. And where there were kolaches, there were cinnamon rolls too. And my mom always made a special batch of cinnamon rolls without raisins because I hated them. Don't judge, I was her perfect baby, she would do anything for me, up to AND including making cinnamon rolls with no dead flies in them. I am sure others didn't like them but in my mind, it was all for me, ya know, cause that is how babies of the family think. Ok off my cinnamon roll tangent...random. Anyway I believe these are a Czech/Polish thing. My grand mom was Czech, and I grew up in a hugely Polish area. Every woman in town made these I think! My mom would always let me make the dents in the center. I loved the sound the dough made when you poked it!
I was never all ga-ga over kolaches because I hate fruit. Oh, and before I get into that, let's get the pronunciation correct before we move on. COAL-AW-CHEE. Get it? This is the way everyone in my town pronounced them, and they had to be right. I have heard everything from "call-achee, coal-achey, coal-awsh" and I could go on and on. The old scary church ladies in my hometown, were right, just ask them, I dare you. Anyway, back to why I wasn't a fan. I don't like fruit. That is all. And my mom would fill them with apricots, cherry, PRUNE, poppy seed, and cottage cheese. She also made this little crumble for the top which I have changed out after 2 solid days of YouTube video's. I also found this very elderly woman's video, which she was making for her great grandchildren, and she made a sweetened cream cheese filling. I knew at this very moment, I had a new found love for the kolache!
This is a recipe passed on from my mom who says she can't remember the cookbook name, but she has been using it for over 50 years! The cover is gone, the back is gone, half the pages are unreadable, but the kolache recipe remains unscathed! This takes a little time, but is not at ALL difficult! I also will include the recipe I used for sweetened cream cheese. In addition, I used 1 can of apricot pastry filling found with the pie filling. There are all kinds to choose from. I used a regular can of blueberry pie filling as well! This recipe made 49 kolaches. I would make them bigger next time, just because.....!
For the dough you will need:
4 1/4 - 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 pkgs yeast
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
In a bowl (stand mixer bowl if you are using one) add in 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix with a spoon until combined.
Heat milk, water, shortening and mashed potatoes until warm.
This doesn't mean until the potatoes and shortening are melted, just warm, You don't want a boiling mixture or you will kill the yeast. Just ask me, I thought I did it! Get it to about 115 degrees. Add it to the bowl with the flour mixture. Mix with an electric mixer or your paddle attachment on your mixer, for 1 minute. Add in eggs and beat about 30 seconds at a low speed and then 3 minutes at a higher speed. Add in remaining dough and mix 3 minutes. Your dough will be soft and sticky! Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
Roll out to 3/8th inch thick, using a 3 inch cookie cutter (or really any size you want 3-4 inches, but you will get fewer kolaches) to cut rounds. Place on a greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Let them rise a second time. Using your first 3 fingers on each hand, make a indent in the middle almost to the bottom. You will fill this with your filling of choice, so make them as little or big as you like, just make sure you have a ledge of roll around the edges. Fill each one with enough to fill your indent (1 to 11/2 tsps depending on size), and bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes. (12 for my size rolls, if you make them bigger 14).
Let them cool completely and drizzle with....
2 tbsp butter (very soft but not melted)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3-4 tbsp milk, cream, half and half, or vanilla creamer which is what I used
Cream Cheese Filling:
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 of a beaten egg
Mix with a hand mixer until completely combined and smooth. Use to fill Kolaches!
So there they are. Easy, and delicious. If you are a person who is freaked out about killing yeast, just use a clean meat thermometer. If you overheat the mixture, let it sit and cool a couple minutes, it is easy so stop letting it freak you out!!
Enjoy these delicious little pastries that will make you go..."Mmmmmm"!
Your "rediscovered kolaches without fruit filling' chefwannabe