Thursday, March 8, 2012

Texas Style Kolaches

If I lived in Austin, TX and had a kolache bakery down the road from my house, it would be bad news. I’m pretty confident I’d eat so many I’d turn into a kolache.

When Curtis and I stayed with Kelly and Mark in January (click here for an avocado margarita recipe and my Austin Top Ten list) they introduced us to so many fabulous new foods. We don’t own a deep fryer so most of these new experiences will have to stay in Texas, but kolaches are a baked homemade bread treat that I couldn’t wait to try making when we got home.

What is a kolache you ask? They are an amazing Czech pastry traditionally filled with something sweet but they can also be savory. Kelly brought home jalapeno sausage and bacon and cheese kolaches. They’re a perfect little square bun of sweet pasty bursting with a slightly spicy, savory filling. Curtis and I both fell hard!

As soon as we got home I consulted with Google and found a kolache recipe on The Homesick Texan blog. So the first weekend we stayed home, and I had enough time to let the dough rise, I was all over this. It turned out to be super simple - yes you do have to run into the kitchen occasionally and punch down the dough, but it’s really enjoyable when you have the time. I made them on a Saturday, refrigerated them and then baked them on Sunday morning so we could have them for breakfast fresh and hot out of the oven. Our kolaches in Texas were square and mine turned out round, but they tasted pretty close to the real thing!

The filling possibilities are endless. I’m sure it wouldn’t be a traditional kolache, but you could be seasonal with corned beef and cabbage, add pulled pork and BBQ sauce, cream cheese, cinnamon and sugar, or Curtis suggested next time we put in an egg yolk (this could be tricky, but I’m willing to try it!).  The first time around I wanted a full combination of what we tried in Texas so I stuffed mine with little chunks of apple sausage, bacon, pickled jalapenos AND cheese! They rocked.

Here’s the recipe from The Homesick Texan who describes kolaches as a sweet, soft, yeasty roll filled with either apricots, prunes, cheese, poppy seeds or sausage

What kind of a filling would you put in your kolaches?

from The Homesick Texan who adapted from recipes found in Texas Monthly and the HoustonChronicle

1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup of warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup of melted butter
1 teaspoon of salt

In a large bowl, combine yeast, warm milk, sugar and one cup of flour. Cover and let it rise until doubled in size.

Beat together eggs, 1/2 cup of melted butter (reserve 1/4 cup for brushing on the pastry) and salt.
Add egg mixture to yeast mixture and blend.

Stir in about two more cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. The dough should be soft and moist.
Knead dough for about 10 minutes on floured surface. Don't worry, it’s a joy to knead as the dough is smooth and highly malleable. (I just used my kitchen aid, the bread hook and let it do it's thing for about 10 minutes.) 

Put dough in a greased bowl and let rise covered until doubled in size—about an hour.

After dough has risen, punch it down and pull off egg-sized pieces. In your hands, roll pieces into balls and then flatten to about three inches in diameter. Brush with melted butter. 
Place flattened pieces on a greased cookie sheet, cover and let rise again for another half-hour.

After second rising, with your finger gently make an indention in the center of the dough (be careful not to flatten it too much) and fill with one tablespoon of fruit filling (recipe to follow) and sprinkle with posypka (recipe to follow). (This is where I stuffed in my sausage, bacon, jalapeno and cheese mixture.) 

Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Brush with melted butter when you take them out of the oven and serve warm.

Kolache filling

Do anything you want! I combined cooked cut up apple sausage, bacon, jalapenos and cheddar cheese. Here is what the recipe suggested: 

1/2 pound of dried fruit such as apricots or prunes.
Sugar to taste
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
Lemon zest

Soak the dried fruit in water for a few hours or overnight.

When fruit is re-hydrated, cook on low for 15 minutes, adding sugar to taste (I find the fruit sweet enough so I don’t add sugar, but you may prefer it sweeter), cinnamon and lemon zest. Mash with a potato masher until you have a puree.


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all ingredients until crumbly.

This recipe makes about 18 kolaches, depending on how large you make them. And the variations are endless. For additional flavor you can soak the dried fruit in tea such as Earl Grey or you could sprinkle goat cheese on the apricot kolaches before baking. You can also make sausage and jalapeno kolaches by wrapping the three-inch flattened piece of dough around a two-inch piece of sausage and a couple of pickled jalapeno slices.


  1. Omg did you say corned beef and cabbage Kolache?? Yes please! My mouth is watering over these - yum! They kind of remind me of the Pike's Market Piroshkis which can be sweet or savory.

  2. Intriguing! I bet Adam would love these. Let's have them for breakfast when we come for our first slumber party at chez Adamson!

  3. That looks so yummy, Em. I really want one in my belly, like, right now.