Have you ever seen a photograph of something and just thought 'I have to have that!' Well thats exactly what went through my mind when I saw Sarah Keiffer's blog post on 'Kolaches'. If you aren't following her, or never seen her blog or cookbook, please go and look, she is incredible and to be honest everything she photographs makes you want to eat it!! Click here to visit her website.
Anyway, back to Kolaches!! So before seeing this photograph I had never even heard of these delicious morsels so obviously seeing something I had never tried made it even more intriguing. I soon learnt that they are every bit the craze in Texas, they can be sweet or savoury with the most popular fillings being fruit or cheese and they were originally brought to Texas by Czech immigrants.
Well, there wasnt much more to it, I quickly scoured the internet to see where I could possibly get hold of one to try in LA but with little to no luck the only alternative was to bake them myself.
Courtesy of 'The Vanilla Bean Blog'
I originally only bought the ingredients for the cream cheese filling but mid way through making them I really liked the sound of fruit fillings. I decided to fill a couple with raspberry Jam (straight outta the jar) and honestly they were the bomb, I actually preferred them to the cheese so feel free to fill them with any fruit filling of your choice……
If short on time both the filling and streusel can be made ahead of time and popped into the refrigerator until ready to use.
3.5 c (491g) AP flour
2 1/4 t instant or rapid-rise yeast
1.5 t salt
1 c whole milk
10 T unsalted butter, melted
1/3 c (66g) sugar
1 large egg plus 2 large yolks
Cream cheese filling
12 oz (340g) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c (99g) sugar
1 T AP flour
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 t lemon juice
2.5 T AP flour
3 T sugar
1 T (15g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and chilled
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
For the dough
Whisk flour, yeast & salt together in bowl of stand mixer.
Whisk milk, melted butter, sugar, egg & egg yolks together until sugar has dissolved. Using a dough hook on low speed, slowly add milk mixture and mix until cohesive dough starts to form and no dry flour remains, approx. 2 minutes. (scrape down sides as needed)
Increase to medium-low speed and knead until dough is smooth and elastic and clears sides of bowl but still sticks to bottom, approx. 8 - 12 minutes.
Transfer dough to a well-floured counter. Using your hands, knead dough to form a smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. Place dough seam side down in a lightly greased large bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1.5 hours. (Unrisen dough can be refrigerated for at lease 8 hours or up to 16 hours however if so let dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping.)
For the filiing
Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, vanilla & salt on low speed until smooth, approx. 1 minute.
Scrape the sides of the bowl, add 1t of lemon juice and mix to combine.
Taste filling – you are looking for the lemon juice to brighten the filling but not make it taste like lemon. Add more if needed.
Transfer to bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the streusel
Finish the dough
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Punch down dough and place on lightly floured counter. Stretch the dough into an even 16-inch log. Cut the log into 16 equal pieces (about 2 1/4 oz each) and cover loosely with greased plastic.
Working one piece of dough at a time (keep remaining pieces covered), form into rough ball by stretching dough around your thumbs and pinching edges together so that the top is smooth. Place the ball seam side down on a clean counter and, using your cupped hand, drag in small circles until dough feels taut and round.
Arrange dough balls seam side down on prepared sheets, spaced about 1.5 inches apart. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise until increased in size by about half, approx 2 hours.
Heat oven to 350*F. Grease and flour bottom of a round 1/3-cup dry measuring cup. Press the cup firmly into the center of each dough round until the cup touches the sheet to make indentation for filling. (Reflour the cup as needed to prevent sticking.)
Divide filling evenly among kolaches (about 1.5 T each).
Gently brush the edges with egg mixture and sprinkle with streusel. (Do not sprinkle streusel over filling.) Bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer kolaches to wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Serve warm.