Monday, February 22, 2010

Kolaches

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Source: Homesick Texan



Kolaches
(adapted from recipes found in Texas Monthly and the Houston Chronicle)

Ingredients:
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

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

Method:
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.


Posypka

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

Method:
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.