As a Texan transplanted into New England, I get annoyed about several cultural differences. The cult worship of Tom Brady, the awful city driving layout of Boston, and the absence of any even remotely decent mexican food (or, really, ethnic food in general).
But not until recently did I realize that no one up here knows what a kolache is.
Yummy, soft, fluffy bread covering breakfast foods varying from veggies to eggs and bacon, to cream cheese and fruit? Yes, please! Oh, how this homesick Texas girl has been missing kolaches. . . and to find out that my friends didn’t know what a kolache was!? Oh, no. That had to be rectified.
I had been wanting to have kolaches for breakfast for some time now, and after exhausting myself searching for a bakery or coffee shop that even knew what a kolache was (much less had them for sale) . . . I decided I would make them myself. They wouldn’t be Kolache Factory good, but they’d at least be kolaches.
On Easter Sunday this year, I made them for lunch. We shared them with our friends at the park (who had never ever had a kolache before) and they were so delicious. Making them was easier than I thought it would be, and it was a great joyful moment for me to see my friends enjoy a kolache for the first time.
The recipe and tutorial I used for making my own kolaches is this one from Homesick Texan. The kolaches came out so perfect – hard enough on the outside to carry in your hand for a portable breakfast on the run, and soft but well baked in the center, with just enough warmth in the filling. YUM!
I found it incredibly interesting and honestly, a great relief, that someone else shared my “you don’t know what a kolache is!?” grief as a transplant in New England. The author of Homesick Texan is from hill country Texas that lives in New York.
Apparently, ya’ll, kolaches are a Texan thing. Who knew?
- I suggest making the dough and preparing your fillings the day before, and baking them in the morning if you want your kolaches to be ready for breakfast. Working with cold fillings (bacon, eggs, cheese, cream cheese, jam, fruit, etc) is so much easier than working with warm fillings. It’s easier to fold them into the dough and they bake to a perfect warmth in the 375′ oven.
-These kolaches can be baked and then FROZEN and reheated in the oven or toaster oven for 5-10 minutes. What a great idea for getting a filling and balanced breakfast on the run, when paired with some milk or juice and a piece of fresh fruit! (and since they’re home made, you can make them preservative free, or organic, or vegetarian, or whatever your food choice is!)
Kolaches (adapted from recipes found in Texas Monthly and the HoustonChronicle)
(I made my own adjustments in the method section, specifically between steps 7 & 9)
Makes 18-20 4 inch kolaches
1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup of warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups of all-purpose flour
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. You will be adding about a 1/2 cup of flour during the kneading process.
- 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.
- Flatten/stretch the three inch pieces with your fingers so that the edges are thinner than the middle, and place your chosen fillings in the center of your circle. Fold up the edges of the dough over the fillings, making sure to press slightly to stick the roll together. You can pick up the dough ball after folding in the fillings and roll it gently in your hands like a dinner roll.
- Place filled pieces on a greased cookie sheet, brush with melted butter, cover and let rise again for another half-hour.
- 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.