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Traditional Czech Kolache Recipe

Traditional Czech Kolache Recipe

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If you’ve never had a kolache (pronounced ‘ko-LAH-chee’), then you’re missing out. They’re popular in Texas, where Czech immigrants settled in the 1880s, but most people elsewhere in the U.S. aren’t familiar with this type of pastry. They were originally intended to use leftover foods that you would have around the house, so the fillings were often improvised and varied drastically from batch to batch.

Kolaches have come a long way from their origins as a mid-day snack and now can be served as a dessert or even a meal on their own. This kolache recipe will be a great addition to your holiday menu and a new guest favorite.

Traditional Czech Kolache Recipe

Kolaches are a soft traditional Czech pastry that are popular through Texas and Iowa, but little known elsewhere in the United States.
Prep Time2 hrs 15 mins
Cook Time7 mins
Course: Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Czech
Keyword: Dessert, Holiday, Kolache, Traditional
Servings: 24

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 1/2 Cup 2% Milk
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Potato Flakes
  • 3 Cup Flour All Purpose
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter Room Temperature
  • 1 Tbsp dry yeast Activated in 1/8 cup of water with 1/2 tsp of sugar
  • 1 Egg White & Yolk
  • 1 Egg Yolk Beat together with the other egg
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Dash Nutmeg
  • 1 Tsp Lemon Juice

Filling

  • 1 Cup Dried Apricots Cut into 4 pieces each
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar or Honey
  • Water As needed

Instructions

Filling

  • Over medium heat, dd apricots, sugar, and 3 tbsp of water to a small sauce pan.
  • Cook mixture until fruit breaks down and a thick jelly forms.
  • Add small amounts of water as needed to keep sugar from burning.
  • Allow to cool before adding to dough.

Dough

  • Activate yeast in warm water and sugar mixture until doubled in size
  • In a large bowl combine milk, sugar, potato flakes, butter, and 1 cup flour
  • After well combined, mix in activated yeast mixture
  • Cover and let rise for 15 minutes
  • Add beaten eggs, salt, nutmeg, and lemon juice
  • Once well combined, add rest of flour 1 cup at a time until a tacky dough forms
  • On a well floured surface, turn out dough and knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft. The dough shouldn’t be sticky to the touch but not dry at all.
  • In a greased bowl cover and let dough rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size (tip: consider rising dough in a warmer area)
  • Punch down dough and rise for another 30 minutes, covered.
  • On a well floured surface turn out dough and press into a rectangle with hands
  • Cover and let rise another 30 minutes. This is a good time to preheat your oven to 425˚
  • Cut dough into 3x3 squares (a pizza cutter works great for this!)
  • Add 1-2 tbsp of filling to the center of each square
  • Gather opposite corners and pinch together, repeat with remaining corners
  • On a cookie sheet, bake for 5-7 minutes until light golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted butter.
  • Enjoy! These are best served warm, the day of baking. They can also be kept up to 3 months freezer.

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Tools Needed

You’ll need just a few simple tools for this recipe. You probably already have most of them in your kitchen:

Are Kolaches hard to make?

Kolaches are a traditional Czech pastry that can be filled with either sweet or savory ingredients. Traditional kolache recipes include poppy seed, cheese, or fruits like apricot and prune. Today, fillings made from pineapple, blueberry, meat, or cream cheese have become popular. The important part is making sure your yeast is active, and the dough rises. If not, then your kolaches will come out too dense when they’re baked.

Apricot Filled Kolaches
Are Kolaches hard to make?

If you’re not used to working with dough, you may not feel super confident while making kolaches. Don’t worry though – they’re hard to mess up. The most important part is making sure your yeast is active, and the dough rises. If not, then your kolaches will come out too dense when they’re baked.

What's in a Kolache?

You can put just about anything into your kolache recipe filling. Experimenting is half the fun! If you’re making a batch for a group of people, we suggest making several different flavors so that your guests have a range to choose from. If you’re tight on time or don’t have the ingredients to make your own filling, you can always use premade jam.

Are Kolaches Vegetarian?

Whether or not a kolache recipe is vegetarian depends on its filling. The recipe on this page is vegetarian but is not vegan since the dough includes milk.

How should I serve Kolaches?

Kolaches are best when served fresh. We’ve frozen them in the past or eaten them a day or two after making them, but nothing compares to one that is still warm from baking. We like to add a pad of butter to a kolache that is fresh out of the oven. 

What are your favorite kolache fillings? Let us know in the comments!

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