CZECH KOLACHE

Czech name: Koláče

Written by Hana Minarikova

If you would like to taste a traditional Czech dessert, the best choice will be to try Czech Kolache.

The Kolache is the pride of traditional Bohemian and Moravian cuisine. The baking of decorated kolache peaked at the end of the 19th century when closed ovens in brick stoves started to be used. Typically, they are filled with plum jam, farmer’s cheese, poppy seed filling, ground nuts or other as apricot and other cooked fruits. Then they are sprinkled with a crumble or with some shaved almonds.

Ingredients

Kolache
2 Tbs active dry yeast
3 Tbs granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups lukewarm milk
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (leave 2 – 3 Tbs for dusting the dough)
3 eggs (1 for wash)
1 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tsp salt
1 cup melted unsalted butter (1/2 cup for brushing)

Poppy seed filling
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp of ground allspice
1 cup poppy seed

Tip: Grind the poppy seed in an electric coffee grinder. Put the ground poppy seed in a pot, add the milk, and cook slowly for 5 minutes stirring constantly until thick. Then stir in unsalted butter, sugar, and allspice and simmer for 2 minutes.

Farmer’s cheese filling
1 cup farmer’s cheese (or Queso Fresco)
1 egg yolk
1/8 cup melted unsalted butter
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/4 cup raisins (optional)
Mix all ingredients until fully blended.

Plum jam filling
1 1/4 cup plum jam
2 Tbs dark rum
grated lemon skin to taste
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a pinch of ground allspice
1 tsp granulated sugar
Mix all ingredients until well blended.

Crumble
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbs unsalted butter
Mix all ingredients until well blended.

Decorations
shaved almonds
raisins
powdered sugar

Instructions

Heat the milk, add the yeast to 1/3 cup of warm milk with 1 Tbsp granulated sugar, set aside to rise. In a large bowl add the flour, remaining sugar, lemon rind, salt, milk, eggs, 1/2 cup melted butter and the risen yeast. Mix well so the dough is not sticky, you might have to add a little extra flour, then cover set aside to rise doubling in bulk. When it has doubled in size, have a work area ready dusted with a little flour and cut the dough into pieces as to make baseball size balls. Place the balls on a greased cookie sheet. Let them rise again. Then take a rock glass, dip in flour and press it in the middle of the ball making a depression for the filling; add the filling of your choice by the spoonful. Preheat oven 350F then bake until golden brown (for 13 – 16 minutes).

You may top them off with the Crumble Mixture or with shaved almonds, raisins or powdered sugar.

Czech Kolache Ceske Kolace