Saturday, 23 March 2013

A Brave New World - Kolaches Attempt #1




I am not a pastry chef by any stretch of the imagination; I'm more of a put-in-the-crock-pot and pull it out 8 hours later kind of gal, but ever since we made a side trip to West, Texas on a recent road trip to South Texas, I've been wanting to try my hands at kolaches. Thanks to a dear friend, sharing her recipe, and posting a photo of her most recent batch on her Facebook wall, I decided to take the plunge.

I carefully followed each step of the recipe, and was disappointed to find that although I put the batch of dough in the fridge, as instructed at 1 p.m. today, she still recommended I leave it there overnight. Confession time: I am not a patient person, and after she listened to me whine, she suggested that I could attempt to bake them after the dough had doubled.

Let me just say, dough does not rise when watched, any more than a pot boils. After about 6 hours, and admittedly just shy of being doubled, I pulled the dough from the fridge and proceeded to create my inaugural batch.

The dough had a lot of elasticity in it, and I don't think my thumb print was big enough. By the time I got back to them to put the filling in, the dough had swelled and covered my imprint. The next time I make these, I plan on exaggerating the indent, to allow more filling.

That said, as I pulled the pastries from the oven, I was pretty impressed with myself. They looked decent enough for a first try, even if they only slightly resembled the perfection of the kolaches we had in West, Texas. As you can see from the photograph, the indentation is not as pronounced as it should be, but when I closed my eyes and tasted the first one, they were soft and flavorful. I will definitely be making this recipe again, and attempt further perfection, although next time I think I will leave the dough overnight as suggested.

For those who want to give it a go, here's the recipe. It was originally in a 1985 issue of Texas Highways. I'd love to hear how the recipe works for you!

Kolaches

Yield: 2 dozen

2 pkgs yeast
1/2 cup warm water

1 cup sour cream, warmed
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups flour

Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup butter (melted)
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup flour

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, and set aside.

Mix sour cream, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl. Add beaten eggs, and flour. Mix with dough hook, or by hand. Place the dough in a greased bowl, covered, and refrigerate overnight. (If you're more patient than I am.) Dough should at least double.

Heat oven to 350F.

Roll dough into 1 1/2 or 2 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet, about an inch apart. Flatten dough with the heel of your hand and let rise another 10 minutes.

Make an indentation in each kolache with your thumb (I suggest making this a bit more exaggerated than a normal thumb print) and fill with your favorite filling. (Lemon, cherry and cream cheese are all popular, I chose apple)

Sprinkle with streusel topping, and bake at 350 for 15 - 20 minutes.

2 comments:

  1. The recipe sounds nice mom, and I'm so curious what they taste like! When you mention the filling, ie lemon, cherry, apple etc, do you mean a compote, jam or fresh diced fruits? I am guessing a kind of compote?
    I think I'll give these a go, although I'm not the overnight waiting type either so we'll see how long I can keep my hands off it !
    m

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  2. solo brand pie filling is what mom and grandma used..way back in da '60's..Mike

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