Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ultmate Kitsch for Uber Bohemians: The Kolache

We're celebrating my Gramps' 80th birthday this weekend. And in his eyes two things in life are certain - polka music & Kolaches.

Kolaches are classic, Czech wheel-shaped cakes - simple sweet buns made from yeasted dough - usually with a fruit or poppy seed filling. [yay! opiates - an ingredient as important as monosodiumglutimate] in mid-century cooking & baking]
My mom is treating Gramps, friends & family to 80 of them from my his mom's [my great granny Lena] recipe. How's that for retro? Here we go...
[a labor of love. heavy on the labor - but you'll love them]
2 cups scalded milk
2 pkgs. regular rise yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup potato water (water potatoes were boiled in)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
Dissolve sugar and shortening in scalded milk while hot. Cool slightly and beat in yeast mixture, potatoes and potato water and two eggs.
Sift together:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Beat flour mixture into yeast mixture with whisk until well blended
Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1/2 hour until bubbly
Add 4-5 cups to make a soft dough
Work with wooden spoon, not hands
Place dough in covered bowl overnight in refrigerator
Day 2: Lightly knead dough on floured surface
Do not over work dough
Roll out to thickness of 1/2 inch
Cut into circles with small juice glass
Place dough disks on lightly greased cookie sheet
Using finger press out area in center of disk
Add 1 teaspoon of filling of choice
Let rise covered lightly with wax paper
Bake kolaches in order of assembly at 350 degrees 10-12m Remove from oven to cooling rack.
Rub doughy outer edges of rolls with butter
Sprinkle centers with coconut
Set to cool

Put a little Czech in your next celebration - hit the kitchen for some kolaches!


  1. those look so tasty. much better than any doughnut for sure!

  2. Mmmm, killer kolaches...wish I had one to go with my coffee.

  3. Oh my gosh...those look exactly like the ones my Gram used to make for me. She almost always used cherry filling, and she lightly iced hers. She won't tell me her recipe. I can't WAIT to try yours! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Hi there,

    Lubos from here. Your kolache look awesome, I bet grandpa was happy :)

    By the way, I just posted my recipe for kolache. They are quite similar to yours except that I didn't wait till the next day to make them (but having cold dough would make the dough easier to work with). I also stuck to the traditional toppings: poppy seeds, walnuts, farmer's cheese (tvaroh) and plum jam.

    Awesome that you are keeping your heritage alive.