As I mentioned last week, at this point in my life I’m sure that I’ve eaten well over a thousand pigs-in-a-blanket. The only problem is that for many years I thought I was eating kolaches. That’s what all of the donut shops in Houston, TX call them. So imagine my surprise when I found myself in the small town of Halletsville, TX.
I was part of a crew restoring the historic Lavaca County Courthouse, and there was a little place down the street I’d heard was famous for their kolaches. When I walked through the door of the Kountry Bakery I was shocked to find that what I knew as kolaches were nothing of the sort.
There were many flavors to choose from, but I limited myself to three. One each of cherry, apricot, and peach. The kolaches had a thin but firm crust and were soft and pillowy on the inside. The slight tanginess of the apricot was the perfect lead-in to the sour/sweet combo of the cherry. The peach kolache tasted like summer.
For this recipe I used raspberry jam, blackberry jam, and homemade lemon curd.
Kolaches are a traditional Czechoslovakian pastry, brought to Texas by Czech settlers so many years ago. This recipe will give you just the right mix of sweet and tangy. I hope you’ll give them a try.
- 16 ounces (450 grams) flour
- 2½ tsp yeast
- 3 Tbsp melted unsalted butter, plus 1 addition Tbsp for brushing on rolls
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1¼ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup warm water
- 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Jam or lemon curd
- Mix ½ of flour with yeast, salt and sugar
- Add water, egg and melted butter, mix thoroughly
- Add remainder of flour and mix until dough just starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl
- Wipe down bowl and lightly coat bottom with oil
- Toss dough in olive oil
- Cover and let rise for two hours
- Punch down dough and roll out into a rectangular shape, about ½ inch thick
- Using a cookie or biscuit cutter, cut 18 to 24 3" rounds
- Cover and let rise 1 hour
- Using a soup spoon creat a small depression in each round
- Fill with 1 tsp cream cheese
- Put 1 tsp jam or curd on top of cream cheese
- Brush exposed part of dough with melted butter
- Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes