I AM of Czechoslovakian descent, and baking kolaches is my specialty. These sweet yeast buns with fruit or poppy seed filling are a true Czech tradition. They are also popular in other Slavic nations, which sometimes use the spellings kolacky or kolachke. From a young age, I’ve enjoyed baking. But it wasn’t until we retired from farming and moved to town that I started making large quantities of kolaches. The Cherry Kolaches recipe I’m sharing reflects my filling preference. But I also make apricot, apple, pineapple, prune and poppy seed kolaches. I make my fillings from scratch, but you can easily use canned filling instead.
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2-1/2 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 eggs
- 11 to 11-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cans (21 ounces each) cherry pie filling
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- Melted butter
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, butter, salt, eggs and 5 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a very soft dough. Do not knead. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 75 minutes.
- Turn onto a well-floured surface. Shape into 1-1/2-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine pie filling and sugar. Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; gradually stir into filling. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened; set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and egg yolk until smooth. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each dough ball; fill with 2 rounded teaspoons of filling. Make a small indentation in center of filling; add 1 teaspoon topping.
- Bake at 400° for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush melted butter over rolls. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: about 6 dozen.
Originally published as Cherry Kolaches in Taste of Home April/May 2004, p51
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Reviewed Aug. 8, 2010
"TASTE LIKE A CHERRY DANISH!"