When making the three hour drive from Austin to Houston, it’s customary to take a rest-stop in the town of La Grange, specifically Weikel’s, a gas station and bakery known for their kolache. Back when my grandparents had a second home in La Grange, we’d pick up a batch for them and share them at breakfast the next morning.
But enough reminiscing. Rather than live in the past, I decided to try making my own. I’d never done it before, so to get started I looked for a recipe on Texas Monthly’s website. You have to use the search function to find their authentic kolache recipes, and so far I’ve found three. This is the one I tried, though it is adapted somewhat to be made with a stand mixer and dough hook. You can definitely knead by hand, but I’ve found I always get much better results using a dough hook.
For this recipe, you proof the yeast. If you’re using quick yeast, you’ll want to skip this step and put the yeast in with the flour mixture.
A raw kolache with some filling. Notice my dough is a little *too* stiff. I should have added a tad more milk. Remember, I cut the recipe down to 1/3 so there was room for error. Next time, I’ll be more careful. I might even try the recipe with bread flour.
The fillings and the crumb topping came together very easily. There are two fillings here — an apricot filling and a cream cheese filling. The crumbly looking on is a crumb that you sprinkle over the bun and around the filling. It is optional.
And that’s all. No more pictures. I am really excited about making these again, perhaps with bread flour and definitely with a lighter hand on the flour scooper. Even though mine were a little on the heavy side, they tasted great. As a bonus, my house smells like Weikel’s.
- 3 pkgs dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 sticks butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 3/4 cups milk (scald and cool to lukewarm)
- 7 1/4 cups flour (more or less as needed)
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 16 oz cream cheese
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- grated rind of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Dissolve yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar and set aside to proof.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream sugar and butter. Add egg yolks and salt and mix well. Add the dissolved yeast, 1 cup of the flour and mix slowly with an electric mixer. Add the milk and continue adding as much of the remaining flour either with a spoon or with the mixer on low. Dough should be moderately soft and neither sticky nor too dry. You may use more flour, you may use less.
- Attach the dough hook and knead with the dough hook for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Rub an empty mixing bowl with butter, put the dough in it, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Pinch off egg size portions and roll into a ball using the palm of your hands in circular motion.
- Grease two or three rimmed baking sheets. Place the dough pieces about 1 inch apart and brush with melted butter.
- Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray, cover loosely and let rise for an hour.
- While rising, mix together ingredients for the Posypka Topping and the cream cheese filling.
- Make an indentation in each risen ball and fill with filling. Sprinkle with posypka topping and let rise again for 20 minutes. Bake in a preheated 425-degree oven for about 10-15 minutes. Brush kolaches with melted butter as they come out of the oven.