We Gotcha Kolache! That’s the slogan for Weikel’s Bakery, a very well-loved bakery on Highway 71 between Austin and Houston in La Grange. Weikel’s is known for their Kolaches, soft and fluffy Czech pastries filled with cheese, fruit and/or sausage. We spent a lot of time in La Grange, so I had my share of kolaches. But to be honest, I appreciate them more now that I’m an adult. And as a baker, I’m intrigued by how many different ways you can make one dough.
This recipe is adapted from Dorothy Bohak’s, which is one of many I found in Texas Monthly. The original was about 3 times this, but I scaled it down and made one big change, which was to use a tangzhong.
If you are not familiar with tangzhong, it’s a Japanese baking method that makes breads light and fluffy and extends freshness. And it’s very easy! All you do is whisk together a portion of the flour and liquid, put it over medium heat and stir to make a thick white paste. Once cooled, this paste goes into the dough where it does its magic. It’s a method you don’t need to use on every bread, but if you are looking for fluffy kolaches, doughnuts and such, tangzhong is worth a shot. I’d like to think Dorothy Bohak would approve.
- 3 tablespoons water (43 grams)
- 3 tablespoons whole milk (43 grams)
- 2 tablespoons bread flour (14 grams)
- 2 cups 270 grams bread flour plus about ½ cup as needed (65 grams) more
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup sugar 50 grams
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened to almost melted
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1/2 cup very warm whole milk about 125 degrees
- Extra butter for brushing dough
- 1/4 cup bread flour (35 grams)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (12 grams)
- Tiny pinch of salt
- 4 teaspoons cold butter (18 grams)
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened (114 grams)
- 2 tablespoons sugar (25 grams)
- ½ of an egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon more or less of lemon zest
- 1/8 teaspoon more or less vanilla
- Raspberry preserves (optional)
- To make the tangzhong: Combine 2 tablespoons flour, 3 tablespoons of milk and 3 tablespoon water in a small saucepan, and whisk until smooth. Put over medium heat and whisk for about 3 minutes or until mixture is thick and whisk leaves a trail on the bottom of the saucepan. Transfer to the bowl of our stand mixer (or another bowl if you wish) and let cool for about 20 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cooled tangzhong, 2 cups (270 grams) of the flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Add the softened butter, warm milk and the egg and stir to make very soft dough.
- Set the bowl on the mixer stand and begin kneading with the dough hook. Add the reserved flour 2 tablespoons at a time while the machine kneads. Stopping and scraping bowl after every flour addition. Add the flour until the dough no longer clings to the side of the bowl. You probably won’t need all of the extra flour, so do it gradually. Keep kneading until smooth and elastic. The dough should be very smooth, easy to handle and neither too sticky nor too dry.
- Rub an empty mixing bowl with butter or slick with oil, put the dough in it, cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours
- Turn the dough onto a pastry mat. If it’s oily, you shouldn’t need any extra flour at this point, but if for some reason it is sticky you can flour the mat. Punch into kind of a rectangle and cut into 6 equal squarish things. Shape each into a ball by turning down and tucking the corners. Arrange about an inch apart in a well greased 9×13 inch pan.
- 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.
- Also, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. If you’d like to use a steamy oven (sometimes helps with rise and soft crust), put an empty cast iron skillet on the bottom rack.
- Make an indentation in each risen ball and fill with filling. Brush with a little melted butter. Sprinkle with posypka topping. Let rise for about 10 minutes or so.
- Once the oven is preheated, put on an oven mitt and carefully pour about 2 or 3 cups of cold water into the hot skillet to make a steamy oven. You can skip this step if you want.
- Bake Kolaches at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes or until nicely browned and baked through.
- Posypka Directions: In a small bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Add butter in small chunks and work it in with your fingers to make a powdery streusel.
- Cream Cheese Filling – Mix together softened cream cheese and sugar, then drizzle in egg yolk. Mix well and add lemon zest and vanilla.
Hi Kate, the first link was still working, but they changed the second link. I’ve fixed it so that it links to the article, but the links within the article don’t all go to the recipes. Luckily, two of them are still on Texas Monthly.
This should lead you to the recipe I made (Dorothy’s).
And here’s Mrs. Jerabeks’s
Here’s the link to the main article with the non-working links to recipes (in case you want to read about kolaches without making them)
Oh I would love the recipes also. The link for me is also not working. Thanks so much
Thank you! 😀
John, thanks for letting me know! I’ll do some searching and see if I can find the Texas Monthly recipe. When I do, I will add a link and email you the recipe.
The link you provided for this website no longer has the recipe for this, nor does it have the other 2 recipes from that website. When you click on them it says the page is lost….. Do you happen to still have a copy of the recipe you used? I’d love to try these!
I am going to have to save this recipe… Our Czech Au Pair makes them with poppy seeds and prunes,too. Thanks for posting this!
My grandmother made prune ones. I’m glad they didn’t tell me that when I was young because I may not have eaten them but the posypka made the prunes taste so good!!
My grandmother used to make the best kolaches. I am from El Campo which is full of kolache-making Czechs. You are brave though. My mom made them one time and they turned out horrible so I have never tried myself. I just get my kolache fix at Mornings Kolaches in Houston.
Brenda, I just got off the phone with my dad. I told him I was making kolaches and he started going on and on about West and how great their kolaches were. I might have to try the sausage variety.
I love Kolaches!! When I was in college in Waco I belonged to the computer club (showing my geekyness here) and we sold these in the mornings for a fund raiser. We sold out so fast! We got them in West, TX which has a lot of Czech people. Sausage ones are really good too! Wow…that brings back so many memories.