After spending the weekend making kolache recipes back-to-back, I still feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s out there. First, I tried kolaches made with shortening and evaporated milk. They were okay, but nothing special. For the second recipe, I used 1 cup of mashed potatoes. Those were good, but kind of dense. For the third try, I made kolaches with sour cream. They were the best so far — light and pillowy soft.
To get the light texture I used the special Red Star Platinum yeast, bread flour and sour cream. For fun, I threw in a tiny dash of a “secret ingredient” which is not necessary, but gives the kolaches a little extra hint of flavor. And for fun, I made half as rounds and did the other half as squares.
To keep them soft, I baked them in 9×13 inch pans and spaced them so that they’d touch each other after they rose.
They still got pretty brown on top, but that’s because I’ve been baking them at 400 F. All of the recipes I’ve looked at use relatively high temperatures. These were very soft and while they did have a very thin crust, they were less crusty than the other Cream Cheese Filled Kolaches.
Update: Here are a few more batches made with the same dough. I wanted to give a tray of them as a hostess gift an baked them on disposable trays. The round pans looked nicer than the rectangular ones.
Kolaches With Sour Cream Dough
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into chunks (56 grams)
- 1/2 cup milk whole best but reduced fat okay
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sour cream full fat
- 3 cups bread flour divided use (380 grams) — or as needed
- 1 package Red Star Platinum quick rising yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar 65 grams
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons melted butter or shortening for brushing
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 teaspoons melted butter
Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 oz softened cream cheese 230 grams
- 1/4 cup sugar 50 grams
- 1 egg yolk
- Pinch of lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Put the butter, milk, water and sour cream in saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then let cool to 130 degrees. When cool, you can add a dash of vanilla or butternut extract if you want (totally optional).
- While milk mixture is cooling, put 2 cups of the bread flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl — – preferably a stand mixer so you can use your dough hook. Gradually add the milk mixture and stir until mixed, then stir in the egg. From this point, add remaining flour by quarter cups until you have a soft dough. This dough is slightly sticky, though it should be less so after kneading.
- Put the bowl on the mixer stand and knead with the dough hook until it is smooth and elastic. The dough might stick to the side of the bowl as it is being kneaded. Stop the mixer every couple of minutes and scrape side of the bowl. It will be sticky, yet still elastic and have some snap to it.
- Transfer to a well- greased (very oily!) bowl. Roll it around so it is coated in oil, then cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Pinch off 16 equal size portions and shape into little balls or blobs. Alternatively, you can pat the dough into a big rectangle and cut into squares if you want square kolaches. Place 8 balls (or squares) on each of two parchment lined 13×9 inch pans spacing about an inch apart. Alternatively you can do this on baking sheets. Brush with melted butter or shortening for less browning.
- Cover loosely with a greased sheet of plastic wrap and let rise for an hour.
- While rising, mix together ingredients for the topping and filling.
- Make an indentation in each risen ball and fill with about a tablespoon of cream cheese filling. Brush gently with butter and sprinkle the topping over the bun and filling.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and let the buns sit while the oven preheats.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 400F. Let cool slightly before serving. The ones filled with fruit are really good hot, but the cream cheese ones are better warm or even at room temperature.
Sue, I know what you mean about it not always being easy to find tasters, but these freeze well :).
Wendy, thanks so much for sending me the recipe! I’m going to make it as soon as I buy the pudding.
Cynna, your version sounds delicious! It sounds as if they might have a texture similar to rugelach (which I love). The ones I’ve been making or pretty light and fluffy — almost like doughnuts.
Great topic! I am half Czech, so when I was growing up there was always a tray of kolache in my paternal grandmother’s kitchen. She never passed down the recipe, but through much trial and error, I have come up with a recipe that brings me back to my childhood. My recipe has cream cheese (my favorite version) or creamed cottage cheese in the dough–no yeast. Grandma always filled them with a walnut mixture, and so do I, with powdered sugar sprinkled on top. Also, she always rolled and sliced them before baking–they were never open-faced. They are totally, deliciously addicting and freeze well–if there are ever enough left to freeze!
The kolaches look yummy! I’m going to send you recipe for a version my boyfriend’s grandmother used to make that uses vanilla pudding! While I haven’t had a chance to try her recipe yet (appears to make like 6 dozen), I thought I’d still share with you since it’s a true hand-me-down through at least 3 generations that I know of.
These look so good. You are making me want to bake again! I simply don’t have enough eaters around for regular baking.
I was going to give the brownie bark five stars but comments are closed. Thanks for that recipe!
Joanna @ the knitlit twit
Oooh, yum! I love kolaches, but I feel like the perfect one is a mystery to me, it’s hard enough to find in a Czech bakery, much less make at home. Plus, I’m a coward about yeast. These look delicious though, sour cream makes everything better.