Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Kolaches: A sweet escape

kolachesThis past weekend we had two days of spring-like weather. There were warm breezes, sunny skies and no need to wear more than a jacket and a light scarf. Unfortunately, it was just a tease and we’ve since returned to below-zero, bone-chilling temperatures. But still that taste, that amuse bouche of future pleasant days gave me a mild case of spring fever.

Spring is one of my favorite times of year: the trees in bloom, the packing away of heavy coats, the longer days, and the arrival of strawberries and asparagus are all cause for celebration. And when I was in school, the season also meant a break—a perfect excuse to hit the road. There was no shortage of places to explore in Texas, but one of our favorite journeys was the annual trek to the Hill Country so we could witness the bluebonnets in full bloom. But as glorious as Texas’ state flower may be, I'd say one of the best parts of the trip was a pit stop made in the tiny town of West.

West, which is situated almost halfway between Austin and Dallas, is a hamlet for the descendants of Czech immigrants—it’s the “Czech Heritage Capital of Texas.” And what you’ll find there is one of the tastiest pastries ever made—the kolache. This sweet, soft, yeasty roll filled with either apricots, prunes, cheese, poppy seeds or sausage is always an excellent excuse to stop the car, stretch your legs and chow down. Everyone in the state loves kolaches, and while you can sometimes find them in the big cities, for some reason they just taste better in West. Perhaps it’s the water, or perhaps it’s the history, or perhaps it’s the competition between all those Czech bakeries serving their interpretation of the same treat, but most will agree that if you want the best kolaches, you must travel to West.

kolachesSadly, I haven't been to West in years. But fortunately, last Thanksgiving, my uncle who lives in Austin made a stop and brought a big box of kolaches to my grandparents’ farm. He arrived the day before I did, so in order to insure that my kolache-mad family wouldn’t devour the whole lot, my grandmother hid one in the cupboard for me until I arrived from New York. My family teased me about this special treatment, but after one delicious bite into the pillow-like pastry that soon gave way to the sticky center of sweet prune puree, I was immediately fortified against their good-natured ribbing.

The kolache comes from a large family. I’d say it’s a distant relative to many pastries, such as a Danish, a klobasnek, or even hamentaschen (the two seem to favor the same fillings), but there’s just something about that roll, a certain flavor that makes it stand unique. I’ve never seen them in New York City, but as I was thinking about spring and road trips, I got a craving. I hadn’t made them before, nor had anyone in my family, so I scoured my cookbooks and the Internet in search of a recipe. I discovered several, but which to choose? Would you believe it took me three tries to get that pastry to taste as it should? The first two recipes I made were almost there, but something was always a bit off—either the dough was too stiff or the dough was too sweet. But on my third attempt I took what I had learned and came up with something that felt authentic.

kolachesSo while making kolaches in Manhattan is akin to making bagels in West, I do think these kolaches are about as close to that little town in Texas as you can get. For me, it’s a taste of road trips, wildflowers in bloom and a hint of warmer days on the horizon. And if you’re looking for a sweet escape, perhaps you will enjoy them, too.

Kolaches (adapted from recipes found in Texas Monthly and the Houston Chronicle)
Ingredients:
1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup of warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup of melted butter
1 teaspoon of salt

Method:
In a large bowl, combine yeast, warm milk, sugar and one cup of flour. Cover and let it rise until doubled in size.
Beat together eggs, 1/2 cup of melted butter (reserve 1/4 cup for brushing on the pastry) and salt.
Add egg mixture to yeast mixture and blend.
Stir in about two more cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. The dough should be soft and moist.
Knead dough for about 10 minutes on floured surface. Don't worry, it’s a joy to knead as the dough is smooth and highly malleable.
Put dough in a greased bowl and let rise covered until doubled in size—about an hour.
After dough has risen, punch it down and pull off egg-sized pieces. In your hands, roll pieces into balls and then flatten to about three inches in diameter. Brush with melted butter.
Place flattened pieces on a greased cookie sheet, cover and let rise again for another half-hour.
After second rising, with your finger gently make an indention in the center of the dough (be careful not to flatten it too much) and fill with one tablespoon of fruit filling (recipe to follow) and sprinkle with posypka (recipe to follow).
Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Brush with melted butter when you take them out of the oven and serve warm.

Kolache filling
Ingredients:
1/2 pound of dried fruit such as apricots or prunes.
Sugar to taste
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
Lemon zest

Method:
Soak the dried fruit in water for a few hours or overnight.
When fruit is re-hydrated, cook on low for 15 minutes, adding sugar to taste (I find the fruit sweet enough so I don’t add sugar, but you may prefer it sweeter), cinnamon and lemon zest. Mash with a potato masher until you have a puree.

Posypka
Ingredients:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:
Mix all ingredients until crumbly.

This recipe makes about 18 kolaches, depending on how large you make them. And the variations are endless. For additional flavor you can soak the dried fruit in tea such as Earl Grey or you could sprinkle goat cheese on the apricot kolaches before baking. You can also make sausage and jalapeno kolaches by wrapping the three-inch flattened piece of dough around a two-inch piece of sausage and a couple of pickled jalapeno slices.

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187 comments:

Freya and Paul said...

I love Kolaches, I made some last summer from The Pastry Queen cookbook by Rebecca Rather, using peach preserves and freshly chopped peaches and they were the tenderest pastry I have ever eaten. If you have a long weekend ahead, they're well worth cooking. Yours look delicious!

Shawnda said...

Oh, we were raised on this stuff! They were the best things that my dad made in my parents' bakery. I preferred his savory kolaches but the sweet kolaches were just as good :)

Tommy said...

Are you saying NYC doesn't have a Czech bakery ? Maybe this post will alert someone of your needs for this type of pastry .I think with a little bit of perseverance you will turn up something.

Great topic. You do the baking business proud.

Homesick Texan said...

Freya--Thanks! And yes, they do take time but are worth it!

Shawnda--Your parents had a bakery? Was it in Houston? How cool!

Tommy--I'm sure there's a Czech bakery in NYC, I just haven't found it yet!

scribbit said...

I love all pastries. Even donuts. I'm like HOmer Simpson when it comes to those yummy things.

Brilynn said...

A friend of mine is Slovenian and her Babba makes the best kolache!

StormySleep said...

I am in love with you. Just when I think you've covered it all, you bring out another one. I used to have kolaches every Sunday morning from a bakery in Austin. Not quite West, to be sure, but damned good. I'm making these next weekend.

Christina said...

Okay, this post actually made me get a little teary. I grew up on the border of West, and kolaches are the thing I miss the most about Texas. I live in Boston now (where there are also no kolaches -- I could never believe that despite my hunting in NYC, I couldn't find them there either), and I've only been back to Texas and gotten kolaches once since my move three and a half years ago. There is a recipe in HEB's 100th Anniversary cookbook that I keep meaning to try, but I think I'm more likely to go with the safe bet of overnighting some from the Czech Stop.

Homesick Texan said...

Scribbit--Mmmmmm....doooonut! I'm a fool for pastries myself!

Brilynn--I bet she does! I'd love to watch someone's Babba make some kolaches!

StormySleep--Awwwww, shucks! Thank you! And have fun making them! It takes time, but they're well worth the effort.

Christina--OK, I thought I was missing something by not being able to find them, but thanks for confirming they're nowhere to be found. Have you ever overnighted them from the Czech Stop before?

Tommy said...

Just for you Tex, I'm going to call the Czech Embassy and make some inquiries.
Don't laugh now. This will work. Many diplomats are so proud of their countries they will bend over backwards on something like this. If anyone can help, its your local embassy or consulate.

vlb5757 said...

Boy, does this bring back memories. I remember when I was a kid, we used to have kolaches every Thanksgiving and Christmas. My uncle would drive from Dallas to Temple and bring them with him along with a smoked turkey and some wonderful sausage. My uncle has long since passed away but it would please him to know that he left me a food legacy that will last forever!

Homesick Texan said...

Tommy--Thanks, I'll be curious to see what you discover!

Vickie--Oh, that's a fine, fine memory!

sleepingmoon said...

i'm a super fan of your site. i'm a super fan of kolaches. i moved to ny from texas in 1994. my granny's from west. good lord. it's quite comforting to know i'm not the only one up here hoarding rotel and packing cans of ranch style beans into my carry-on.

carry on.

Tea said...

What a great post. I've never had a kolache--never even heard of them--but now I immediately want one.

I was laughing at your bagels in West line. Seeing that I once spent a weekend making bagels in the small mountain town in Japan where I once lived (in a toaster oven no less), I'd say that sometimes you just get a hankering...

But you know all about those:-)

Jenifer said...

I want to go to the Kolache Festival this year. Ever since I moved to Texas, it's the one thing I look for when I go into a bakery. If they make a good kolache, then I know that they have good food.

rob said...

What a beautiful post. I have to admit to having never heard of a kolache, nor to ever suspecting that a small Texas town would appear to be the US's kolache capital. The fillings for these remind me of the fillings for paczki, delicious Polish donuts. Thanks for opening my eyes to another delicious dish.

Madam Chow said...

I've never heard of these, and they look wonderful! They do remind me a bit, like Rob said, of Polisch paczki. I'll put these on my to-do list.

Homesick Texan said...

Sleepingmoon--Ha! The things we Texans do to eat the foods we love!

Tea--Baking bagels in a toaster oven--I love it! But when you have a hankering, nothing can stop you!

Jenifer--I've never been to the Kolache Festival, but would love to attend one year. Yum!

Rob--Thank you! The fillings must be pretty typical for a lot of Eastern Europe pastries. There's a large Polish community here so I'll keep my eye out for paczki.

Madam Chow--Enjoy! They are wonderful!

Frank said...

HS Texan,
Funny you mention kolaches. I had to make a run up to DFW for a couple days this week, and it was all I could do to wait(I was starving) until I got to West, and more importantly, The Czech Stop, for my favorite, The Czech Stop Special kolache-the one with sausage-it was awesome!

Hannah said...

The Czech Stop will overnight you kolaches? That is the best news I have heard all day.

ann said...

bestill my beating heart. My grandfather would buy something similar to these, but savory, for us to snack on when I was a kid. I hadn't thought of them for years until a few weeks ago when someone in Texas mentioned them to my boyfriend, who then asked me if I'd ever heard of them. I've been craving them nonstop since then, and now i have a recipe. THANK YOU!!

gilly said...

Hi Lisa! These sound terrific - and versatile... I like the idea of both sweet and savoury kolaches.

Linda said...

i absolutely adore this entry. i wish id had more trips like that with my family, though i suppose there were a few. i'll have to try these out. nice of you to go through all the trouble with recipes! its amazing you were able to get it on the button!

Anonymous said...

I am looking for something sweet and these look like just the ticket to Midterm oblivion!

Ari (Baking and Books)

Lindsay said...

I've just found your website and I feel like we grew up in the same kitchen. I also am an expat Texan, though I'm in Brazil, where salt is the favorite "spice", no one knows of the jalapeno, and avocados are made into pudding (I'm not kidding). Your blog gives me chills. Love the recipes.

I only had a West kolache once and it was divine, I always drove through La Grange and had to stop at Wiekel's. I would have to put the extra kolaches in the trunk so they would make it to my destination.

Homesick Texan said...

Frank--Don't you know it! I LOVE the Czech Stop's sausage kolache--delish!

Hannah--Yes they do. They ship by the dozen or half dozen. Here's the web site.

Ann--You're very welcome! I hope the recipe works for you.

Gilly--Hello! Yes, they taste just as wonderful either savory or sweet.

Linda--Ha! At the end of my baking day both my kitchen and I were covered in flour!

Ari--They're indeed a scrumptious sweet treat. Good luck with midterms!

Lindsay--Welcome! And thank you. I've never been to Wiekel's in La Grange, but I'll have to check it out next time I'm in the area. And I'm very intrigued about avocado pudding. Do you have a recipe?

Lindsay said...

Avocado Pudding Disclaimer:
I don't really like this stuff. Adding sugar to avocados seems unnatural to me. It's popular here and they feel the same way about guacamole as I do about pudding. I'm also not sure how well the ingredients translate as heavy whipping cream here seems to be much heavier than in the states and the condensed milk seems sweeter. But enough with the disclaimers, try it at your own risk.

Avocado Pudding (Mousse de Abacate)
500 grams of avocado
1 can (12 oz.) of sweetened condensed milk
12 oz. of heavy whipping cream
1 packet (12 grams) of gelatin powder
6 tablespoons of water
3 egg whites
5 tablespoons of granulated sugar

Blend the avocado, condensed milk, cream and gelatin (dissolved in water)and set aside. Beat the egg whites until they form peaks and add sugar. Mix the egg mixture into the avocado mixture. Store in the fridge until it sets, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Homesick Texan said...

Linday--Thanks for the recipe--I'm quite keen to try this!

Christina said...

I haven't yet tried the overnighting option from Czech Stop, but this post maybe the thing I need to finally make the move.

Jennifer said...

My family's favorite stop in West has always been the Village Bakery, but it has required some speeding to make sure we arrive before closing. Now that I live in Georgia, the occasions that I'm driving I-35 are rare, so we usually buy obscene quantities of fruit and sausage kolaches to make up for the years between visits. Kolaches make great snacks on a long road trip!

Brett Ashley said...

omigosh! i adore kolaches. these beat a bagel any morning (or noon or night!)

Homesick Texan said...

Christina--I haven't tried it either, but the people at Czech Shop assure me they've never received any complaints.

Jennifer--They do make great snacks on long trips. And just how obscene of an amount do y'all buy? Do you fill your freezer with them?

Brett--I agree, much better than a bagel!

StormySleep said...

Done! Made them yesterday, your recipe is amazing. My family of native NYCers is in love with kolaches now, although my husband can't remember what they're called, and refers to them as kalootchkes. Close enough for me. :)

Homesick Texan said...

Storymysleep--Wonderful news! And it doesn't matter what your husband calls them, they still taste the same!

class factotum said...

I drove from Memphis (I'm an expat, too) to Austin last year and West was where I stopped to eat! Two poppyseed kolaches and a dozen more to go! I used to stop at the Bon Ton on 71 (290?) between Austin and Houston.

My boyfriend had to go to Cedar Rapids, IA, home of the Czech and Slovak Museum, for work (I lived there for 6 months), so I sent him to their kolache store with very specific instructions. He returned with a dozen kolaches. I thought they would last a while in the freezer, but my kolache deficit was greater than I thought.

My grandmother is Slovak and she used to make kolaches, but I never learned how. I'll have to try your recipe.

http://class-factotum.journalspace.com/?entryid=1214&h=kolache
(scroll down for Czech Stop photo)

Anonymous said...

Hey, homesick Texan. I rolled up my sleeves and made your kolache recipe last week and they were great. I flattened them too much so they wound up looking like tostadas instead of being rounder and bun like so there was a moment of "ohmigod, they're gonna be awful!', but they turned out to be delicious anyway. I made a dried apricot filling flavouring it with lime zest and some whisky. The recipe made 24 for me and they're all gone! Oink! Thanks! Mark in Toronto

Elisa said...

I live in San Antonio and when taking IH35 North, my favorite "rest stop" is in West! My cousin and I have a friend in Dallas we visit a few times a year and when we arrive I'm not sure if she is more excited to see us or to peek inside of the waxy bag of Czech Bakery yumminess! Although I live in Texas, it's great to be reminded of our many tasty treats.

Christina said...

Stormysleep -- my NYC friend always mixes up the letters and calls them choloakies.

Texas Chef said...

My grandmother was German from Illinois but her mother was from Amish country in the Shenandoah Valley. My grandmother and my mother both made what they called kolaches but were different from those in West, TX. Mom, made hot rolls at least once a week and using the same dough, she punched a hole in the roll and stuffed it with home-made cottage cheese and raisins and pinched the hole shut. Talk About Good!!!

40til5 said...

Fill these with fruit and you're making a glorified jelly do-nut. True kolaches are stuffed with sausage and cheese.

CrownLaidDown said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe! We moved to Colorado from Texas (lived in various places Austin, Bryan/ College Station and Marshall). I asked about them at the grocery stores here, "What? never heard of them!" was the reply. Actually for the commenter before, Kolache describes the type of pastry bread used and are both fruit-filled (cream cheese, too) and sausage (with jalepenos and/ or cheese).

I'm looking forward to sharing these with friends on Tues. 'Hope the altitude doesn't affect how it turns out!

Blessings on ya,
Holly

Anonymous said...

Ok, having spent 4 years in Waco at Baylor in the 80s, a trip to West for sausage kolaches were a weekend tradition. I hadn't thought about these in ages (and now I have to find a Czech bakery here in Chicago), but thank you for posting the recipe.

Cheers!
David
gryphon773@yahoo.com

Keren said...

Wow! We used to stop at this bakery every time we went to Dallas. Thanks for the recipe, hope to try it soon. By the way, we are going back home this weekend for my sister-in-law's wedding...can't wait! The more of your posts I read the more homesick I get.

Brooke miller said...

I love that the Czech Stop isn't a secret!! I'm a college student at UT, and don't make the trip home to the DFW area without bringing home a dozen for my family.

Homesick Texan said...

Class Factotum--Yeah, I can't see a dozen kolaches lasting long in my freezer either.

Mark--Yea! I'm glad you enjoyed them! I love the idea of lime zest and whiskey with the apricot. That sounds divine!

Elisa--Ha! That sounds like my family! We pounce on my uncle when he arrives loaded with goodies from West.

Texas Chef--That does sound good!

40til5--True kolaches can be made with either fruit or sausage.

Holly--I know...it's shocking that they're so little known outside the state.

David--You're welcome!

Keren--I hope the recipe works for you.

Brooke--It's only a secret to those who don't know!

Anonymous said...

I moved to Kansas City from Texas about three and a half years ago and there are so many things I miss. I recall telling a group of friends about kolaches and everyone stared at me blankly, having no clue what I was talking about. Of course, as you probably know, this happens all the time. So we all laughed at what they call my "crazy Texas sayings" and I cried a little inside. Not really, but it is annoying, almost as much as the "you're from Texas, where's your accent?" joke. It's funny how many people think Texas is a dumpy wasteland, when it is far more sophisticated than most places, in my opinion. I just discovered your blog today and I'm already hooked. I plan on making your Texas Flour Tortillas this week because I have also been craving them with a capital C. Thanks for creating a great site :D
jenn

Homesick Texan said...

Hi Jenn, thanks for stopping by! I hear you on the accent question--I get it all the time, that is until I say, "y'all" and then people say, "Ah...so you ARE a Texan!" I hope you enjoy the flour tortillas!

Sprittibee said...

Someone sent me your site (fellow Texan) and I had to laugh. Not only am I also a Texas Transplant (in Arkansas of all places... for nearly the past 2 years), but my husband's family is Czech (and it seems you like Kolaches). I spent yesterday looking for the perfect online recipe for poppyseed kolaches (the kind that I talked about in last night's post).

I have a few good recipes on my recipe blog that you might enjoy (seeing as how we probably have some similar tastes in food). My Recipe Blog is neglected most of the time, but I post there at least three or four times a month with favorites that we make a lot at home. It is my personal library of the BEST recipes I have tried (to keep me from having to dig in my 100 cook-books when I am in a hurry).

Looking forward to browsing your site. I'll bookmark you and be checking back in.

- Heather from Texas
www.sbees.blogspot.com

Homesick Texan said...

Hi Sprittibee, and thanks for stopping by! I'll have to go through your recipe archive, sounds fun. And what a coincidence your husband's family is Czech. How do they make kolaches?

Anonymous said...

You are totally my favorite person now. We live in the DC area and I have been trying to find a kolache recipe forever. I was in West in May. The kolaches are still absolutely wonderful!

A Texan at heart

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the kolache recipe...I moved from Houston to a small town outside of Wichita, Kansas in 1999 - i spent years buying Blue Bell on my trips home ( my dad made a special box that would hold 12 cartons and dry ice-it stayed frozen all the way home) Also stocked up on Comet Rice and bought Imperial Sugar... hey there are just some things you gotta have. We would always have intentions of bringing back some Kolaches - but somehow they never made it all the way home..There is a place in the sagemont are called Donut Heaven -the best sausage & cheese kolaches... Anybody have a good recipe for those.. i would love to try them.

misslunablu said...

Your description of the longing and inability to find kolaches outside of Texas was dead on. My mother was from West, Texas and I foundly remember going to the bakery downtown, across the railroad tracks to get the best kolaches, not the bakery by the highway, those just weren't as good. I live in Chicago, and while there is a big Czech community in close towns like Cicero or Berwyn, their kolches were more like the Polish cookies Kolchkies (sp?). One of these days I'm going to splurge and have a couple dozen overnighted.

Miss Scarlett said...

Homesick Texan:
I just made your Kolache recipe and they were WONDERFUL! They didn't taste *quite* like I remembered when I had them in Houston this summer, but I think it's perhaps b/c I used a bit too much flour. I found the dough to be TOO sticky and hard to knead, so I added more.
Still - they were fantastic. I will definitely attempt them again until I get the consistency of the dough right. THANKS!

DebOller said...

Thanks so much for posting the kolache recipe. ;) I'm a misplaced Texan living in Rochester, NY. Any time we make a trip down to my in-laws we plan on stopping by West. My favorite is the poppy seed but I'm making sausage ones today to share at a party tonight.

Texicanindc said...

I stumbled upon this post searching for a Kolache recipe (I'm a displaced Texan living in Washington, DC.) I'm definitely trying this recipe this weekend.

To those hording Ranch Style Beans on return trips from Texas, if you have Harris Teeter in your area, check their bean aisle. I did a little happy dance when I found Ranch Style Beans in a Virginia Harris Teeter a couple of months ago. No more weighing down my suitcase!!! YAY!

Jean said...

I made the kolaches today, and I have to say they are incredible. The dough was wonderful to work with; very soft and yeasty, I enjoyed kneading it. I used four fillings; peach, plum, lemon curd, and ham&cheese. they are all wonderful. I haven't been home to Texas for a long time and it was a taste of home. Thanks so much for the recipe and for the blog. I enjoy it very much.
Jean

Alenka said...

Hey I'm from the Czech republic and I'm glad to hear that you too are enjoying my favorite pastry. Actually the one that we do in the Czech republic are slightly different from the ones you know they're much thiner and on the contrary they have more filling. However, I've tasted yours too and I know that they're not bad though.

Katie said...

This is extremely close to a recipe I use, although I double the recipe and it makes exactly 48 kolaches in two pans (arranges 6 x 4). The edges will touch a little when they rise, making the shape a little square.

I've been practicing for a little while (my husband grew up with kolaches and as the older kolache-making ladies in the town pass, I wanted to be able to carry on the tradition for our future children), so here's a few hints I picked up.

I like to proof my yeast in warm (105-115 degrees) water and a teaspoon of sugar. Within 10 minutes the yeast should have doubled in size. Meanwhile, I heat the milk with the butter in it over the stove at medium low, just until the butter melts. Your results will be best if you check that the mixture is <115 degrees before you mix it with the yeast (hotter and you'll kill the yeast!). I also use two egg yolks instead of two eggs (egg whites dry out bakes goods, and I love the moist dough).

3 cups is the right ball park amount, but remember it might change a little based on humidity (it's very humid here in Houston). I almost always need more. When the dough is ready it's a little sticky, but it would rather stick to itself than you. If you're using a stand mixer, like I do, I like to use the Alton Brown method. This is, you bring together the wet ingredients and half the flour, then slowly add more flour with the paddle attachment, until the dough has come togther. I then switch to the dough hook and add more flour if necessary to get the right texture. I like to spray the dough hook with cooking spray before mixing because the dough will try to climb up the hook when ready.

I'm an engineer so when forming the balls, i don't like to pinch off by feel. I use a board scraper to divide the dough in 2, then 2 again, then 3. Then I can divide each piece into four as I go making the pieces a little more evenly sized. Personally, I form them egg shaped and don't flatten them for the first rise. When I form the shape to fill I press relatively hard in the center and spread out a little with four fingers. You want to compress the underside of the filling hole lest it rise and deposit your fruit filling on the pan.

As for the rise, to get bulkier kolaches, they want a warmish place to rise. An entertainment cabinet with a receiver is pretty cozy, although every house has a different best "rising cabinet". Traditionally before air condition a baker might just open her oven.

Hope I had something useful for you in there. Also, don't forget the cheese kolaches while you're experimenting!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. We lived in Fort Worth many years ago and used to get kolaches every week...I had never heard of them before then and hadn't seen them since. I made them tonight with a cheese filling, and they were every bit as delicious as I remembered.

Kismet said...

I love the kolaches from West, and make my husband stop for two LARGE bags (4 boxes or more) each time he travels between Austin and OKC. I can't wait to try the recipe as you suggest it, it will cost alot less than making a trip for them!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in my family's restaurant in West (Sulak's Cafe)and learned to roll, fill and bake kolaches as a small kid. I am partial, I think ours were the best in town. I closed the cafe in 2003 and am now a RN in a psychiatric hospital (this is what happens when you spend 33 years of your life in a cafe!). But I miss making kolaches, so today my daughter and I will be making them in Pflugerville. If you're in town, stop by! KK

Anonymous said...

I am a texas transplant as well. I did find some fantastic kolaches in Wal-Mart. They are under the Great Day brand and I believe come in 3 varieties. They aren't the bakery, but they are very very good!

texasmel said...

I'm loving your website! We moved from San Marcos, Texas in 2006 and now live in Portland, Oregon. I want to try the kolache recipe with sausage and cheese. Any suggestions on what type/brand of sausage and cheese to use? Eating donuts just isn't the same without a sausage and cheese kolache!

Thanks for a great site! Looking forward to making the chocolate Frito Pie as well.

Helle said...

I'm gonna try this!! I'm the other way: I've lived in Texas for 14 years and have learned to fix tacos and a big breakfast. Being Danish, I spent the first while trying to find heavy rye bread, pickled herring and decent potatoes.....that was a doomed quest. Since then, I have been known to sneak RoTel back to Denmark to fix queso and I know the words to the song "Pico de Gallo" by Trout Fishing in America. Kolaches this weekend unless we pile the kids in the van and head out to find bluebonnets!

Belle in Coppell (Texas) said...

I really want to try Kolaches now! Whenever our office gets breakfast, they are a part of it --but you see... I'm allergic to eggs. Do you think there's a way to make them without the egg? If you found a receipe, I'd be forever grateful.

Homesick Texan said...

Belle--I reckon you could make the recipe without eggs, the dough would probably just not be as soft. I'll see if I can find out more information.

Big Mama said...

I am Czech and live in Ennis which is close to West (we have a wonderful polka festival every May where you can get your polka/kolache fix). Kolache means "little fruit pastry". The way the sausage kolache started: Every year in West there is a polka celebration they call "Westfest". The civic organizations each have a food booth and each sell different foods. One year one organization (maybe JayCees, I can't quite remember) wanted to outdo the rest and came up with a meat kolache with sausage in it......it went over really BIG! The rest is history. I think it was in the 60s; you can google it and see when. I love the apricot ones best!

Patti said...

LOVE your blog! I have to make sure to eat something before I view it, though, because I will be so hungry for whatever it is you're blogging about that day that I could blow my diet (ha! ha!) Kolach Depot Bakery in Ennis, TX has amazing fruit kolaches, too! You can even get sugar-free ones, which taste just like the regular ones. Disclaimer: No, I do not work for them nor are in any way related to anyone who works there! Patti

Tammy said...

Oh wow! Thanks so much for directing me to this post!

I lived in Temple and worked at the Scott and White Clinic, I don't know if you've ever heard of it. But, we were a popular place for drug reps to bring huge boxes of these things. The sausage and fruit filled were oh so hard to resist...it might explain my weight gain while living in TX...LOL!

Anonymous said...

Former NYer living in Texas.. Been to West more times than I can remember, and thats all the way fron Rockwall, Texas, by way of NY and thsoe kolaches are worth the trip, even with the price of gas!!

Native NYer

Anonymous said...

Former NYer living in Texas.. Been to West more times than I can remember, and thats all the way fron Rockwall, Texas, by way of NY and thsoe kolaches are worth the trip, even with the price of gas!!

Native NYer

lexlane said...

Hey There,

I am also a displaced Texan living out in San Diego. I was really shocked when I couldn't find any Kolaches out here so I did some research. These aren't actually a Czech tradition, but a Tex-Czech tradition, developed by Czech imagrants in the heart of Texas as a substitute for more traditional pastries that weren't available in America. For some reason, this wonderful pastry never made it outside Texas boarders, creating lots of hungry and homesick displaced Texans.

Mark and Vickie said...

I am now living in Texas, but originally from North Central West Virginia. The dough from kolaches are close to our Pepperoni Roll recipe. I love both. I am going to try and make them this afternoon

Pat Barton said...

My great Grandmother (who did not speak english as I recall) was a baker in Chech and came to the US and settled in west, where she opened a bakery in 1920's named Annie's (after my grandmother). I remember spending summers there and helping my grandmother. My dad and I used to visit her from Abilene and would always make a haul from Nemichecks meats and her bakery.

Anonymous said...

Fellow Texan here...I made these last night and the recipe is spot on. Just as good as any West Kolache I've ever had. VERY Pleased! Will make these again & again!

Carol said...

God bless the Czech Stop! We'll have to try these. My children were so little when we moved away that they don't remember Daddy bringing us kolaches when he would be driving from San Marcos back up to the Metroplex.

Someday I want to go to Westfest...

Anonymous said...

i grew up in sugarland. every saturday morning my dad took me to the donut shop where i got a twisted glaze donut and a sausage kolache. i am in florida now and there are none to be found:(

Anonymous said...

It's such a shame that the kolace seems to be scarce in many parts of the U.S. But never fear...Czech tradition is alive and well here in good old Nebraska! Reading this post brought back fond memories of attending Czech Days in Wilber, NE.
Although I must say, (at least in my opinion) the best kolaches in these parts are made by the ladies of the Presbyterian church in Steele City, NE. I can remember standing in line at 7:00 in the morning at their flea market food stand just to get one those kolaches fresh out of the oven.

I'm actually planning on baking up a batch tomorrow. I do cheat a little bit though...my recipe is adapted for the bread machine... ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm a Texan living in Ga, I'm so glad I found your site. I hope you can help me. Every time I go home, the last stop before leaving Texas to return to Ga is the Kolache house. I always load up on the ones with sausage (it looks like a wiener, but it's not) to bring back to the family that could not make the trip. It seems to be the same bread/dough that is used to make Kolaches. Do you have a recipe for the item I am describing ?

Laura said...

This is definitely a must post for a Homesick Texan. I'm in NY too but originally from Texas. I should have known you'd have a recipe for kolaches, I've been craving them well since I left Texas but more recently in the past few months. Awesome post.

you wouldn't happen to know the type of sausages they use do you? Or even have a poppy seed filling recipe? I know this is a waaay old post ha! Sorry!

Holly said...

I know I am late in the game, but let me just say that I love you. If I were a man, I would propose marriage. I am a Houstonian stranded in Mississippi until further notice and I made these with bacon and cheese filling tonight. They were phenomenal. Thank you thank you thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm more partial to the meat kolaches... my favorites from the Czech Stop have been sausage & saurkraut, sausage, cheese & jalepeƱo, then blueberry and cherry. I don't like the poppyseed though.

Shipley's are good for a quick fix. I grew up in Waco (West is about 15 miles North), so you have to do what you have to do. Their dough is really very good though.

There are a few Kolache shops here in Austin, and while I'll certainly patronize them... I'll still wish for my beloved sausage & sauerkraut. I tell everyone to stop in West on their way to Dallas, everyone looks at me like I'm nuts. Clearly, I work with too many non-Texans.

Annie said...

Never been to Texas for longer than a layover, but I grew up in a heavily Czech and Dutch area of Iowa. Most times, you'd go into town and people would be selling kolaches outside of Kmart. (Why they did this is still slightly beyond me--you cannot actually make a decent amount of money on bakegoods--, but they did. And the kolaches were always good.) There'd be a dozen to a ziploc gallon bag. My cousin got his maternal grandmother's recipe for high school graduation, but won't share with the rest of us.

Dear god, I miss kolaches. And now...my family (who have never tasted the damned things) are going to think I'm nuts when I make these during Winter Break.

Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Looks like we have three things in common...a homesick Texan named Lisa who loves kolaches! I am living in Malaysia now, so it feels like ages since I had a good kolache. So excited to try your recipe. Thanks for sharing.

jacksonsmommy said...

i live in waco, now I am going to have to brave the cold and drive to west for a cream cheese kolache!You made me so hungry!!!

Anonymous said...

I love kolaches and have been wanting to make them for Christmas for my family this year. I grew up on the TX coast but now live south of Boston. Althought I can find rotel, walmart just stopped carrying ranch style beans. I'll have to start packing them in my suitcase again and asking family memebers to do the same!

Nikki said...

I miss my Kolaches! I'm still in Texas, but now I'm way out west in Rankin, instead of in Arlington where there was (and last I heard, still is) the Kolache Bakery on Cooper Street. Their kolaches are almost as good as the ones my best friend's Czech grandmother would make.

After she passed, my bf's parents would make the yearly trip to the West Kolache Festival and the ones they would bring back were so close to the ones from the Kolache Bakery.

Now to quench my kolache cravings, there is a small town close to San Angelo that was founded by several Czech familes and every year the church ladies all get together and make kolaches for their big fall fundraiser. Oh, they are so Awesome! But, I haven't been able to buy any in a few years, so I guess I'm just going to have to get out the flour and start baking! Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

Mmmm.
Kolaches. Our family recipe has been destroyed, (A grandmother who can't give proper directions) so I pulled mine off another site. they didn't turn out like I remember. Our use to be fruit filled too. You couldn't see the fruit from the outside of them, like a surprise inside.

Anonymous said...

Kolaches and tamales are the foods I miss the most since moving from Houston to San Francisco. After buying a mixer to make tamales, I decided to try my hand a kolaches. I've been using another recipe I found on-line and it's pretty good. Next time around I'll try this one out.

Someone mentioned contacting the Czech consulate in NYC, this is funny as 9 years ago, after calling donut shops all of San Francisco, I called a local Czech social society and asked if they knew of where I could find Kolaches, they didn't know:-(

Vance
5th generation Texan
1st generation San Franciscan

Betsy said...

For those in Texas in September, there is a kolache festival in Caldwell, TX. Many fond memories and early mornings spent with friends enjoying coffee and kolache. Also the perfect breakfast snack for tailgating before a football game.

Laura said...

Homesick Texan:

I made this recipe today for my husband, a 9th generation east Texan and he loved them! I was a bit skeptical of being able to get the same type of airy, fluffiness of the real thing but they turned out perfect--both the apricot and the sausage varieties.

Thank you for a a great new recipe and for helping me bring alittle hill country to my homesick Texan!

Laura,
Charlotte, NC

Rumela said...

Thanks for the Kolaches recipe. Last summer I ate them at a party and has been looking for an authentic recipe ever since. Now I will eb able to make them myself. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I'm a North Dakota Czech, and have been loving kolaches for years......DECADES, really (doesn't THAT make me sound young!). My mother-in-law taught me how to make them a few years ago, and I love making them, eating them, and mostly sharing them with friends.....especially the ones that have never had such a thing. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

Anonymous said...

My brother lives in Huntsville, a donut shop there makes them with sausages. They are absolutely to die for!!! I have lived in St. Louis for 20 years and have yet to find these little treasures.

Anonymous said...

What kind of sausage and what do you do to it before you bake it in the dough? Thanks.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--I like to use kielbasa, and I cook it before stuffing it.

Anonymous said...

What a find! I'm about to make the recipe for the first time, and in fact it'll be my first experience making any kind of dough. (Fingers crossed...)
Can anyone tell me if there's a point in the process where the dough, pre- or post-filling, can be refrigerated overnight and then cooked fresh in the morning?
Transplanted Texan in NYC

Kre8art said...

does anyone have the recipe for the sausage filled ones?

Fran

deliciously implausible said...

growing up in small-town central texas, all of our family reunions had kolaches, and they were a staple at christmas and thanksgiving as well.

my husband and i moved up to washington state 3 years ago, and i made your kolache recipe last weekend. i cried (no joke!) as i pulled them out of the oven. they're fantastic.

we also make a point to stop by the czech stop when we're traveling that way, but there's also a great bakery & meat shop out in zabcikville (kind of close to temple) called green's - oh man, their poppy seed kolaches are just the best things ever. i could eat a dozen if i would let myself.

JazFusion said...

As a native from Houston who moved all the way up to New Hampshire three years ago, I can't tell you how happy your blog makes me! I've been craving kolaches something bad lately and the first time I mentioned them my husband went, "Huh?!".

I miss Texas like the desert misses the rain, but at least with the help of your blog I can still cook up a Texas sized storm. :)

Heidi said...

I'm a Homesick Marylander living in Texas. I just had my first kolache this year. Can't wait to try making my own.

Amanda said...

I made these over the weekend (late to the blog party, I know) for my friends, all of whom have asked me "What's a kolache?" before. It breaks my heart every time!

I used breakfast sausage, which I don't actually like. What kind of sausage do you recommend?

My granny is from Weimer, and my granddaddy is from Schulenburg, and those Czechs know how to make a kolache too! (I think this is the reason I've never been to West.)

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

I like to use kielbasa or any jalapeno sausage I can find.

Sandra Trevino said...

I haven't had a kolache since moving to Chicago (from Pasadena, Texas) 11 years ago and this recipe looks so simple and your photos make them look even more delicious than I remember... ah, can't wait! Yom yom! Your site rocks! I'm so happy I found it. :)

Laura D. said...

As a part-Czech Nebraskan, I also have fond memories of my 100% Czech grandma's kolaches(she called herself "Bohemian"). Wew also would go to the annual Wilber Czech Festival. While hers were awesome, when she stopped making them because of Alzheimer's, I found that one of the bakeries in Wilber, NE makes an awesome substitute. Wish I remembered the bakery so I could drop names. :)

ThisIsMyLife said...

I'd take a kolache or a breakfast taco over a bagel any day! And I am from NJ, home of the awesome bagel!

KolacheMama said...

I work with a marketing firm in Houston and one of our clients is bringing kolaches to NYC. Kolache Mama is doing upscale kolaches that are delicious.

They hired Chef Christopher Lampo out of Bryan, Texas to create their menu of kolaches. They open September 30 so kolaches finally will be available in NYC.

Anonymous said...

I'm from Kansas. My grandmother used to make kolaches all the time. I'm going down to Waco this week and found out we're having kolaches for breakfast. Can't wait. Haven't had one for years.

Becki said...

I am half Czech/German but I remembr every Sunday my grandmother would bake a huge batch of Kolaches and fill them with all kinds of fruits and of couse,my favorite, fresh ground poppy seed. When we go visit my Uncle in Dallas we always stop by the little Czech Bakery in West and pick up a couple of dozen fresh kolaches.
I sure miss those Sundays though. By Thursday there'd be nothing but a few picked over kolaches left. Come early Sunday morning my grandmother would be up at 4AM starting a new batch for the week.

Frank said...

HS Texan:
While looking for Kolache recipes I found yours and will be trying it tomorrow.

BTW it looks as if this site http://www.everythingron.blogspot.com/ sort of copied your stuff in a big way. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery but plagiarism is a no-no.

Frank in Denver

Julia said...

i went to kolache mama this morning and got a peach amaretto kolache.

it is ok. not as fresh as i hoped and a little too big. also, i think the fillings are too fancy, but maybe they're trying to compensate for the $3.26 price tag.

in any event, it'll do in a pinch, but i prefer to make them from your recipe. maybe some fall apples for the filling!

Bailey said...

Hi there! I was just wandering through your blog and came across your kolache recipe and saw that it's a variation on the one from Texas Monthly. I love when people use that recipe because, well... the 2 Morkovosky sisters who wrote that are my grandmother and her sister. I'm learning year by year how to make these from scratch by my grandmother. It takes a good amount of time and love to perfect it. I love your blog!!! I'm in Corpus Christi, Texas born and raised, and love it! Keep up the great work!!!

Bailey Hauger

Heidi in DF said...

Yay for kolaches! I grew up in Yoakum where the moms at St. Joe's school made our lunches and we pretty regularly had kolaches and sausage rolls on the lunch line. Lots of "Bohemians" in that little Texas town, too.

Thanks for stirring up some great food memories and thanks for a recipe I am eager to try...definitely no kolaches in Mexico City where I now live.

Rachel said...

There is now a Kolache place in UT now, called Johnny Kolaches. It is delicious! I was searching for recipes and came across your blog, so many great recipes! I was hoping for a cream cheese kolache recipe but I think I've found some recipes I can use.

Melissa said...

I just found this website & like to make kolaches. I am opening a kolache store clse to Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas. My girlfriend's grandmaother is the person who stared the Kolache in West Texas. She & I have been working to make the original kolache. If you want some kolaches, email me & I will mail them all over the country. Good Luck to everyone & God Bless.

Robert said...

Robert.
Be careful with the poppy seed kolaches if you job requires a drug test. It can show up as a illegial drug..Great site. There is a very good bakery in Ellinger, Texas..Hruska grocery. On highway 71 between Houston & Austin.

Melissa said...

I'm also a truck driver so I don't let anyone eat poppyseed kolaches that take a drug test. I have a sign up & most of the time don't make poppyseed unless they order them.

stacy said...

Thank you so much for posting this. I have been wanting to get my hands on a kolache recipe. My grandmother has made these for years and I want to make certain that the tradition doesn't die. It's part of my Czech heratage and the sad thing is that my childrens generation will probably not know much about it. The cooking is my attempt to keep it alive. I did have the privalige of knowing my great grandmother and hearing her wonderful stories spoken in broken english and tasting her fabulous food. I never took much interest in learning how to make it and now I wish that I had.So thank you for helping me get one step closer to accompishing that.

Christi L. said...

I'm gonna cry. I just found your website, I too am a sad little misplaced Texan, and now I find you've posted a Kolache recipe. I'm too verclimped to type. My husband will be crying too when he hears! Thank you thank you thank you!

JK in CA said...

I have used this recipe about a half-dozen times now, so I thought I should comment on how great it is. It's much easier than I thought it would be, too. That 10 minutes of kneading flies by because the dough really is so nice and easy to work with. I grew up outside of Houston and have been in California for about 12 years. Every time I go home, I come back with a bag from Weikel's, Hruska's, etc. My family has even overnighted me kolaches in a little cooler with some ice packs, but now I just make my own when I am in kolache-less territory. I love being able to pick the fillings I want, and I usually try to make 2 kinds of kolaches from one batch of dough. Someone above asked how to make sausage kolaches, and it is the same method. Instead of putting filling on top after the second rising, when I pull off the little chunks of dough I flatten out each dough ball like a little pizza. I put my choice of filling in the middle and then wrap it up all the way like a burrito, being sure to pinch the dough all around to seal the filling inside. I put each one on the greased cookie sheet until they are all assembled. Then I brush melted butter over them, cover with a piece of waxed paper and a kitchen towel, and let rise 30 minutes before baking per the recipe. My favorite filling combos so far are pickled jalapenos with cheddar cheese, and artichoke hearts with roasted red pepper and feta. (What? It's vegetarian fusion; I'm in Cali now!) Thanks so much for creating this blog :)

Jessica said...

There is a place in a Houston that I think makes better kolaches than West. Mornings Kolaches is run by Mexicans rather than Czechs and they are amazing! I think that its they are just ever so slightly more like Mexican pastries than yeast rolls. Many people swear by Kolache Factory, but that's like saying McDonalds makes the best hamburger in town.

Christianne said...

I found your blog through the Times Online best food blogs, and I absolutely love it! I've been going through all of the recipes. I'm from New Orleans, lived in Waco for four years, and am now living in London. There are so many dishes I miss, especially jalapeno sausage kolaches from Czech Stop. I can't wait to make these, and so many other recipes from your site!

KrissyfromConroe said...

I loooooove Kolaches, but I like the sausage and cheese ones. I have not been able to find the recipe for the sweet bread part and now I did! I cannot wait to make these!

Amber said...

My husband and I lived in Waco for some of the best years of our lives and we would always take a late-night trip to the Czech Stop for kolaches. We live in Memphis now and we're both terrible homesick for Texas and can't wait to move back next year. What we wouldn't give for some kolaches and Texas hospitality.

Karen L said...

For those of you who talk of making this recipe - do it now! This recipe far exceeded my expectations even. I am not a huge fruit kolache fan, so I made a sausage/jalapeno/cheese variety. The dough for this recipe is OUT OF THIS WORLD. My husband and I reflected on Kolaches we've had growing up and in recent years and this recipe surpasses those. We are also fresh food freaks, no leftovers usually. Amazingly, these kolaches reheated in the oven and tasted as fresh as when we first baked them. Thank you, Lisa for this recipe. You made me a hero in my own home!

Anonymous said...

Kolaches--miss them here in Wisconsin. I like the fruit version, but love the sausage version. What sausage do they use in Texas?

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

i know this is a couple of years to late..but I live in West and we laugh at all the people that stop at Czech Stop for kolaches..everyone that lives here either goes to Gerik's or Village Bakery..both on Oak Street..I prefer Gerik's..they also make different cinnamon rolls the size of a softball. We use czech or german sausage for the sausage ones..
if you stop by West for kolaches, go in town and czech out the Pizza house of West. Great food and you must try the skunk egg.

Anonymous said...

Ahh, Kolaches. How I love thee. I just stumbled across your blog today, and have probably read thirty entries. You make me homesick for a state I've lived in my whole life! Your recipe sounds divine. One of these days I'll find the motivation to make my own, but until then I will partake of the heavenly kolaches at the bakery outside the neighborhood where I grew up. I have since moved inside the loop. I must say there are few things one can get in the 'burbs that are superior to the big city, but these morsels are one of them. Keep up the fantastic work!!

Native Texan said...

Native Texan here and I now live in Tulsa. I have not had a kolache since I do not know when. Use to purchase them in Hallettsville, Texas when I would go see my parents. My grandmother was Bohemian and would make these treats for us when we visited. Glad I found this site; plan on making some this weekend. Thanks for the memories and good to know so many have fond memories of this great ethnic food.

Linda W. said...

Will try this asap! I lived in the Houston area for over 30 years and have now retired in Arkansas. I couldn't believe that people here don't know what a kolache is. We had Weikels send them last Christmas! What a treat! Thanks for the recipe!! (No place like Texas!!!)

Anonymous said...

One of the few advantages of driving across Toledo was stopping at the National Bakery on Whitimore St. for apricot kolaches. They had lots of good stuff (none of that 1950's bakery stuff that was actually worse than store bought). however, the ladies at the National had to close shop; so gone but not forgotten. Thank you for the recipes.

Dorin said...

Coming from a bohemian in Texas I have to show y'all the light...kolaches do NOT contain sausage! Those are klobasnikis or klobasniks. We have a kolache/klobase festival in my hometown, so if any of yall come down you will have the lingo right!

Cindy Choi said...

I can't be sure, but this appears to be a texmex verson of kolachke, which is what we have in Chicago/Cleveland and I'm sure what's in New York City as well. The Eastern European ones ones have a cream cheese dough and are made and shaped as below. (not my blog, I just found it) I'm sure you think you can't find kolachke in New York City because they are making what I think is the normal, regular kind pictured as below.

http://cravingcleveland.blogspot.com/2005/11/kolachki-kolacky-kolachy-kolace.html

That said, I think your tex mex biscuit kolache recipe looks great and easy.

Josh said...

I'm partial to agreeing with Dorin above, although I think it's okay to call a sausage wrapped in pastry dough a "kolache," especially in Texas. On that note, my wife and I recently returned from a trip to Prague where we were schooled by our hosts that one is a kolach, more than one are kolache. After 35 years of eating them, I find it hard to change my Texas bohemian vernacular. Either way, thanks for posting the recipe. I'm going to try it out this weekend!

Alison said...

We moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana last winter and have since discovered that food just isn't the same up here. I was born and raised in Texas and actually grew up in College Station, just up the road from the Kolache festival. My husband had a hankering for kolaches and we searched the city and couldn't find any so we made yours. They are spot on and SO delicious! :) THANK YOU THANK YOU, from one Homesick Texan to another.

Anonymous said...

I am making a big batch of Kolaches with sausage and would like to share them with family but want them to get them hot and fresh. So need info on the best way to keep store them. can they be frozen before or after cooking?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--I'd freeze them after baking.

beabee said...

My heart is breaking reading this recipe. My husband's family is from West, our families met when we were children at a camp in the Hill Country, and we would always stop for kolaches on the way there. I don't live in Texas anymore, but I've still got my Czech husband and an oven to make these at home!

Scott said...

thank you. Thank You. THANK YOU!! Kolache success! A little bit of of my childhood has been restored. Plus now my family knows what I;m talking about and why I start drooling when I mention getting kolaches from a little bakery in Snook, TX.

Krupa said...

Lisa - I made these this morning for my boyfriend while he's recovering from ankle surgery. Since we can't go out to the Kolache Factory, I thought I'd bring it to him - this recipe is AMAZING! I used the dough to make filled kolaches - stuffed them with cheese, jalepeno, eggs, and jalepeno bacon. And I made a few with a sweet cream cheese filling and chocolate on top! They were PERFECT! We oooh and aaahh everytime we take a bite! Thanks again for this delicious recipe! You are the best! Can't wait for the book!

James said...

The best Kolaches are not is West. They are good in West but the best Kolaches ever are in Hillsboro. Linda Sulak at Country Czeck Bakery makes the best Kolaches in Texas. Maybe I am just bias because I saw Linda bake them in her own kitchen when I was a kid but I still believe that her kolaches are better than any in West.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I moved from Austin to Phoexin (boo, I know). Our first weekend in phoexin we found a address for a place that served kolaches, we started driving, and to no avail. Thank you for the recipe.

My favorite "kolache" is the saugsage and cheese at Rudys BBQ on 183 in Austin Texas.

samiam33084@hotmail.com said...

I made this recipe tonight with sausage and cheddar cheese. Really good dough. Much better than others that I have tried. I am from Arkansas and I am thinking about putting my own kolache bakery in Fayetteville. I got inspired at Mornings Kolaches in Houston.

Callie said...

Made this recipe recently. I used strawberry jam and sausage w/ jalapeƱos & cheese.

Very, very tasty and were amazing hot out of the oven. They were inhaled within minutes, so I think that means my family approves! ;)

Anonymous said...

I lived in Houston for twelve years and loved the Kolache Shoppe. I'm trying your recipe today and splitting them between fruit and bacon. My family loves homemade bread and I think this will win them over!

Anonymous said...

I just pulled my first patch of Bacon Kolaches out of the oven. They are absolutely wonderful. Just like I remember when I lived in Houston. I didn't have fruit so half the batch I made into cinnamon rolls. Can't wait to try some of your other recipes. Thanks!

tacoguerro said...

Got a good Jalapeno Sausage and Cheese Kolache Recipe?

When I'm home in Houston off N Main st, I get em from a Cambodian donut shop.

NYC?? I'm stuck in Rochester! Talk about Bluebonnet Blues...

And No beans in Chili is Right! You want beans Stinky? If you don't like it you can go to Russia ; )

BTW- Ask around for a Kosher Deli where they keep the hot pastrami in the oven all day. I heard about it from a safartic Jewish pal but I can't remember the name of it... Somewhere off the Brooklyn TP??..

Keri On said...

Hello! I've visited your sight and used your recipes before...but thought it's about time I tell you Thanks! Really great to pop over here and find the answer to my cravings! Will make the kolaches this afternoon for our family's tea time. I used to run to a little town called North Zulch for kolaches when I was going to Texas A&M! At the time it was a really small town, and there would be this big dog lying around...sometimes outside the bakery, and sometimes right in the middle of the two lane highway! Ah, great memories!
Have a great day!

Anonymous said...

Greetings from an Austinite. All I can say is:

Yummiliciousity! (Yes, I sometimes invent words.)

Thank you for this recipe. I just made these kolaches. The bread is flaky, light and has the perfect level of sweetness.

I made a sausage, jalepeno, onion and cheese with 2/3's the batch, and cream cheese with strawberry on 1/3. Dinner and dessert all on one bake sheet!

Out of all the kolache recipes I read, I'm very happy that this is the one I chose to try my first-ever attempt at baking kolaches.

Thank you again. I'll have to try more of your recipes in the near future!

JennieT said...

Thank you so much for posting this! Ive wanted to try to make these for quite a while but have been too intimidated by the process. This sounds simple and delicious! Did you do your mixing by hand or with a stand mixer? If doing one instead of the other does the knead time get replaced with a shorter or longer time?

Thanks, JennieT

P.S. The comment about Weikels is true. Fantastic Kolaches!! The bread has more of a light/airy (almost Hawaiian) feel instead of the dense sweat breads that are common but FAN-STINKIN-TASTIC!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Jennie--This recipe is for doing it by hand. If you use a mixer, just mix until the dough curls around the dough hook.

Jessica (Texas girl at heart) said...

I am from Houston and grew up on Kolaches! I live in North Carolina now and whenever I mention them I get looked at like I am from another planet. Now I can finally make them and have everyone finally see what I am talking about! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Just stumbled across this site. My family currently resides in West and my husband (of Czech descent on both sides of his family)and 4 generations of his family have lived here. His Czech grandmother makes the best kolaches(don't all the Czech grandmas?) If you want a good kolache, bypass the highway bakery and travel toward downtown West to Ole Czech Bakery beside Ole Czech Smokehouse. Unlike others, they offer ground sausage..not just whole link sausage..and ground ham and cheese (so much better than other bakeries that make their ham and cheese from rolled up deli sliced ham and velveeta)...all of their other kolaches are better, too.

Joan said...

I can't tell you how homesick and hungry you've made me. I've read your posts on chicken-fried steak, gravy, and flour tortillas, as well as this kolache post/recipe. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but your descriptions were so dead-on I can't wait. They'll be a lot cheaper than a trip home to San Marcos.

By the way, the cinnamon-roll kolaches that used to be sold at Gil's Broiler in San Marcos as Manske rolls are available frozen. I've seen them in Atlanta and New Orleans, though I've never seen them here in Chattanooga. I'm sure they're nowhere near as good as ones made from this recipe, but they might be better than nothing.

Johanne said...

Just returned from Houston with my dozen sausage kolaches. I probably have one more day left of them. Anyone have a clue on what kind of sausage to use in the recipe? My favorite ones look like skinny hotdogs.

Susan said...

Just discovered your blog...I'm a recently homesick Texan, moved to Florida this summer. This post on the kolaches in West is just so true. I've stopped in West countless times between DFW and Austin for kolaches. My grandmother used to make the best kolaches and I never found any that were close to hers. The poppy seed were always my favorite and the ones at the Czech Stop are the closest I've ever found to hers. Mmmm....kolaches.

Lizabeth said...

I can't wait to make these! I live in Canada, but from Ft. Worth with family in Waco so whenever we went to visit we always stopped in West for Kolaches. The place we went to is closed now, I don't even remember what it was called but it brings back so many good memories! I love your blog..it makes being away from Texas a little easier :) Keep up the good work!

Dorian said...

I am also one homesick Texan, Originally From PA, I left almost 10 yrs ago, Living south of Houston. Now back in PA for an extended amount of time, I find I am so severly homesick for TX than I was for PA when I Left. :) I worked in a Kolache Bakery, with a wonderful woman, and I miss it. My PA friends want me to make them, so I am going to Attempt it, thank you for sharing!

Dorian

maryann said...

I've been craving kolaches for some time now. So glad I found your site and can't wait to try them! If you're ever in fort worth...busy b's bakery makes the best!!! I always had my mom bring home a few dozen when she would go to texas w/o me.

Christy said...

I love Kolaches. The first time I had one was in 1996 in LaPort Texas. They had some kind of sausage in the middle. They were divine. I thought they were a polish pastry. Am I wrong? They are Czech?

Anonymous said...

These turned out so well I actually cried from happiness! I grew up in Houston and now live in Colorado. I made these today without any altitude adjustments, even, (because I am a beginning baker to boot) and they are superb. I used a dried apricot/mango/Colorado peach filling (because that is what I found in my pantry!) and made some sausage ones, too. Holy smokes, I am so excited! They are just delicious. Now I can indulge in goodies I miss from Texas and throw props to my own Czech heritage. Thank you, thank you!!!!

Lisa said...

Lisa, I got such a kick out of your blog since I grew in just east of West. After living in Phoenix for fourteen years and now working on my first year in Arkansas, I have missed having those wonderful Czech bakeries nearby. Whenever possible, our trips back home to Central Texas include purchasing a couple of dozen kolaches and taking them home on the plane with us. My hope is that your recipe will give us a little taste of home without having to travel. Thanks for sharing!

Blessings from another transplanted Texan named Lisa.

Rachel Anderson said...

Oh my. I went looking for a good kolache recipe and to find one that not only looks like exactly what I want, but from a displaced Texan like myself...and not just any displaced Texan, one who misses the exact same little Czech stop kolaches that I do.. wow. Can't wait to try these, going to do a sausage and cheese one.. with maybe a few sliced jalapenos. Those were my favorite from Czech stop! Now if I can find the right sausage, we'll be in business. Thanks for the post!-Rachel

Rachel Anderson said...

Coming back to update... (do you even check/respond to this anymore on a 5 year old blog?! lol) I made my first batch today. I am 8 months pregnant and about 900 miles from West and needed one like NOW. It took me over 5 hours between kids and rising dough. I filled them with locally made sausage and some sharp cheddar cheese. They are FANTASTIC. I wouldn't give them Czech Stop rating, but I'm sure that being my first time I also have room for improvement. Thank you for giving me a little piece of home away from home! On tomorrow's agenda are some cream cheese, and some apricot! -A very happy displaced pregnant Texan.

Dodie Meyer said...

I love this post. I read most of them and was surprised I didn't see a mention of another Czech Festival in Ennis,TX, The National Polka Festival held each year Memorial Day weekend. Having grown up in this town with a large Czech community I am probably biased betweem West's kolaches and the ones you get at the Kolache Junction in Ennis. Try these out when you visit Ennis which is just 30 miles south of Dallas on I-45 (on your way to Houston). They are like the ones my Granny Francis and Aunt Lily would magically produce. I so miss them here in the DC area. We did have a Kolache bakery in Fredericksburg for a while but I hear they closed down. So sad.

PilgrimLC said...

So glad to have found this blog--just bookmarked it to check out regularly! I live in the Ozarks and am from here originally, but lived in Texas for almost 18 years. I, too, miss many things about Texas, mostly food related! :-) I plan on trying these as soon as the heat wave breaks--we're trying not to do anything to heat up the house and add to the electric bill! Our favorite Kolaches are the cottage cheese, sausage and poppy seed. I have read literally every one of the above comments for additional suggestions. One question that was asked often and not answered to my satisfaction is: What kind of sausage??? The two answers that stood out were kielbasa and ground sausage. What kind of ground? Like breakfast sausage--like Jimmy Dean with Sage? I would think a small German sausage would be good--which, of course, we can't get here . . . time to make a trip to Texas!

Anonymous said...

Weikel's in La Grange....... the spinach feta kolaches ! deliciousness

TXinVA said...

I was shocked to find out in college that pretty much nowhere outside of Texas sells kolaches. How...?!? This was akin to finding out in high school that most people didn't say "fixing to."

After living in Waco for 12 years (easy driving distance of West - one of the few perks!), I just moved to central Virginia. While I adore the mountains and my new city in general, I miss the food from home something bad. Kolaches! I want you!!

I will happily be making a batch of these little guys very, very soon - and probably another for my benighted Commonwealth colleagues.

PA to CA to TX to NM to VA. said...

Not a native Texan but loved living in Austin years ago - not only the hill country but such wonderful bakeries. Now in VA without any bakeries locally - I started dreaming about kolaches and found your site. Wonderful food!!!
Made the kolaches but the biggest hit with my family is your recipe for ranch beans!! I'll never be able to put out a canned bean again.
MANY thanks!

Lauren G said...

My husband and I are taking a weekend roadtrip from Willis (between Houston and Dallas) to Austin to do a burger crawl for his birthday. Last week in the dentist office I was reading Texas Highways and found a story on kolaches in West! The little kolache shop here closed down a couple years ago, so we will be making a slight detour to West on our trip! But even better, now I can try out this recipe and have them when I want! My husband has never had the fruit filled ones and I'm so excited to see his expression when he tries one!

By the way, my husband's sister lives in California (where no one has ever heard of a kolache) and she stuffs her luggage with them every time she comes to visit!

Thanks for your posts, so glad I found your site! Keep it up :)

Lauren

crunchybones said...

YAY! west coaster missing the Czech Stop here- i made many midnight pit stops for gas and kolaches when i was a texan. poppyseed filling is the best though, kolache blasphemy happening here! :p

Anonymous said...

I live in Southeast TX about an hour outside of Lake Charles LA. We have a boudin kolache here. lol. Most people don't know that in TX we had a lot of Germans immigrate here. I always thought that was the source of the Kolaches in TX.

jrmphotos85 said...

I am so excited to find this! I was born and raised in good ol' West, Texas. Kolaches are the best! But, living in the mountains of Georgia, I get looked at like I'm insane if I even mention it. No one knows what they are. These will be gracing the Christmas party table at my husband's family get together. Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Waco. Have fond memories of my Dad driving to West very early on Sunday mornings to buy kolaches fresh from the ovens. We'd wake up and there would be kolaches in the dining room and cold chocolate milk in the fridge. Apricot, cherry, blueberry, pineapple, poppy seed, and the deadly prune, all in white boxes with wax paper separating the layers......oh and the pigs in blankets. Great memories.

Liz said...

I LOVE this recipe. I don't know kolaches from bagels except for your description, photos and much googling.

My neighbor's mother made them for he and his 6 brothers/sisters. She was Irish and lived in New Orleans so not sure how they came to be something she made.

Short story...I cook/bake for my neighbors in return/repay for all the help they give me...a single person...it works for us. They were pleased with the kolaches and I had fun trying something new.

Amanda Sawyer said...

I know I'm super late on commenting on this post, but I just wanted to say finding your recipe reassures my husband and I that we are not the only displaced Texans craving kolaches. We are cooking up a batch right now, wish us luck!!

Anonymous said...

What kind of milk do you use in this recipe or does it not really matter?

Thanks and looking forward to making these!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--I use whole milk.

Cathryn Clement said...

Thanks for this recipe. We're both native Texans, and my husband's been looking for one that equated to the kolaches he used to get in Snook. Today was our second attempt with your recipe and the first time we made our own filling with it. He says they've spot on now. After we filled the sheet with kolaches, we put the rest of the dough in a couple of mini-loaf pans. It makes really tasty bread, too.

Dubbya57 said...

Came across your blog looking for a brisket recipe. I'm fourth generation Texan still here(Arlington). Love your site and always enjoy reading about Texans who still love this great state. Saw your posting about kolaches because we were in West just 2 months ago and had some(Feb 2013).
Now,my heart goes out to the people West.
May God help and watch over them.

coachwife6 said...

I am making these using your cookbook (which I love). I had one question: It says to use 1 1/2 sticks of butter, but to melt 8 tablespoons. Then beat the butter together with the eggs and salt. I beat the 8 tablespoons of butter together with the eggs. When do you use the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Coachwife6--The final step has you melt and then brush the remaining butter on the kolaches after they come out of the oven. Thank you for the kind words about the book--I'm glad you love it!

coachwife6 said...

Lisa: Thank you. They came out great. Taste just like those in the bakery. And it wasn't that difficult to make. I have already made about five or six recipes. Thanks for taking the time to write it. Have a good day.

The Jett Set said...

Hello!! I love that little town of West, one of my dearest friends moms is the head baker at the Czeck stop bakery there... AND I saw someone post about it not being a real kolache if it has fruit that it is only really a kolache if it has sausage and that is not true. one of these with sausage would be called a klobasnek. :)
Thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

My wife and I are transplanted Texans, and we brought with us a love for cooking and many recipes. I make "armadillo eggs", pecan pralines and chow chow, for example, and she makes enchiladas, chili and "Texas Trash", that wonderfully spicy party mix made with Chex cereal, pretzels, nuts and lots of spices.

We haven't had good kolaches since we left Houston 25 years ago though. We'll be trying this recipe soon.

Thanks!

Don

Barbarainnc said...

I'm from NC and never heard of a Kolache, until I was searching for yeast doughs. Up comes kolaches, I made some. My Mom fell in love with them. I have to make a double batch for her. She likes apple the best. I just made 55 for her. She calls when she runs out, I come home and make some more. I too also use just the egg yolks to make it tender. The dough feels so good working with it!!! I weigh out each ball of dough to 1.5 ounces.

Tracee said...

I hear the Round Rock Bakery calling my name! Unfortunately, summer is slipping away and we won't down there until Fall. I'll go ahead and treat my Yankee friends to my pastries in the meantime! Austin??? We'll be there soon!!

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