Czech Kolaches

Recipe by Susan Reid

Brought to Texas by Czech immigrants, this traditional Central European recipes has found new life and bundles of iterations in bakeries across the Lone Star State. Each of the fillings below will fill half the kolaches. Make both; or double one; or set half the dough aside to use later.

1 hr
20 to 25 mins
3 hrs 40 mins
30 kolaches
Czech Kolaches


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  1. To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a large mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the milk, the yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the flour. Mix thoroughly and lest rest for 15 minutes, until the mixture becomes bubbly.

  2. Add the remaining dough ingredients and mix and knead until you have a smooth, somewhat sticky dough. Cover and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled. While the dough is rising, make the topping and filling(s).

  3. To make the topping: Combine all the ingredients until crumbs form; set aside.

  4. To make the cheese filling: Whisk together the ClearJel or flour and sugar, then mix in the cheese and nutmeg until smooth.

  5. For the apple filling: Peel, core, and finely chop the apples; a food processor works well here. Combine the sugar and ClearJel or cornstarch, and mix into the apples. Cook the mixture over medium heat until the apples are tender and the filling is thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon, nuts, and vanilla. Cool to room temperature before using.

  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  7. To assemble: Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and gently deflate it. Cut walnut-sized pieces of dough (1 scant ounce, 28g) and shape into slightly flattened balls.

  8. Place the pieces of dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and let rise until puffy, about 30 to 45 minutes. Using your fingers, press a deep indentation in the center of each ball (too shallow, and the fillings will tumble out as the kolaches rise in the oven).

  9. Add a mounded tablespoon of Apple Filling, or 2 teaspoons of Cheese Filling, and crumble a teaspoon of the topping mixture over each.

  10. Bake the kolaches for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool before serving.

  11. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to 1 week. If desired, reheat kolaches for 5 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven.