The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!
Wow things are hectic at the moment. So much is going on with assignments due all the time, but considering I haven’t done the last two challenges I told myself I must try this one. My heart sank when I saw dough and yeast again, due to my recent failures with sourdough. I’ve had a bit of a confidence knock when it comes to bread. But thankfully all went to planned this time around. At the same time as making these czech treats, I dared a simple sourdough loaf, which, though far from perfect, was edible and enjoyable. After all this was a Daring Bakers challenge!
Anyway, these koláče were lovely. The perfect saturday morning breakfast, I filled them with apricot and strawberry jam as I didn’t have plum. I also substituted cream cheese for quark as I didn’t have any… except of course for the usual subatomic particles that make up everything. Sorry, physics nerd….
Anyway, enjoy my daring bake, and attempt your own!
500 g all-purpose flour
100 g sugar
250 ml milk, warm
75 g butter, melted
30 g fresh yeast or 15 g active day yeast
pinch of salt
2 small egg yolks
for quark filling
750 g quark or cream cheese
1 small egg yolk
confectioner’s (icing) sugar to taste
for jam filling
strawberry, apricot, plum (jam of your choice)
for streusel topping
50 g plain flour
50 g butter, chilled and diced
50 g sugar
In a bowl mix together yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Add 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) warm milk, mix well and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes.
In a bowl of your electric mixer (or in a large bowl) mix flour, sugar, salt, egg yolks, butter, milk and leavened yeast. Knead with dough hook (or with wooden spoon) on low speed for about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about one hour to double its volume.
Meanwhile prepare quark filling – just mix all ingredients – and jam filling – mix jam with rum or water to soften it. Set aside.
Prepare streusel topping. In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add cold butter diced in small cubes and with your fingers, mix all ingredients until crumbly. You can also use my mum’s trick – in a saucepan melt the butter, add flour and sugar at once and mix with fork until crumbly. Set aside.
When the dough is risen turn it onto a lightly floured surface and roll it with rolling pin to a thickness of about 2 cm (¾ inch). Cut with 10cm (4 inch) cookie cutter or just with a glass (if you want small kolaches) or divide the dough into 10 equal pieces (if you want large kolaches). Splat each piece with your hands and fill with quark filling. Wrap it into a “purse” shape.
Preheat oven to moderate 340°F/170°C/gas mark 3. Line 2 – 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Put each kolach onto a prepared baking sheet with seam down. Press each kolach in the middle as you can see on the picture below. Brush it with egg wash and fill holes with plum filling. Sprinkle it with streusel topping. Bake for about 20 minutes to golden brown.