Kolache

Episode 11 Hilah’s Texas Kitchen: Kolache!

(I know everyone says “kolaches” but I think it’s really “kolache” in the plural and just “kolach” in the singular? And I am a stickler for grammar, although I say “kolaches” all the time. Do you know the truth? Let me know!)

kolache

At any rate, if you’ve never driven down I-35 between Austin and Waco, you might not know about the tiny town of West, an old Czech settlement that is famous for their kolache bakeries. The Czech Stop and adjoining Little Czech Bakery are right off the highway and if you go just a couple blocks east of the highway down Main Street, you’ll come to the Village Bakery. Every Labor Day weekend, West holds West Fest — a prime example of small town Texas fairs. There’s carnival rides and games, many polka bands, costume folk dance teams, Czech history displays, kolache, corndogs, sausage sticks, and of course PIVO!

czech stop little czech bakery

West was in the news over the summer when a fertilizer plant on the north side of town exploded. Many firefighters and first responders were killed. The plant was near schools and homes, which were severely damaged by the heat and shock of the explosion. During the days immediately following, the Czech Stop and Bakery supplied food and coffee for rescue workers around the clock. The citizens of West came together to shelter their family, friends, and co-workers and nearby towns opened their schools for the children. A town like West is hard to find these days — tiny, tenacious, and gracious. We had a lovely day there at the bakery and in the town. If you’re ever on I-35, be sure to stop in! Get some kolaches or bread, have a beer at the bar, poke around the antique store, give West a little love.
I promise it will love you right back.

Kolache Recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
Kolache
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (1/2 ounce total)
  • ¾ cup soft butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Filling:
  • 12 ounces dried apricots (or other dried fruit)
  • about 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or more, to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Scald milk by heating in a small pot over medium-low heat for a couple minutes, stirring, until steam rises and tiny bubbles for around the edges. Remove from heat.
  2. Add water and allow to cool to lukewarm (95-105ºF)
  3. Stir in yeast to dissolve and set aside.
  4. Cream butter, sugar, and salt together until smooth and fluffy.
  5. Mix in egg yolks.
  6. Add in the yeast-milk mixture and half the flour.
  7. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the rest of the flour to form a firm dough.
  9. Cover and let rise until doubled.
  10. Meanwhile, make the filling: Chop apricots and combine in a pot with water to cover them and sugar. Simmer 10 minutes until softened. Mash to form a chunky puree. Cool.
  11. Once dough has risen, punch down and knead by hand on a floured surface for a couple of minutes. Divide into 24 balls.
  12. Arrange balls 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and cover. Let rise 45 minutes.
  13. Preheat oven to 350F.
  14. Press holes in the dough balls to fit a large spoonful of apricot filling and fill each with a couple tablespoons of apricot.
  15. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm
  16. Makes 24

 

HTK-Kolaches---West-Texas

Previously on Hilah’s Texas Kitchen:

East Texas Oyster Nachos
Breakfast Tacos/Migas
German Soft Pretzel Recipe
San Antonio Puffy Tacos
Chicken Fried Steak at Ranch 616
Classic German Chocolate Cake
Port A Shrimp Boil
Grapefruit Sorbet in “The Valley”
Goat farm and Goat Cheese Salad
Lockhart BBQ Beef Ribs

Comments

  1. That sweet old lady made me smile when she said “horse and buggy times”. Nice video as always. Their Kolache and yours look delicious.

  2. Ron Lamoureux says:

    Hilah is for real ,with a down to earth way of cooking ,i have tried a few recipes great tasting food and we all understand what she’s saying ,,i love her ” )

  3. Great video! My Czech grandma made “kolacky” that were much smaller than the beautiful ones you made. I have her hand-written recipe in front of me (a special keepsake as she died over 20 years ago) and she used a shot glass to cut her crust, making tiny little treats! She pronounced one as kolach (as you did in the video), and two or more as ko-loch-key, adding a ‘k’ sound to the end.

    Growing up my favorite were poppyseed, which she made the same as every other kind. My grandma used to make and bring about 400 kolacky to every funeral she went to. At her own funeral, more than one elderly woman lamented, “Who is going to make the kolacky now?”

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Now that I have her recipe out, I think I just might have to make some!

    • Hi Annie!
      Thank you so much for the proper pronunciation! That is wonderful that you have the original copy of your grandma’s recipe. I have a collection of handwritten recipes from my grandma and her mother, and they are such a treasure to look at and to cook from. Really brings back memories.
      I love the tiny shot glass-sized kolache idea. I’m definitely going to make some tiny ones next time. They would look so pretty with different, colorful fillings peeking out. I need to find a good poppyseed filling recipe, too. Those are my second-favorite kolache, after apricot.
      Thanks for writing and sharing a little of your family history!
      -hilah

  4. Rosa Savage says:

    It seams that Kolache, kolace, kolacky or kolach are the singular. Kolaches is the plural.
    Very good recipe by the way! :)

  5. Hi Hilah,

    First, I love your show! I have my great grandmothers kolache recipe with fillings. Two of my favorites are the traditional cottage cheese filling and poppyseed. Here they are:
    Poppyseed filling
    1 1/2 cups ground poppy seeds
    1 cup sugar
    2 cups milk
    2 T butter
    1 T flour mixed in water
    Combine poppyseeds, sugar, and milk. Stir ok medium heat until it starts to get thick. Add butter and flour/water. Stir until its thick then let cool before filling.

    Cheese filling
    Blend together the following (I use an immersion blender)
    One pint dry or drained cottage cheese
    One egg yolk
    Pinch of salt
    Up to 1/2 cup sugar
    Splash of vanilla

    Hope you enjoy!!
    Ashley

    • YES!!! Thank you SO much, Ashley! This is perfect! I even have a bag of poppy seeds in the freezer at home, waiting for me. I’m so excited to try these. Thank you!! :D

  6. Love the song in the video, what is it?

  7. It looks like Hilah’s Texas Kitchen scooped the New York Times!

  8. Thanks for the great video and recipe! My family has be stopping for kolache at the Czech Stop since they opened. My favorite filling is the apple, so I’m wondering how you suggest preparing it? Would you use fresh or dried apple slices?

    • Hi Sarah!
      Happy you are excited about this. I’d try using dried apples: chop and add to a pot with enough water to cover plus sugar, cinnamon, maybe a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook this several minutes until thick then cool and use to fill.

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