KOLACHES

Americans who know kolaches are grateful to the Czechoslovakian-Americans for
this taste gift.  You sometimes encounter fruit-topped, yeast-leavened buns in
bake shops where many of these people live, such as Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota
and Wisconsin.  You are likely to have them served to you with coffee in the
homes in these ethnic neighborhoods.  Since American women have the knack for
obtaining recipes for a food new to them that tastes exceptionally good, these
Bohemian buns are baked by many American women not of Czech descent.

It may not be too easy to achieve perfection in the shape of kolaches baked for
the first time, but if you follow this recipe faithfully, you should have good
results.  To make the work easier on baking day, make the filling (or fillings
if you want to use more than one) a day ahead, cover and refrigerate.  Or you
can bake the filled kolaches several days ahead and freeze.  (If you do , omit
brushing tops of buns with melted butter and sprinkling on confectioners sugar
until after you have warmed them just before serving..  This last-minute
treatment gives them a freshly baked taste.)

KOLACHES

Tempting coffee go-withs--always the talk of the party

1/2  cup milk
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1/2  cup warm water (110 to 115*)
3/4  cup butter or regular margarine
1/2  cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 egg yolks
4 1/2  cup sifted flour
Fillings (recipe below)
2 tbsp. melted butter
2 tbsp. sifted confectioners sugar

Scald milk; cool to lukewarm.  ( I have learned from the newsgroups scalding is
not necessary anymore) Sprinkle yeast on warm water; stir to dissolve. Cream
together butter, sugar, salt and egg yolks until light and fluffy.  Add yeast,
milk and 1 1/2  cup flour.  Beat at medium speed 5 minutes, scraping bowl
occasionally.  Batter should be smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour, a
little at a time, to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of bowl.  Place in
lightly greased bowl; turn dough over to grease top.  Cover and let rise in warm
place until doubled, 1 to 1 hour 30 minutes. Stir down; turn onto lightly
floured board and divide into 24 equal pieces.  Shape each piece into a ball.
Cover and let rest 10 to 15 minutes. Place dough balls 2" apart on greased
baking sheets; press each ball of dough from center outward with fingers of both
hands to make a hollow in center with a 1/2" rim around the edge.  Fill each
hollow with 1 level tbsp. filling.  Cover and let rise in warm place until
doubled, 30 to 40 minutes. Bake in 350* oven 15 to 18 minutes or until browned.
Brush tops of rolls lightly with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with
confectioners sugar.  Remove from baking sheets and place on racks.  Makes 2
dozen.

Fillings for Kolaches

Prune:  cook 30 prunes in water to cover until tender; drain.  Mash with fork;
stir in 1/4  cup sugar and 1/4 tsp. ground allspice.  Filling should be thick.
Makes enough for 14 kolaches.

Thick Apricot:  cook 25 dried apricot halves in water to cover until tender;
drain.  Press apricots through strainer or food mill (or blend in blender).
Stir in 1/4  cup sugar.  Filling should be thick.  Makes enough filling for 10
kolaches.

Prune/Apricot:  Simmer 1  cup prunes and 3/4  cup dried apricot halves in water
to cover until tender; drain.  Chop and mash with fork.  Stir in 1/2  cup sugar,
1 tbsp. orange juice and 1 tbsp. grated orange peel.  Filling should be thick.
Makes enough filling for 24 kolaches.


From Great Home Cooking in America, Heirloom Recipes Treasured for Generations