Ultmate Kitsch for Uber Bohemians: The Kolache
We're celebrating my Gramps' 80th birthday this weekend. And in his eyes two things in life are certain - polka music & Kolaches.
Kolaches are classic, Czech wheel-shaped cakes - simple sweet buns made from yeasted dough - usually with a fruit or poppy seed filling. [yay! opiates - an ingredient as important as monosodiumglutimate] in mid-century cooking & baking]
My mom is treating Gramps, friends & family to 80 of them from my his mom's [my great granny Lena] recipe. How's that for retro? Here we go...
[a labor of love. heavy on the labor - but you'll love them]
2 cups scalded milk
2 pkgs. regular rise yeast dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup potato water (water potatoes were boiled in)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
Dissolve sugar and shortening in scalded milk while hot. Cool slightly and beat in yeast mixture, potatoes and potato water and two eggs.
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Beat flour mixture into yeast mixture with whisk until well blended
Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1/2 hour until bubbly
Add 4-5 cups to make a soft dough
Work with wooden spoon, not hands
Place dough in covered bowl overnight in refrigerator
Day 2: Lightly knead dough on floured surface
Do not over work dough
Roll out to thickness of 1/2 inch
Cut into circles with small juice glass
Place dough disks on lightly greased cookie sheet
Using finger press out area in center of disk
Add 1 teaspoon of filling of choice
Let rise covered lightly with wax paper
Bake kolaches in order of assembly at 350 degrees 10-12m Remove from oven to cooling rack.
Rub doughy outer edges of rolls with butter
Sprinkle centers with coconut
Set to cool
Put a little Czech in your next celebration - hit the kitchen for some kolaches!