The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!
Kolach are Czech traditional sweet treats. They come in three varieties,Pražský koláč (Prague Kolach),Chodské koláče (Kolache from Chodsko) and Dvojctihodné/Moravské koláče (Two Fillings/Moravian Kolaches).
Prague kolache is basically a cake like loaf filled with a rich pastry cream and topped with streusel. Chodsko kolach on the other hand is pizza like flat bread that is topped with jam, poppy seed and quark filling. Quark is a type of fresh dairy product, commonly used in some Europian cuisines. It is made by warming soured milk until the desired degree of coagulation (denaturation, curdling) of milk proteins is met, and then straining the milk.
Morovian Kolaches are little buns that are filled with quark and are then topped with jam and streusel. I decided to make these because I loved the small portions. The kids loved having these in their lunch boxes or after school for a snack.
When you bite into these Morovian kolaches, you will fall in love with the soft and fluffy bun that is perfectly complimented by the creamy quark filling.The plum jam topping adds a beautiful color and a lot of flavor while the streusel adds a little crunch to make the texture more interesting.
Thank you Lucie for an amazing challenge, I know I will make these again and again
Two fillings / Moravian Kolaches (Dvojctihodné / Moravské koláče)
Servings: about 30 small or 10 large kolaches (original recipe in metric)
For the dough
3-2/3 cup (880 ml) (17-2/3 oz) (500 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour (use semi-coarse grounded if you can find in your store)
¾ cup (180 ml) (3½ oz) (100 gm) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) milk, warm
1/3 cup (80 ml) (2-2/3 oz) (75 gm) butter, melted
30 gm (1 oz) fresh yeast or 2 packets (4 teaspoons) (½ oz) (15 gm) active day yeast
pinch of salt
2 small egg yolks
For quark filling
3 cups (1-2/3 lb) (750 gm) quark (I used homemade ricotta instead)
1 small egg yolk
confectioner’s (icing) sugar to taste
For plum filling
2/3 cup (160 ml) (7 oz) (200 gm) plum jam
For streusel topping
½ cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp (pinch) salt
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
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. (this step is very important, don’t skip it)
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.
Prepare streusel topping.
In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, salt,flour and cinnamon.
Add cold butter diced in small cubes and with your fingers, mix all ingredients until crumbly.
Turn out the dough 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).
Spread each piece a little with your hands and fill with quark filling.
Wrap it into a “purse” shape.
I have found it easier to close the kolach in half a circle then collect the edges into a purse but you can do it any way you like
Preheat oven to moderate 340°F/170°C/gas mark 3.
Place the 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 replacement and fill holes with plum filling.
Sprinkle it with streusel topping.
Bake for about 20 minutes to golden brown.
Quark is essentially made the same way as homemade ricotta, so I decided to use that instead because I couldn’t find any quark here.
Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
Kolaches are best the first and second day but you can store them in an airtight container in a fridge up to 5 days.