Kolaches

Photo by Trina F.

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

3

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

3

servings

Ingredients

  • 1

    Tablespoon sugar

  • 2

    Packages of yeast

  • 1/2

    Cup warm water (105 - 115 degrees)

  • 2

    Cups milk

  • 1/2

    Cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening

  • 2

    Teaspoons salt

  • 2

    Egg yolks

  • 1/2

    Cup sugar

  • 6 1/4

    Cups flour, sifted

  • 1 1/2

    Sticks of melted butter

Directions

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over the yeast and dissolve in lukewarm water. Set aside to rise. Heat the milk in a small saucepan; add the shortening to dissolve. Allow to cool to lukewarm; then add salt, slightly-beaten egg yolks, and sugar. [It is only necessary to heat the milk until the shortening melts. Any additional heating just requires more cooling time. Butter may be substituted for the shortening. Butter not only adds a more rich flavor but also melts at a lower temperature so it does not take as long to melt. Use a thermometer to gauge when the milk is cool enough to add to the yeast mixture without killing the culture. May chill in refrigerator if closely watched and frequently stirred.] Combine milk-egg mixture and yeast mixture. Add flour gradually and work dough by hand or with a mixer until glossy. Keep it a little sticky, if at all possible. [Use bread flour if at all possible. Bread flour creates a much more airy result than all-purpose flour. About the first three cups of flour can be added in the beginning. Stir with a wooden spoon until too heavy to handle. Gather dough together with clean, floured hands, and knead. If the dough sticks to your hands or the surface, a little more flour is needed. Add flour by putting a slightly thicker coat on hands and surface. Continue to knead until the dough acquires a sheen.] Cover, place in a warm, draft-free place, and let rise until double in bulk, about 45 minutes to an hour. [You can tell if the dough has doubled by pushing two floured fingers into the top of the dough about ½ inch deep. If the impressions remain, the dough has doubled.] After the dough has risen, punch down the dough, and lightly knead. Divide into egg-sized portions with a spoon and form balls. Place in well oiled baking pans about an inch apart and butter well; half margarine may be substituted, but some butter is essential for the flavor. [One may also "pinch off" the large egg-sized portions from the dough mass. It is best if the "raw" edges are kept to just one or two. Work the portion into a ball shape by pushing the raw ends down and under. Pinch any openings together and roll the ball between your hands to shape and smooth. Butter each kolache well. At this point you can fill dough with a meat, chees, peppers or tope with a fruit filling of your choice. My favorite is a smoked sausage and cheddar! Place pans of kolache in a warm, draft free place, and allow to double in bulk again, about 45 minutes to one hour. Place in an oven preheated to 375 degrees. Bake until golden brown. [Some recipes say that the kolaches will brown in 20 to 40 minutes. Browning time can vary by the type of pan used. It is best to avoid dark pans. Check the bottoms of the kolaches to ensure they do not burn.] Remove the kolaches from the oven and slather with melted butter. Cool slightly, remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.

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