Daring Bakers challenges are always fun! They not only introduce you to new foods and recipes from around the world but they also help you expand your skills and interests. Last month I made ensaimada, a Spanish pastry that was soft and buttery and full of flavour. The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!
Kolaches look really festive with different combinations of fruit jam, nuts, cheese filling or poppy seeds making beautiful patterns on top.
The bread is amazingly soft and reminded me a little of a particular bread that I used to eat as a kid in Sri Lanka.
Instead of using jam, I decided to use fresh peaches. I couldn’t find quark that’s required for this recipe so I used a mix of ricotta and sour cream instead. I have a slightly adapted recipe here, but you can get the original version from tege.blog.cz.
Kolach - Daring Bakers September
For the dough
- 3-2/3 cups 17-2/3 oz (500 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
- ¾ cup 180 ml (3½ oz) (100 gm) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
- 1 cup 250 ml milk, warm
- 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
Instead of quark filling - Ricotta and Sour Cream
- 3/4 cup of ricotta and 1/2 cup of sour cream
- 1 egg yolk
- confectioner’s icing sugar to taste
- 2 Apricots chopped in to small pieces
- 2 tbsp of brandy
- 1 tbsp of brown sugar
- Or 2/3 cup 160 ml (7 oz) (200 gm) jam
- rum or hot water to soften jam if too thick
- 1/3 cup 1¾ oz (50 gm) plain flour
- ¼ cup 60 ml (1¾ oz) (50 gm) butter, chilled and diced
- ¼ cup 60 ml (1¾ oz) (50 gm) caster (or granulated) sugar
To glaze the dough
- 1 egg
- In a bowl, mix together yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Add 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) warm milk, mix well and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes until it starts to froth (Activates the yeast)
- In an electric mixer bowl (or any other large bowl), mix flour, sugar, salt, egg yolks, butter, milk and activated yeast.
- Knead with dough hook (or with wooden spoon) on low speed for about 10 -15 minutes until the dough is soft.
- Cover again and let it rise until it doubles in volume. Usually an hour, but the time can differ depending on the room temperature.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling – just mix all ingredients. You may not have to use all this for the filling.
- For the Apricots - mix all ingredients and leave to macerate for at least 1 hour.
- For the Jam - mix jam with enough brandy to soften it.
- For the streusal topping mix together sugar, flour and add diced cold butter. With your fingers rub the butter in to the flour, or cut with a pastry cutter until a crumbly mix is achieved.
- When the dough has risen turn it on to a lightly floured surface, smooth it out and cut it into 10 -12 equal portions (for larger Kolaches). OR you can and roll it with a rolling pin to a thickness of about 2 cm (¾ inch) and cut 4 inch rounds (for a smaller size).
- Gather the ends and form a ball to seal in the filling. Place the buns on a baking sheet with seam side down. I left this to rise in room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to moderate 340°F/170°C/gas mark 3.
- Press each kolach in the middle slightly to make an indentation. Brush it with egg wash (I forgot to do this for mine) and fill holes with fruit filling.
- Sprinkle it with streusel topping.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”
The peaches and cream combination I used was amazing and they were so yummy! My husband and I absolutely loved them. The cream filling really adds to that softness of the bread. And the sweetness of the peaches complemented it so well!
This will be another addition to a long list of my favourite breads and I cannot wait to try out different variations with new combinations of fruits and filling!