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Kolaches (pronounced koh-LA-chees), are traditional Czech pastries and a beloved staple of Texas cuisine – just as much as smoked brisket and beef fajitas. Kolaches come with all sorts of fruit fillings, but we are partial to cream cheese, included in this recipe, which is adapted from Texas’s famous Little Czech Bakery.
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees f to 115 degrees f)
  • 2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 6 1/4 cup bread flour, sifted
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  1. Using a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, butter and cinnamon. Pulse until the mixture resembles bread crumbs and set aside. Alternatively, if you don’t have a food processor, mix together with your fingers.
  2. Using a hand or electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add the flour, egg yolk and lemon zest. Mix to blend and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of a stand mixer (or mixing bowl if you don't have a stand mixer), combine the 1 tablespoon of sugar, the yeast, and the warm water. Set aside until yeast starts to bubble, about 5 minutes.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until it hits 98 to 105 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Stir in the shortening until just melted, then remove the mixture from heat and let it cool slightly (about 5 minutes). Add the salt, egg yolks, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar and whisk well.
  5. Add the milk and egg mixture to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the bread flour, 1 cup at a time, and work with a dough hook (or wooden spoon and then your hands) until a soft, moist, dough forms.
  6. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  7. After the dough has risen, punch it down to remove any air in the dough. Lightly flour a work surface. Use a tablespoon to separate into about 18 egg-size balls of dough. Take your palm and roll dough into a ball, then flatten each ball slightly. Place flattened balls on two greased cookie sheets. They should be at least 2 inches apart or more.
  8. Brush the dough balls with the melted butter. Place them back in a warm area and cover with tea towels. Allow to rise for 20 minutes.
  9. To assemble the kolaches:
  10. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Using your thumb, make a deep impression in the center of each ball and fill it with 1 to 2 teaspoons cream cheese filling. Let the kolaches rise again for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  11. Sprinkle the kolaches with the desired amount of topping. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes.