These Czechoslovakian sweetbreads melt in your mouth. Make sure to try these walnut kolaches at your next brunch!
What exactly is a Kolache?
If you are from Texas, you may know what a kolache is. Since there was a large number of immigrants that settled there in the 19th century, many kolache bakeries sprang up all over Texas. Traditionally made with poppyseed or prune fillings, these walnut kolaches bring a twist to the ever-evolving pastry. Believed to be originated from the eastern region of Europe, these pastries were probably invented by the Czechoslovakians but the topping is influenced by the Polish. Kolaches are perfect for your next family gathering or lazy Saturday morning. They are soft and light and utterly irresistible.
Many pastries start with laminated dough, but thankfully this one does not. Kolache starts with an enriched dough which basically means that it has additions of butter (or another fat), sugar, and milk instead of water. Enriched dough often contains eggs but doesn’t need to to be classified into this group. The addition of these extra ingredients results in a softer, more delicate final result rather than a drier and denser classic lean dough loaf.
The walnut filling is very easy to make if you know a few things. Firstly, when you mix egg yolk and sugar together you can reach a ribbon stage. This is what you are aiming for! Make sure to mix it until it is a pale yellow and thick. If you lift it out of the bowl with a spatula, it should fall back into the bowl in a ribbon. Secondly, whisk the egg white until it forms soft peaks before adding any of the sugar. The meringue will be weighed down if you do so and will not form properly. It is also important to make meringue in a very clean grease-free bowl.
Kolaches are a little time consuming but do not take longer than the average cinnamon roll. Most of the time is rising time and there
What is Posypka?
Do you like streusel topping? Then you will love this polish crumble than nobody knows how to pronounce. The posypka is crunchy once it is baked and is a perfect addition of texture to the kolache. It’s buttery, sweet and adds the perfect element of crunch
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1/2 Tsp Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Butter (room temperature)
- 6 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup + 6 Tbsp Milk (scalded then brought back to room temperature.)
- 1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 4 1/2 Cups Flour (575 g)
- 1 1/2 Tsp Salt
- 1 Egg (separated and at room temperature.
- 6 Tbsp Sugar (separated into two equal parts)
- 2 Tbsp Butter (room temperature)
- 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
- 2 Cups Walnuts (chopped into small pieces)
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp Butter (melted)
- Place the active dry yeast, water, and 1 tsp of sugar in a small bowl. Allow them to sit and bloom for 5-10 minutes.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the yeast mixture, eggs, vanilla, and milk and stir until fully combined.
- Add the flour and salt and stir until just combined. Dump out the dough on the counter and knead until the dough is soft and smooth. It will be a sticky dough. Dust the counter with flour as you need to.
- Allow the dough to rise in a bowl covered with a towel for 30-45 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 18 pieces about 1/4 cup in size. I have found that about 55 grams are optimal if you want to use a scale. Shape the dough into round balls and place on a parchment lined sheet pan. Allow to rise for 20 minutes.
- Combine the egg white in a clean grease-free bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Slowly add three tbsp of the sugar.
- Place the egg yolk, vanilla, and the remaining sugar in a bowl and whisk until pale yellow and thick. Add the butter and whisk until smooth.
- Lightly fold the meringue into the egg yolk mixture and stir in the chopped nuts.
- Make a divet in the middle of each dough ball. Fill each hole with 2-3 tsp of walnut filling.
- Place the sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to combine. Pour the melted butter over the top and ensure that it is completely mixed. Set aside.
- Brush the tops of the kolaches with melted butter avoiding the filling. Sprinkle the posypka mixture on the top.
- Allow the kolaches to rise for 10-15 minutes while you preheat the oven. Bake at 400F for 8-13 minutes or until just starting to brown.
- Kolaches are best served warm but will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To reheat place in the oven at 350F for 3-5 minutes.