Moravian Kolaches (Eggless) for the Daring Baker’s Challenge

The past month, I have been so busy traveling that I have not found any time to cook/bake leave alone blog about it. Not that I am complaining. I have had fun. But then again I AM having withdrawal symptoms. So today when I finally found myself at home, I headed straight for the kitchen. The first thing on my agenda was to make these wonderful pastries- Kolaches.

3 kolachesA Kolach (pronounced kuh-lah-chee) is a sweet yeasted roll enclosing a sweet filling.The Czech Republic and Poland both claim kolaches as one of their most beloved pastries. In fact a Czech dictionary describes it as “the national sweet bread.”

One more bread/pastry added to my repertoire thanks to this month’s Daring Baker’s challenge.

The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!

Lucie gave us three recipes to choose from- a Prague Kolach, which was one round pastry layered in between with a pastry cream filling;  Kolach from Chodsko, which had the traditional quark cheese and poppy seed topping; and the Morovian Kolach which has two fillings.

It was mandatory that we make any one of the three.

I chose to make the Morovian Kolaches simply because they looked so cute!!

Since we could make variations depending on dietary restrictions and ingredients on hand, I changed the recipe to an eggless one. I also used cream cheese instead of quark and cherry jam in place of the plum jam.

Look at the soft and fluffy interior and the layer of cream cheese!!

Look at the soft and fluffy interior and the layer of cream cheese!!

I also scaled down the recipe to a quarter. This gave me 4 medium sized Kolaches.

Moravian Kolaches (Eggless) for the Daring Baker’s Challenge

Moravian Kolaches (Eggless) for the Daring Baker’s Challenge

For the dough:
125 gms plain flour
25 gms icing (confectioner's) sugar
1/4 cup warm milk
18 gms butter, melted
1 tsp active dry yeast
A pinch of salt
15 gms plain yogurt (or 1/2 an egg yolk)
For the filling:
4 Tbsps cream cheese
1 Tbsp icing sugar
For jam topping:
2 Tbsps cherry jam (or any other jam)
1/2 tsp hot water
For the streusel topping:
13 gms plain flour
13 gms butter, chilled and diced
13 gms sugar
To make dough:
Add the yeast and 1 tsp of sugar to the milk.
Cover and keep aside for 5-10 minutes till frothy.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, icing sugar, salt, butter and the yeast-milk mixture till it forms into a dough.
Turn it out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or till the dough becomes soft and supple.
Place in a well oiled bowl.
Cover and leave for about an hour or till almost double (mine took only 45 minutes due to the hot and humid weather).
To make filling:
Mix the cream cheese and icing sugar till smooth.
To make jam topping:
Mix the jam with the hot water to loosen it.
To make streusel:
Place the sugar and flour in a bowl and rub the cold butter in with your fingers till the mixture is crumbly.
To make Kolaches:
Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
Gently punch down and remove the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
Roll out with a rolling pin to 3/4" thick oval and cut into 4" (or smaller circles) with a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass.
Re-roll the scraps and repeat.
Splat each piece between your palms, place a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the center and bring all the edges together to enclose the filling (like a purse).
Place it seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Repeat for all the dough circles.
Press the center of the kolach with you fingers to form a hollow and fill this with the jam filling.
Sprinkle some streusel on top of each kolach and bake for 18-20 minutes till golden brown.
I baked for 18 minutes and then placed under the grill/broiler for 2 minutes.
Storage:
All kolaches are best the first and second day but you can store them in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 5 days.
http://www.myfoodlab.com/moravian-kolaches-eggless-for-the-daring-bakers-challenge/