By Kelly Bogard
As many of you know, we live in Waco not too far from a small community that, in the past couple of weeks, has been in the news quite a bit. The town of West, Texas is near and dear to our hearts.
In fact, I have written about the great people of West before. One of my favorite things about this town of less than 3,000 is their hospitality and food.
West was established in 1882 by Czech and German immigrants. Many who live there now are their descendants. Right now, those same people who are so hospitable caring for others need our help as they begin the process of working to rebuild their community. Several are out of their homes and schools they are so used to. Many lost loved ones or were injured themselves. Yet, they still greet everyone with a smile who comes to help. My family has been honored to help both, with man hours and resources and now with a little bit of good old Czech spirit.
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For Homemade Kolaches, you will need…
2 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup margarine
3 pkg. dry active yeast
1 cup warm water (not to exceed 110 degrees F.)
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
7 1/2 to 8 cups All-Purpose flour
2/3 cup margarine, melted [/wpcol_1half] [wpcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=”vertical-align:text-top;”]
And for the Cream Cheese filling, you will need…
2 eight-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 egg yolks[/wpcol_1half_end]
Kolaches can be made with fruit, meats, cottage cheese, and the list goes on. My favorite is cream cheese, though. I also made some apple ones for Butters simply using ready-made pie filling to save time.
Prepare the water to 110 degrees F. Anything more will kill the yeast and your dough won’t rise. Add one teaspoon of sugar and the packets of yeast. Stir just until combined. Set aside to proof for approximately five minutes.
Check the temperature of your milk to make sure it is not too hot to combine with the yeast once proofed. Easiest way for me is to get out my handy candy thermometer just to make sure. Mix the milk with the foamy yeast. Then add the eggs. Slowly add in the flour and salt until you get a soft dough. You will use approximately 8 cups, but it does vary.
Once it doubles in size, portion the dough onto prepared baking sheets and brush with additional margarine. Let set for 10 minutes to rise. As you can see, mine are already pretty big. Once they rise again, they will be even bigger. The way I make them, you will get about 2 1/2 dozen. You could easily get 4 dozen small ones, though.
Add in your filling. Sprinkle with sugar and brush with butter and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until brown. Brush with margarine one final time as they come out of the oven before they cool. Serve warm.
As the great people of West begin to heal and rebuild, I hope this makes them smile. Their food and culture is an inspiration to many, myself included.
Recipe: Homemade Kolaches
Summary: Warm risen dough filled with cream cheese or fruit
- 2 cups milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup margarine
- 3 pkg. dry active yeast
- 1 cup warm water (not to exceed 110 degrees F.)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 7 1/2 to 8 cups All-Purpose flour
- 2/3 cup margarine, melted
Cream Cheese filling
- 2 eight-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. vanilla
- 2 egg yolks
- In a small pot, combine milk, sugar and margarine.
- Warm over medium heat until margarine is melted. Do not bring to a boil.
- Set aside to cool.
- Prepare the water to 110 degrees F.
- Add one teaspoon of sugar and the packets of yeast. Stir to combine.
- Set aside to proof for five minutes.
- Mix the cooled milk (110 degrees F.) with the foamy yeast.
- Combine with the eggs.
- Slowly add in the flour and salt until you get a soft dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for one hour or until it doubles in size.
- Portion the dough onto prepared baking sheets.
- Brush with additional margarine.
- Let set for 10 minutes to rise.
- Cream together all of the ingredients for the filling and set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Use your fingers to create a well.
- Add in your filling.
- Sprinkle with sugar and brush with butter.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until brown.
- Brush with margarine when they come out of the oven.
- Serve warm.
Prep time (duration): 2 hour(s), 0 minutes
Cooking time (duration): 0 hour(s), 15 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 2 1/2 – 4 dozen, depending on size