Monday, October 3, 2011

Authentic Moravian Kolache / Kolač

My Granny, Vlasta Patricia Mičan Strathman
holding my brother's hand.

Today would have been my Granny's 100th birthday.  She was of Moravian Czech Decent born in Dubina Texas in 1911.  In honor of her I am posting her recipe for Authentic Czech Kolache / Kolač.

We are of Moravian decent before the merge of Bohemia and Moravia which created Czechoslovakia. My great grandmother never learned to speak English and only spoke Moravian which is now a dead language except for what is preserved as "Texas Czech".

Kolach - in Czech "koláč" - is singular and pronounced approx. kohlach (with long "a"). "Koláče" is plural, pronounced kohlacheh (long "a" again).

It’s a Czech pastry, kind of like a danish, with a filling in the center. Traditional fillings are usually apricot, peach, prune, cream cheese, poppy seed, & cottage cheese.

CONTRARY to some folks, a Kolache is NOT dough wrapped around a sausage…NO, that is called a klobasnek, sausage roll or what we Texans call..a “Pig-In-The-Blanket”.  PLEASE, re-educate everyone and spread the word.

Klobasneck: Uses similar bread to the kolache but is filled with a piece of sausage. These are sometimes mistakenly referred to as kolaches. They may also contain ham and cheese, sausage, jalapeño slices, and more resemble a “pig in a blanket” than the original pastry. There is also a sweet and flakey filled pastry with Polish origins called the Kolachky.

I have been accused of being a Czech snob. I am ok with that. It is my culture and it is important to me that people understand the difference. I would hope others would teach me if I was incorrect with something in their culture.  You know like calling an Asian egg roll a burrito.

How to make Authentic Kolache / Kolač

First I mixed the shortening, sugar, salt and 1 egg along with 2 yolks while the milk was warming a bit. Place the egg whites from the two eggs you separated aside until later. You want to warm the milk to dissolve the yeast.

After the milk is warmed a bit at abt 1 Tbs of sugar (to feed yeast) then add 2 yeast packets. Stir well with a spoon to activate yeast then let it sit for about 10 minutes. (Salt from your hands can kill the yeast)

Add some flour to the shortening mix then add some the yeast mixture. Add a little more flour then the rest of the yeast mixture. Blend well with a spoon. Once the ingredient is mixed well you can use your hands. Adding flour and mixing until the flour no longer sticks to your hands or the bowl.

Let the dough sit covered to rise. This takes about 1 hour. After it has risen pull off balls and make the kolache to the desired diameter and thickness on the cookie sheet. Let them rise a second time (Maybe 45 minutes).

Press the dough in the center of the kolache to make a depression for the filling. There are filling recipes online. We used blackberry preserves, strawberry pie filling, and mango preserves along with making cream cheese filling. Be careful not to overfill!

After you have added the filling add a bit of milk to the two egg whites and whip good. Take a brush or a paper towel and lightly brush the pastry surrounding the filling. This gives it a pretty shiny finish.

We baked ours at 400 degrees. (Watch them as time varies.)

(Note:  Harriet likes it better if they are brushed with melted butter instead of egg.  Also she likes her's a little moister therefore she doesn't like her's cooked quite as long.)


  1. Thanks for the recipe, but could you write how much salt and shortening, I didn't understand the handwriting?

    1. I apologize for not seeing this and answering before now.

      1 Tbs Salt
      3 Tbs Shortening

  2. Thank you for the recipe, it looks delicious.