Sunday, June 8, 2008

I finally gotcha Kolache!

Ok, so we're going to divert from baby news for a moment here and talk all about kolaches...

I've been craving kolaches since our last trip to Eagle Lake at Christmas. These trips not only result in visiting Michael's grandparents, but a stop at Weikel's for kolaches in La Grange, TX (They Gotcha Kolache!). If you have not had a Weikel's kolache, you have not lived. There are those that would say that about that the kolaches from the Czech Stop in West, TX, but I've never been there, so until I do, I heart Weikel's!

Since some folks may be wondering what the hell a kolache is, here is the definition according to Wiki (Thanks be to Wiki!): 'a type of pastry consisting of fillings ranging from fruits to cheeses inside a bread roll.' It's then usually topped off with posypka, a topping that is made from flour and sugar cut into butter and then crumbled over the top. They can also be made to contain sausage and cheese, a glorified pig-in-the-blanket. While these are marketed as kolaches, they're really klobasnek, and just as tasty!

Kolache: a Czech pastry filled with fruity or cream cheesy goodness.

Since I am a still a student at the University of Patience, and a pretty damn good baker, I decided to give it a go at making kolaches. It took me three tries before I finally got it. The first two times I used a recipe that was total crap. It's from some Czech woman called Grandma Rosie who lives in Corpus and owned a bakery for years. Either she doesn't really want to share the success of her recipe or the reporter who wrote it down got it wrong, 'cause that recipe was a disaster both times I tried it. I had my mom look over it to make sure I wasn't crazy, and she thought it was off too. So I scrapped that one and found another on a blog by the Homesick Texan: http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2007/03/sweet-escape-kolaches.html The author's a funny gal and if you love food like I do, you'll enjoy reading her many posts devoted to Texan cuisine.

With new recipe in hand, I finally managed to pass go, collect my $200, and actually place dough balls on my greased cookie sheets. After having had to wash my pre-greased cookie sheets from my first two attempts without ever placing dough on them, I vowed that I would not grease this time until I was REALLY ready.

What I learned from this adventure: to mimic the Weikel's kolache, one must make BIG dough balls and place them really close together on one cookie sheet (I got 30 small ones out of the recipe and used up 1.5 cookie sheets). Mine came out a little too dense since I had to keep adding flour to the surface when kneading the dough, so maybe baking on a less humid day might be a good idea too! I have to do some more research on what the consistency of the dough should be like; I was basing my experience off of bread making.

All in all, my kolaches were finally a success and they have made a delightful addition to my baking repertoire. I am one step closer to having my bakery some day! If I can just muster up enough cash and get over the whole waking up before the butt crack of dawn thing, we're in business. In the meantime, back to mommyhood!

Kelly

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