Jan 3, 2012
As I mentioned before, it can't be the holidays in a Slovak home without kolachi. My (non-chookie chookie) grandma used to make these with my sister and me every year. My mom would drop us off at her house before she went to work and we'd spend the day making a double batch of kolachi to last through the season. Those days are some of the fondest memories I have of grandma. A few years ago she passed away, but we have continued to keep up the kolachi tradition.
This year, for the first time, my mom was able to help us make kolachi. Even though my sister and I had been making them with her mom for years, she had never learned. So, finally this year my sister and I had the opportunity to teach her with the recipe her mom used to make. We had a good time teaching her about everything from yeast dough and rolling techniques.
Spend some time with family and yeast dough this season. Make new memories and remember old traditions. After all, isn't that what the holidays are all about?
Recipe adapted from Mary Skurka's recipe in Anniversary Slovak-American Cook Book
-6 c flour
-1 tsp salt
-3 tbsp sugar & 1/4 c sugar
-2 dry packets of yeast
-1/2 c warm milk
-2 sticks of butter at room temperature & 1/4 c melted butter
-3 eggs (beaten) & 2 egg whites
-1 c sour cream
-about 3 cans of filling (poppy seed or apricot) or nut filling
Start by dissolving the yeast in the warm milk. Combine flour, salt, 2 sticks of butter, 3 tbsp sugar, 3 eggs and sour cream. Mix well with your hands, being sure to incorporate the butter. Add the yeast mixture and continue to combine. Cover with a clean towel and allow dough to sit in a warm spot (on top of a gas stove works great) for about an hour until it's starting to rise.
Divide dough into 4 pieces. With each piece, roll out dough into a large rectangle (ours were probably about 18" x 12"). Brush each piece with melted butter. Spread a filling thinly over the dough all the way to the edges. Tightly roll the dough starting from the more uneven short side. Place the roll on a greased baking sheet with the open end down. Place 2 rolls on each of two baking sheets. Pierce the rolls with a fork along the top and the sides (we also mark each roll with a fork to help us remember what filling is in that roll: P, N, or A). Cover the rolls and allow them to rise once more for about an hour.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. After the rolls have risen, brush them with the egg whites. This will help them last longer without drying out. Bake the rolls, one sheet at a time, for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Don't worry if they bust open in the oven--it happens to most. Immediately upon coming out of the oven, brush the rolls with a mixture of 1/4 c sugar and 1/2 c water. The sugar water will keep the rolls moist. Allow them to cool before removing from the baking sheet and cutting.