Sunday, April 6, 2008


I don't make new year's resolutions, but this year I made a "things to try" list. One of those things is to bake kolaches. It's been probably close to 12 years since I've assisted my mother in the baking process. I've never attempted to make them on my own because #1, they will NEVER taste like mom's (I'll just accept that fact now) and #2, I hated that we'd spend the entire day baking, packaging and doing dishes, to only end up getting to eat the "not so perfect" kolaches. (Dad can vouch for me on this.) The rest would be put into the freezer to be later given away or to be eaten when we had visitors.
Today, I'm only starting with a half a batch. Mom would get up at the crack of dawn and mix up her large batch of dough and once the dough was almost ready, she'd call for me to awake because "our" dough was ready. Funny thing was that I never remembered mixing up a batch of kolache dough while I was sleeping. When I mentioned "assisting", what that translates to is filling the kolaches with either apricot, prune or poppyseed filling, brushing the finished kolaches with butter to make them shine and then fetching this, getting mom that and trying to keep up on the dishes. Mom did all of the actual working with the dough and making the kolaches, so this will be the most challenging part. My goal for today is that they're edible.

First Kolache Baking Day

I arose at 7:30 (it's considered the crack of dawn to Craig, so we'll roll with it) and had the dough mixed up by 8. (Before I got started, I had to clean the retro canisters so they look nice for their picture.) The dough will need to double in size before the next step, which will take about an hour. As I was putting away the ingredients and getting started on those dishes (must stay on top of them), I realized that I had forgotten to include the mace. I'm not even sure what mace is, but it's expensive and I know that I can smell the mace in mom's kolaches, and felt it was an important ingredient. So, the dough went back into its mixing bowl and I added the mace.
Well, I don't think my dough rose quite like it's supposed to, but we'll work with it anyway and see how the next step goes. I cut pieces of dough and then shaped them into balls. Again, we have to wait for them to rise and double in size. Time to mentally prepare myself for the challenging step ahead, making the kolaches. My half batch only made 33 balls, so we won't be baking all day.
Ah, I figured out why my dough hasn't been rising. I misread the recipe and dissolved my "dry" yeast in water when I was supposed to mix it with the flour. Bummer! So my dough balls didn't rise much at all. Since I'm this far, I'm going to keep going. Flatten the balls into a circle, plop in some apricot filling (I also bought apple to try) and then fold into a kolache. Place back on a pan and let rise until almost double. (Mine won't be doing much rising.) Soon we will get to bake them! And then the even better them!

Bake them at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with butter to make them shine.

The finished products.

They did rise a little during baking, so I'm glad I didn't throw the dough out.
They actually don't taste too bad. Nothing like mom's though, and
they don't exactly look like hers either.

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