and I am happy to give you my honest opinion about the entire delicious process.
Kolaches were originally reserved for special occasions, such as weddings or holidays. The ingredients- sugar, eggs, butter, and white flour- were too expensive to use very often.
If you've ever had a kolache (ko' la chee), you know why they've been popular for hundreds of years. They have a huge fan base; people often travel miles out of their way to reach a favorite kolache bakery.
A special holiday, such as Easter, is the perfect time to enjoy traditional kolaches. Here is Red Star Yeast's recipe for soft, sweet, kolache dough (makes 12 to 14 buns):
For the dough:
¾ cup milk
¼ cup butter, room temperature
3 and 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup Sugar
2+1/4 tsp Active Dry Red Star Yeast
1 egg, room temperature
Combine water, milk, and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Heat to 120 to 130 degrees.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Punch down dough. Shape into 1 to 1½-inch balls; place on greased or parchment paper covered cookie sheets. Pat dough balls down to flatten slightly. Let rest 10-15 minutes until slightly puffy. Using 2 fingers, make indentations in each. Brush edges lightly with egg wash if desired. Spoon 2 teaspoons of filling (recipes below) into each. Bake at 375°F for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool. Serve warm or room temperature.
6 oz. dried apricots
3/4 cup orange juice
6 tablespoons sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice