This recipe is not EXACTLY like they have around here, but I am working on it. This will give you a really good idea of what we bring home from a donut shop in and around Houston. These breakfast treats come from the Czech immigrants who settled the Texas Hill Country (between Houston and Austin and around Austin), and frequently come in a fruit type (dimpled and filled, like a danish) that is also available up North, and meat (which apparently doesn't exist anywhere else but around here in Texas). Ham and cheese has always been one of my favorites. The amount of flour you use will greatly depend on whether you are making this in or around Houston right before or after a rainstorm, as I always seem to; or if you are making it someplace with a normal, low level of humidity. Start the sponge the night before.
- SPONGE: Mix together yeast and 2 cups of flour. Add the rest of the sponge ingredients. Mix with spoon until thoroughly combined and then put in your refrigerator overnight. (this time is not in the cook time).
- The next morning, stir the sponge lightly and add the salt. Begin adding flour until it forms into a dough ball. If there is little humidity, this could be as little as one cup. If you are here in Houston, I usually end up putting in a couple and then kneading another half cup.
- Once you have a doughball, Let it rest for 20 minutes.
- Knead for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface, adding flour as needed. The dough should be very easy to knead, fairly loose.
- Place kneaded dough into a bowl, lightly oiled and turn dough so that it is covered with oil. Let it rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Meanwhile, mix together ham and cheese.
- Punch down dough.
- Divide into 32 small balls (divide in half, then divide in half again, and again, etc.). Take each ball and flatten with your hand to a 3" circle. Place one tablespoon ham and cheese mixture into the center of each circle and close into a ball, twisting the opening closed. Make sure the opening is well sealed, or the kolaches will burst open in the oven.
- Place filled balls seam side down onto greased cookie sheets (I use 2). Cover and let rise again for half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Brush kolaches with melted butter. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden colored. You don't want these to get brown, or they will be too dry. Just golden, like biscuits or dinner rolls.
- Baked kolaches can be frozen, thawed, and reheated in the microwave.
Delicious! Only slightly different than the family recipe we have from an old kolache shop just south of Houston (Pasadena to be exact). Ours deviates by using 1/3 cup of sugar, 1/2 tsp of grated lemon peel, and 1/4 tsp of ground nutmeg. I fill mine with orange marmalade, sweetened cream cheese, plum butter, and sausage and cheese (not all in the same bundle of course). The ham and cheese will now have to become another favorite in the bread basket.
Featured in my Book#237470. Originally reviewed on July 10, 2008. Definitely 5 stars-- still smacking my lips! I had to go to book club so DH shaped them, and he did the rest. And did great! He really is a super man! We made them as posted-and I can see that maybe some people might add something--maybe even some mustard with the ham/cheese mixture, but we thought they were perfectly delicious just as posted. We will take them camping with us. Thanks for sharing another great recipe, Craft Scout. This is going right into my leftovers cookbook. I also appreciated how you could start it out the day before. Second time-I have a vegetarian DIL and for hers I mixed together 1 tablespoon of minced mushroom, 1 tablespoon of shredded swiss cheese, and about 1/16 teaspoon of dried thyme. And because I had used part of the bread dough for that instead of all being used with the ham mixture, I had leftover ham filling so I put the leftover filling of ham, mustard, and mushroom into a baked potato pulp. Made for ZWT4 the Flying Dutchess'.