Homemade pastries are just something special. And these delectable treats are nothing short of amazing.
Grandma Longwell was an amazing cook and baker. She was also 100% Czech, as are these pastries. This recipe is in honor of her and the joy she and Grandpa Longwell brought to the entire family. These were her specialty, along with her homemade cinnamon rolls.
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How To Make Homemade Kolaches
Homemade kolaches are not terribly difficult to make, but they do require a little time.
You have numerous options for the filling, but our favorites are blueberry, cherry, and cream cheese.
You can even opt for savory kolaches, but Grandma always made the sweet kind.
The Best Dough for Kolaches
As with any pastry, you’ve got to start with a good dough. Grandma made lots of baked goods, and she used the same dough for most of her pastries and breads.
Don’t rush the dough. It may take an hour for it to double in size, or it may take 2 hours. You can even place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let rise in the refrigerator for overnight.
Then, once you form the round pastries, you’ll want them to rise until almost doubled in size again.
To form the pastries, we use a 2½ to 3-inch circular cutter.
You can also place the dough in a rectangular baking pan and cut them into squares.
EXPERT TIP: Place the cut dough onto a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper and then allow to rise again. Don’t worry if they don’t completely double in size, they will expand considerably during the baking process.
The Best Kolache Fillings
As mentioned, we love making blueberry, cherry, and cream cheese fillings.
However, other delicious fillings for homemade kolaches include prunes, apricots, poppyseed, and even cottage cheese.
Create a small well in the center of each dough ring and then fill it with the prepared fillings.
NOTE: The fillings can easily be made 1 to 2 days in advance of baking.
When to Serve Homemade Kolaches
These pastries are incredible when served fresh out of the oven or even at room temperature with a warm cup of coffee.
Grandma would have numerous Tupperware containers filled with all types of pastries, pies, and more.
These are perfect for serving at breakfast, but also make a wonderfully sweet ending to a delicious dinner.
Wondering about the history of Kolaches and why they’re so popular in Texas? Read about the history
The smell that emanates from your oven when these are baking is truly magical.
I am transported back to that warm and inviting house in Belleville, KS, every time we make a batch.
And they are honestly as much fun to make as they are to eat.
Ready to make the best pastry this side of Prague? Go for it!
And when you do, be sure to take a photo of them, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!
- 1 cup whole milk lukewarm, 105° - 120°F
- ½ cup sugar
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter melted and then cooled
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
CREAM CHEESE TOPPING
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 15 oz cans pitted sour cherries (Drain, but save the juice)
PREPARE THE DOUGH
- Add the lukewarm milk, sugar, cooled butter, eggs, and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix everything together using the paddle attachment.
- Add 4½ cups flour and salt to the mixture. Mix on low just until the dough starts to come together. Use your hands to remove the dough from the paddle attachment. Remove the paddle and replace it with the dough hook. Mix (knead) on medium for 6 to 7 minutes until the dough is soft and is starting to pull away from the bowl, adding another ¼ to ½ cup of flour as needed.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and smooth it into a ball with your hands. The dough will be quite sticky. This is normal. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in the bowl. Turn the dough over to coat with oil all over. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, non-drafty area until it has doubled in size, usually about 2 hours. Or, place in the refrigerator for overnight or up to 12 hours.
- On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to ½-inch thickness.
- Using a 3-inch cookie cutter, or an inverted metal can, or an inverted glass, cut rounds from the dough. Re-roll the scraps, and cut more rounds.
- Place each round on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, about 1 inch apart from each other, cover with a damp towel and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Using your thumb, press 1 large indention into the center of each round, leaving a 1/2-inch wide rim. Spoon about 1 tablespoon topping into the indentions.
- Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 25 minutes (depending on the size of the kolaches).
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool
CREAM CHEESE TOPPING
- In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar and mix until smooth. (A hand mixer works well).
- Beat in the yolk and vanilla.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon.
- Add the blueberries and lemon juice and cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch.
- Stir in the reserved cherry juices and cook, stirring often, over medium heat, until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the cherries. Let cool.
POST UPDATE: This recipe was originally published in January, 2014, but was updated with improved tweaks to the recipe, new tips and photography, and a fabulous new video in October, 2021!
Thank you for this fabulous recipe. I usually make coffee rolls on Sundays for my guys. Today I wanted to try kolaches. This recipe was so easy! The enriched dough was a dream to work with. The only thing I would redo is to cut them all in one go. The couple made with re-rolled scraps were a wee bit dense & tougher. We truly enjoyed these & add this recipe to our line-up .Best wishes.
Hi Jennifer! Yay! We are thrilled you made the kolaches and had success! Thank you so so much for sharing and for the wonderful review. That means the world to us! Please stay in touch! All the best, Kris & Wesley
Hola from Costa Rica,
I was reading Texas Monthly and got a craving for kolaches. I searched for recipes and found this one to be one of the less complicated so I went for it. Baking here is sometimes problematic because of the humidity. I am in the mountains and we don’t have AC to dry the house our any. I put the dough in the oven with the oven light on and it rose perfectly. My only problem was that as the kolaches baked, the holes I’d made for the filling kind of closed up and the filling went all over the place. Still, they were really good. Because there are just 2 of us, I baked 8 kolaches and divided the rest of the dough in two and froze it. We’ll see how it turns out when thawed. I plan on making klabosneks with the next batch.
So sorry you had a little issue with the holes closing up and the filling going over the sides. We have found it takes a little practice to get that balance just right. The klabosneks sound wonderful! The dough should thaw with no problems. Let us know how they turn out!
I made klobasneks with part of the frozen dough. Our electricity went out just about the time the thawed dough was ready to work and stayed out for 7 hours. I went ahead and made the rolls and out them in the refrigerator where it was still cold. Baked them the next morning and they were fine, a little bit dry but much better than I thought they would be after all that. I have decided to use actual fruit rather than preserves the next time I make the kolaches. I think that will solve the problem with the filling running all over the place.
Fresh fruit would be delicious! Sounds like you handled the power situation like a pro! Keep us posted if you make another batch!
I rolled the dough to 1 1/2 in thick (used a ruler)and they are HUGE. I really think you mean 1/2in thick. They look nothing like yours. I’m so sad. It also only make 6 kolaches. Can you fix please
Thanks for sharing your grandma’s recipe, it sounds just delightful and I cannot wait to get the kids in the kitchen to help mw whip up these little bites of delight 🙂
Thank you, Donna!! I’m so glad I get to share her recipe with so many cooks and bakers that appreciate a good Kolache! And the kiddos will love ’em! Thanks again, Kris & Wesley
These look absolutely delicious. Any type of filled pastries are the type of pastries I want in my belly! The blueberry topping looks perfect on top. I can’t wait to eat this!
Thank you Carmy! They are so good! Passed on from generation to generation! Thanks again! xo Kris & Wesley
I’ve never made kolaches before, but I really want to now because these look so much better than anything I’ve ever seen before. Thank you to your grandmom for these tasty morsels
Thank you, Amanda! I make these a couple times a year, and every time, Wesley (The Loon), asks me why I don’t make them every other day! 🙂 Thanks again!!
These traditional pastries are so wonderful! I love them with apricot filling in the center but now I want to try the poppyseed ones that you mentioned as I have never had those! Thanks for sharing your grandma’s recipe!
Yes! Apricot is so good. My grandmother would make them with apricot, and I need to do that, too. The poppyseed topping is so good. I’ll add that recipe to the post, too. Thanks again! Kris
I grew up in Nebraska and we used to go to Clarkson Nebraska to attend Kolache days… they were authentic and delicious. Ive tried many recipes over the years to recreate them, but this is the first one that actually reminded me of how wonderful they were! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks so much, Michele! I’ve made this recipe for years, and do feel like its really close to what my grandmother created. Hope you enjoy them, too! Best, Kris (& Wesley)
Nice..can I do the dough in the bread machine?