A must stop on the Texas I-35 route between Dallas and Austin is the town of West, Texas. The town is not much to look at, but you would never know it by the amount of traffic getting off the highway.
West, in McLennan County, was a tiny town that had a wave of Czech immigrants in 1900. Along with the immigrants, came the delicious treat of kolache which has evolved to become a Texas standard found at shops all over the state.The town of West has put kolaches on the map. I’ve had many, and theirs is by far the best and most authentic.
A kolache is a yeast bun with a range of fillings, both savory and sweet. You can try anything from sausage & cheese, ham, kielbasa, to pumpkin cream cheese, apricot, poppy, you name it! My favorite is kielbasa, cheese, and kraut.
I’ve been homesick for kolache since moving to Pennsylvania. I can’t find them here. The closest thing is Hungarian nut roll, but they are two different things.
I’ve teamed up for this post, with one of my favorite bloggers, Melissa over at Blind Honeybee. I’ve known Mel for many years, and we share an affinity for cultural food ways, local history and bad 80s ballads (which you, fortunately, will not hear a duet). Mel is also one of the best cooks I know. We decided to link and give you several options for this Texas treat. Mel walks you through the pastry construction of a sweet kolache and I’m going to talk about the savory.
One thing that differentiates a savory and sweet kolache is the shape. Sweet has an open top, similar to a Danish while a savory tends to have the filling mostly encased in the dough.
On the left, you can see the sausage filling in cased in the dough and on the right is Mel’s gorgeous sweet kolache.
I will give you a recipe for a klobasnek, the Czech word for sausage filled kolache. For my filling, I used kielbasa, jalapenos and shredded sharp cheddar cheese. However, the filling can be anything you like.
I used this wonderful recipe for sausage jalapeno kolache
You want to follow Mel’s site for the construction of the pastry but here’s how to construct a savory kolache.
Once you have divided your dough after the first rising, you will have about 16 little dough balls. take a rolling pin to each ball. You want to roll out the yeast dough so it is thinner. This makes it easier to stuff. (it needs to be slightly thinner, not pie crust thinner.
Take your filling and pull the dough around it, hiding the filling.
Then on the bottom of the kolache ball, twist your pastry ends together and press down. (this was my first run and I decided to roll my dough more on the next one).
Filled kolache ready for the oven. I used the shredded cheese on top to determine which had jalapenos in them.
Before baking, I spread them out on the sheet and brushed each kolache with an egg white mixed with 2 TBSP of water.
They lasted about 20 seconds after this photo