My maternal great-grandma was a wonderful cook. She was bitter, stubborn, and half-blind most of my life. She never lost her Czech accent even though she’s been in this country since age 17, but wow could she make a pork roast and some sad little root vegetables taste amazing. Apparently, though I never ate them, she made lots and lots of kolaches. My Mom and one of my uncles were very fond of her cheese ones. There was a bakery in my home town where you could get quite good poppyseed kolaches. There was a famous incident with one of my younger cousins smearing the contents of a poppyseed kolache around the side of the refrigerator as we babysat him one day when I was a kid.
When we moved to Texas, they had different kinds of kolaches. They had a soft yeasted dough outside and were filled with little sausages and cheese. I always loved these, but to my knowledge, you can’t get them outside of central to eastern TX. I could never find a recipe either. Until the other day, that is. I was randomly thinking about how much I loved the little airpockets that occur between the dough and the sausage as they bake, and I decided to search for a recipe.
I found a very good one here, but I modified it below due to my inability to consume milk right now.
Texas Sausage Kolaches
Dissolve 3 tsp. yeast and 1 T sugar in 1/4 cup of warm water. Allow to foam while you combine 3 T of sugar with 1 cup of coconut milk. Heat the sugar and milk mixture until it is warm to the touch. Add the yeast mixture to the milk mixture in a large bowl and add 1 3/4 cups of flour. Stir 100 times in one direction with a wooden spoon. Cover the sponge and allow to rest in a warm spot for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, add 1/4 cup of melted shortening, 1/4 cup of canola oil, 1/4 cup of coconut milk, 2 egg yolks, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 1/4 cups of flour. Stir until combined. Lightly flour a working surface and slap knead (this is such a cool technique–it’s worth watching the video for just so you can stare in awe), adding no extra flour until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Allow the dough to double in bulk which will take a couple of hours. You can let it rise in the fridge overnight and just warm it up to room temperature on the counter or in the oven with just the pilot light on before you continue.
Divide the dough into quarters and roll each quarter into a rectangle about 1/8″ thick. Divide the rolled dough into 9 smaller rectangles and place a small sausage (about 2″ long) or piece of sausage into the center. Fold the dough over the sausage, pinching to seal. Place the sealed side down on a lightly greased baking sheet and paint with an egg wash made with 1 egg and 1 T coconut milk or water beaten well together. Preheat the oven to 400. Allow the kolaches to rise for about 20 minutes before you bake them. Bake them for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Make some! They’re tasty!
I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas.