1For the dough, begin by combining your yeast, warm milk, sugar and one cup of flour. You want this to rise to double its size, so cover tightly and set aside until it reaches that point.
2Next, beat together your eggs and 1/2 cup of the melted butter. When combined, blend into your risen yeast mixture. Gently stir in two more cups of flour, in 1/2 cup increments. You want your dough to be soft, moist and all the ingredients completely combined.
3Flour your countertop or pastry board and knead the pastry dough for 10 minutes. (It's worth it!) When done, place kneaded dough into a greased bowl, cover and let rise until it's doubled in size (about 1 hour.)
4Once risen, punch it down. Pull of pieces about the size of an egg and roll them in your hands. You want to form a ball, then flatten it to about a 3-in diameter. Do this until you've used all the dough. Brush with remaining butter and place on a greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise once again..this time for about 1/2 hour.
5After the 1/2 hour has elapsed, make an indent into the center of each kolache with the back of a spoon. Add 1 Tbsp to each indentation and sprinkle with topping.
Bake in oven at 350 F until tops begin to brown (about 15-20 mins.) Remove from oven, brush with a bit more melted butter, sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy while still warm.
6FILLING: You can use either canned fruit or make your own filling. If you choose to make your own, try soaking the dried fruit in rum overnight. When ready, cook for 15 mins along with sugar, cinnamon and/or lemon zest (optional). Mash with a potato masher to achieve the desired texture.
7TOPPING: Mix all ingredients until crumbly. Add 1 teaspoon to top off fruit filling.
8Top 10 Secrets of making Kolache
1. A KitchenAid Mixer with a whisk and dough hook attachment.
2. NEVER use water or evaporated milk when making dough.
3. Be patient and allow enough time for the dough to rise for you to work with. Use a high quality flour for dough like Gold Medal Better for Bread flour
4. Use farm fresh chicken eggs if you can get them. The yolks are bigger. Your local agricultural university with a poultry science lab or meat laboratory might sell them to the public. I purchase mine from Auburn University.
5. Measure. Measure. Measure.
6. Rise the dough in a ceramic bowl. Metal bowls do not work as well as ceramic-crock bowls. Warm the bowl prior to adding in the dough and cover with kitchen towel.
7. It does make a difference if your melted butter is hot versus just molten.
8. Use liquor in your fillings. Re-hydrate dried fruit overnight in liquor instead of water. Remember fresh fruit is always better!
9. Use unsalted butter.
10. Spoon the dough out of the bowl and shape into balls and flatten. Don't roll dough out and cut circles out.
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