These are the pastries that are made by the hundreds for the annual Tabor Czech Days in Tabor, SD every year. Everyone has their own "family" recipe, but this is the standard recipe that most of the ladies use. I learned to make these when I was small from my Czech grandmother. This recipe will make about 8 dozen kolache and they freeze well.
1Add sugar to water in medium bowl; stir in yeast and set aside to work.
2Heat milk in large bowl in microwave for 5 minutes. Once heated, use a hand mixer and beat in eggs, oil, potato flakes, salt and sugar.
3Put 4 cups of the flour in a large bowl. Add milk/egg mixture and mix well with hand mixer or wooden spoon. Add yeast; mix. Add additional flour, 1 cup at a time (up to 5 cups more) and mix until you can't mix with the mixer or spoon any more. Oil your hands and mix in flour until dough is smooth. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
4Oil a large bowl (just smear a little Criso around in bowl) and place dough in bowl - flip dough in bowl to make sure top is also oiled. Put oiled lid on bowl and let raise. What they use is a large Tupperware bowl--either the fix and mix bowl or the large Thats A Bowl. Let dough raise in a warm place until doubled in size.
5Once dough has raised, punch it down and take a medium cookie scoop and make your dough balls. Place some flour in a cookie sheet and portion the balls into the flour.
6Form into balls and place on greased cookie sheets to raise (a dozen to a pan). Let raise about 20 minutes.
7Then take the lid from a can of cooking spray, dip it in flour and make an indentation in each dough ball. Dip the lid in flour before making each indentation so it doesn't stick.
8You want to press firmly so the bottom of the indentation is nearly paper thin. You may need to work the indentation with your fingers a bit.
9Put about a tablespoon or so of filling in each indentation and let raise 15 minutes. It is very important that you let the kolache raise or your kolache will look like Mt. Saint Helens erupting!
10Bake at 425 for 9 minutes. As soon as you remove the pan from the oven, brush the dough part of each kolache with a little oil.
11Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks. Enjoy!
12This batch will make about 8 or 9 dozen kolache. These freeze well in Ziplock bags.
For the filling, you can use pie filling. What they use is the long tubes of filling found in the baking section of a grocery store. Popular fillings are peach, apricot, prune and cherry. Poppyseed filling is the most requested. Use the Solo brand filling for that.