Traditional Kolache – Tradiční Koláče

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Ingredients:

Makes: 18 (each about 4 inches in size)
Prep: 20 minutes
Rise: 1 hour
Bake: each batch 350 °F for 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes

1 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp yeast
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
pinch of salt
lemon zest from one lemon
1 stick of unsalted butter

Topping:
1 egg

Fillings:

Farmer’s cheese filling:
11-14 oz farmer’s cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla extract

Poppy seed filling:
1/2 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup raisins

Preserve or jam

Crumble:
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 Tbsp unsalted butter

62 comments
  1. Thank you for using the Czech terms for items in this video, so helpful. I hope you’ll do this more often. Any chance you can give the measurements in metric as well? I cook/ bake by weight as much as possible, admittedly too lazy to do my own conversions. Kolache are the best!

    1. I am really trying to create recipes from scratch using US measurements and US ingredients. So I don’t actually have these recipes in metric measurements. But I did put together a conversion chart for people in your situation. Here is the link: http://www.czechcookbook.com/conversion-chart/ Hope that helps. 🙂

      1. Oooooooh THANK YOU Krystina ……. I just found this paragraph with the conversion of the measurements. That is soooo helpful!!!!! Thank you again, Nadia

        1. Glad to help Nadia! 🙂

  2. I am able to get the ingredients but not the instructions.

    1. Sorry about that. I only have a video with all the instructions. Currently I am working on a kindle cookbook where I will have all the instructions written down.

      1. Do you have the written instructions yet? It would be easier for me to read the instructions than watch a 20 minute video… I’m sure it will be really informative and give good hints, but would really prefer to read it. Thank you.

        1. Hi Peg, I am not going to have written instructions of my website. I am sorry about that. But I am writing a cookbook which will be in printed version and kolache will be in it for sure. 🙂 What people do, they follow my video recipe and pause it as they go. You can also fast forward it. I can’t wait to have my cookbook ready.

          1. I can’t wait either! Excited for that. I probably should watch the video anyway since the comments say how informative you are, and because every time I make kolache with the recipes from my mom, they turn out too fat. They taste delicious, but they are just too thick. Hoping your recipe works better for me.
            Thanks so much!

          2. I hope this will better for you Peg! Yes on a video you will see how much I flatten them to turn out just right. This is Table of contents on a Kindle book I have on Amazon right now. No kolache.
            – Introduction
            – Ingredients
            – Equipment
            – Beer
            – Acknowledgments
            – Appetizers PŘEDKRMY
            – Potato Latkes BRAMBORÁKY
            – Egg Spread / Dip VAJÍČKOVÁ POMAZÁNKA
            – Main Courses HLAVNÍ CHOD
            – Fried Meat Rolls ČEVAPČIČI
            – Dill Sauce KOPROVÁ OMÁČKA
            – Beef Goulash HOVĚZÍ GULÁŠ
            – Sides PŘÍLOHY
            – Fried Potatoes SMAŽENÉ BRAMBORY
            – Dumplings DOMÁCÍ KNEDLÍK
            – Desserts DEZERTY
            – Apples In A Blanket JABLKA V ŽUPANU
            – Crepes PALAČINKY
            – Honey Cake MEDOVNÍK

          3. Kristyna, is your book that’s already on Amazon one that has the kolaches in it? Thanks!

  3. Krystina, In the beginning when I started watching I thought your youtube videos were longer than most food videos. However, you are so informative, I find you answer any food preparation questions I had. I wish other food youtubers could be as thorough as you. I have been doing genealogy on my “Bohemian” side (my late grandmother’s family) and your blog has help fill in gaps food wise as my grandmother didn’t reference her dishes ethnically (cabbage rolls were called pigs in the blanket in my family!) I have the Czechoslovak Cookbook by Joza Bizova, which is ok but she assumes everyone is familiar with these dishes and details are a bit lacking. Keep up the good work, I’m looking forward to making the Armenian honey cake when it’s cooler in my neck of the woods. You and your husband are a cute team, all the best.

    PS my Gram was born in 1898 and always referred to her background and language as Bohemian, so out of respect for her I do to! When my great grandparents emigrated to the US it was Bohemia!

    1. Thank you Ann for such a sweet comment. I love to hear these stories and your background. Wow, that was such a long time ago when your great grandparents emigrated. I am perfectionist and into details. I want everybody to be able to recreate all of my recipes. I never assume people know even simplest things in cooking. So it is very nice to hear you noticed. 🙂 I got same cookbook from Joza Bizova so I know what is out there and I know exactly what you are talking about. It is very frustrating when people skip lots of important details. Eventually we would love to have all my recipes printed into a cookbook and put photo for each recipe. 🙂 First we will start with kindle book. We already started working on it. 🙂

  4. Hi Krystina,

    My husband (who is a native of Texas and of Czech heritage) and I used your video instructions and ingredients to make 3 batches of kolaches this afternoon. They came out fantastic! We made three batches because we wanted to give some as a gift to the doctors and nurses that are caring for our son and to bring some to share with our co-workers. It was a lot of work, but we are extremely pleased with the result! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and making the video! We had no problems at all – your instructions are very thorough!

    P. S. I love your accent!

    1. Hi Lisa,
      Thank you for your sweet comment. 🙂 I am glad you enjoyed my kolache recipe. That is very nice of you to bless others with them. 🙂 Your comment made us crave some kolache, so we took some from a freezer and had them for a breakfast. 🙂

  5. Vážená paní instruktorka,

    I just finished my second batch of tvaroh. . . yum! Tomorrow morning it will accompany raspberries in crepes. Moja manzelka / Moravanka has been complaining for ten years and twenty days about our lack of tvaroh here (I’ve know her for ten years and twenty-one days!) The way her eyes lit up when she tasted the first batch! I got a slight metallic flavor (I don’t think she tasted it. . .) the first time, so I have switched over to a porcelain coated pot, wooden spoon, and plastic strainer lined with cheese cloth. That seemed to take care of it. . .
    I am going to work up my nerve to try to make a kolac, maybe more than one! I feel like I am more than half way there with this great cheese! It still astounds me that you can’t buy this here. It was always described as the most basic cheese–and sure enough, it is!
    Thanks again–I’ll have to look for your svickova smetana (sorry if I’m butchering your language!) sauce recipe, and maybe the yummy tomato sauce that Mamka somehow starts with caramelizing sugar???

    I don’t have a paypal account, but your tip jar might be the thing that pushes me over that edge!
    But for now, děkujeme moc!
    Joe

    1. Thank you Joe for your sweet comment. 🙂 Some places do sell this cheese which is called Farmer’s cheese, but I wasn’t able to find it anywhere in my area. That is why I make my own all the time. 🙂 Did you try making kolache?

  6. Hi,
    My grandparents were both Czech. My grandpa was born in Bohemia in 1901 in Lubusin. Kolache are my all time favorite and I can’t wait to try making them! (Poppy seed are my favorite) I haven’t had any since my grandma passed away in the mid 1990s. I’ll let you know how they turn out. THANK YOU!

    1. Your comment makes me very happy. 🙂 This is one of the reasons I do what I do. Can’t wait to hear how they turned out. 🙂

  7. How should these be stored, after baking? Thank you 🙂

    1. If you have more than you can eat in one or two days, put them in freezer ziplock bags and freeze them. They stay fresh this way. The rest you can put in ziplock bags and store them. They don’t dry up that way.

  8. I live in Nebraska, and there are a lot of people who grew up eating Kolaches here. I’ve made these for family events, to bring to work, and for friends – and I haven’t stopped getting compliments! I’ve easily made over 300 of these total just in the last 3-4 months, believe it or not. This recipe has gotten the approval of so many people, and I can’t thank you enough. I even gave one to someone who swore up and down they didn’t like kolaches, and now he won’t stop begging for more! I’ve tried a bunch of recipies from your site and not one has let me down. Thank you so much for taking the time to share!

    1. Wow, what a sweet comment! Thank you so much Patrick for taking the time and sharing this with me. I love it! That is a lots of kolache you made. Wow! Very impressive and very thoughtful of you to make so many people happy. 🙂 It makes me so glad to hear how many people are sharing and enjoying my kolache recipe I worked so hard to create. 🙂

  9. Hi Kristyna!

    I am an island girl that loves to cook/bake and venture out by trying new recipes and cuisines! I stumbled on to your website/youtube and I’m so happy I did! I’ve never had Kolache before so I made your recipe today and let me tell you; they were deeelish! Thank you for sharing your Czech culture and recipes. Tonight I will be making the Beef Goulash and Dumpling, thankful that I was able to purchase Wondra flour in my area……I wish I could share my pictures with you of the goodies I’ve made using your recipes.

    Thank you again!
    Rose

    1. Hi Rose,
      That is wonderful! I am so glad you enjoyed them. 🙂 I hope the goulash and dumplings turned out good for you. 🙂 I would LOVE to see photos of your dishes. Feel free to post them on my Facebook page or on my Twitter feed. 🙂

  10. Hi krystyna,
    The goulash s fruit dumplings were soooooo good tomorrow I’m trying this, poppyseed is my favorite! Any tips on doing radpberry? Also, my husband said that these were better fruit dumplings than our beloved Bohemian Crystal restaurant, and believe me THAT is saying something they are always serving cottage cheese as I topping, I really prefer yours reminds me of my Grammie

    1. Aww, thank you Jennifer. So happy to hear you enjoyed them and what a compliment from your husband. 🙂 You can definitely do raspberry jam. It will be delicious. Let me know how they turned out. 🙂

  11. Hi Krystyna,
    I just wanted to thank you for this recipe and many others. My husband is from Czech Republic and I surprised him with kolace yesterday. He absolutely loved it and did not expect it all. I am not Czech myself but it was easy to follow your instructions. I want to try to make bread dumplings and svickova. Thank you once more!

    1. Hi Lydia, That is great to hear! I am glad your husband enjoyed the kolace. 🙂 That was very nice of you to make it for him. 🙂 Wishing you lots of success with other Czech meals. 🙂

  12. Hi Krystyna,
    I baked your kolach recipe this morning and they were good but the dough was not quite the same as my grandmother made. She was German and from Brenham, Texas. These didnt have the yeast “taste” that I am looking for. I used one packet of the active dry yeast. Can I increase the amount of yeast?
    Thank you!
    Carol

    1. I am sure you can. I hope next time it will taste the way you remember. 🙂

  13. Happy Thanksgiving. I made tvaroh first time last week and tried it on the cream cheese kolache recipe we have been using for a lot of years. The cheese filling is superb…the best I have ever made and I have tried for years. This week made your kolache recipe…Delicious. Remind me of old time czech bakeries I grew up with in Chicago. Still have one of those bakeries remaining in Berwyn Il. I have visited it about once a year near Christmas for the perniks with pictures of St. Nicholas pasted on them. When I was a kid the picture would become glued into the sugar glaze making them awful to eat but part of Christmas. BTW I made the dough in one of my bread machines with a little tweaking of milk and yeast. I have a houska recipe which I make in a bread machine. BTW our family has used Solo fillings for many years. The poppyseed is pretty good. When Dede bought the tvaroh I remember it being wrapped in butcher paper–very dry. He liked it on plum (can’t spell sveshka?) knedlicky with butter and cinnamon sugar. Best wishes

    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed the tvaroh and kolache. 🙂 You were very close with your spelling. 😉 It is svestka. Those are so delicious! 🙂

  14. Crazy good!! I’ve tried 3 different kolache recipes and your is by far my favorite!

    1. That is wonderful to hear!

  15. This recipe was amazing! I made these for a presentation on Czech Republic in history class. I had to triple the recipe and yet they still all got eaten! And my family wants me to cook more! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Aww! That is great! I am glad everyone enjoyed them! Great job!

  16. What is farmer’s cheese? Is that like cream cheese?

    1. No it is different. Try to make your own. I have a recipe on my website here.

  17. What kind of yeast? Active, fast rising or what kind specifically?

    1. Active dry yeast

  18. Is the amount of butter 4oz (1/2 cup)? Thank you.

    1. Yes it is

  19. Hi Kristyna,

    I tried your kolace recipe it worked out pretty well! I was very happy with my result. Thanks for sharing!

    However, when I was pressing the glass onto the dough to get the ring, whenever I pulled the glass out, the dough slowly returned to its original size. I pressed the glass onto the dough and the dough expanded, but as soon I removed the glass from the dough, the dough got smaller and smaller and returned to its original size. (by the way my dough wasn’t sticky) Eventually I had to use my own hands to make the shape, which took me very long. It was still delicious, but I was wondering if that ever happened to you? What would you suggest for preventing it?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Lillian, Yes the doughy is pretty spongy and wants to go back up. I press very hard and turn the glass. I also help the shape with my fingers. Next time try to use little less flour to have it less spongy.

  20. Is the Farmer’s cheese measurement by weight or volume?

    1. weight

  21. I do not think I will be making these again. I made them and they disappeared within few hours! Anytime i pulled another batch from the oven the previous was gone. You did not warn us in your recipe, that these are magical. Also, my entire family is laying on our sofa breathing heavily, crumbles all around. 😀

    These are fantastic. i was surprised not to see an egg in the dough, all my buchty and kolace recipes seem to have one, but not here and the one sole kolac I managed to save till the next day stayed soft! I just had to add little more flour, possibly because i was lazy and threw it all into my KitchenAid, which typically requires less liquids. This one is a keeper! Thank you.

    1. Haha! You made me laugh with your comment! Would love to see the photo of the aftermath on the sofa. 😀 I am so happy to hear you enjoyed it! I do make them these days in my KitchenAid mixer as well. I think every flour is different and absorbs the liquid differently. It also depends how everyone scoops up the cups of flour. But at least it all worked out. 🙂

  22. Before I start this recipe…… am I using the fleischmanns active dry yeast original? Not the instant?

    1. Yes active dry yeast not the rapid rise.

  23. My granddaughter, Bonnie, and I spent the afternoon making your Kolache recipe. We had so much fun watching your video and learning all the steps. But even more fun was getting to taste the kolaches when they were done! The kolaches were actually a gift from Bonnie to her Papa – and he absolutely loved them!! He has a Czech family background and has visited Czech Town in Cedar Rapids, Iowa many times. These Kolaches were every bit as good as the ones he used to have there. We wanted to add a picture of our finished result – but could not figure out how to do it.

    1. Aww that is so wonderful Lori to do with your granddaughter and make them for her papa. I am happy to hear he enjoyed them. 🙂 I am on social media like Facebook or Instagram where you can share your pictures. I would love to see them! 🙂

  24. How many gram is 1 tsp dry yeast? I see different answers on the internet and i can not find it in your conversion chart.

    1. I am not sure how much it is in grams but 1 tsp in volume is 5 ml if that helps.

      1. Unfortunately not but i think this is a good moment for me to buy measerment spoons haha. It is handy:)
        Thanks for replying though

        1. Yes. Very handy. If I would be in USA I would put it on scale for you. Here in CZ I didn’t want to open the small packet of yeast and not use it. It gets expensive here. You could also use your regular tea spoon you would use for tea or coffee.

  25. How much gram is 1 tsp yeast? On internet i see different answers to that.

    1. I am not sure how much it is in grams but 1 tsp in volume is 5 ml if that helps

  26. Hi again. I made the Kolache Saturday evening. 🙂 They turned out pretty well. I liked the addition of the lemon zest in the dough. I have not purchased conventional all-purpose flour in almost 10 years. Instead, I buy whole grains, often in bulk, and grind them fresh and use the unfiltered whole-grain flour in my baking. In this case, I used a 50/50 blend of soft white wheat (usually for cookies, tender pastries and cakes) and a hard spring white wheat called Prairie Gold (high gluten content of about 14-15% that is good for breads). My kolache turned out a little dense for our preference. I may have worked the dough too much or it may be that I need to adjust my method to suit the special needs of freshly milled whole grain flour.

    1. Hi Cathryn, traditional kolache will be little firm not fluffy as cinnamon bun for example. But it could be the flour that made it too dense.

  27. I think I may tweak your recipe a bit to be more like the recipe I developed for Vánočka/Mazanec/sweet houska from my grandmother’s and mother’s recipes. It uses a “sponge” method rather than a “proof and dump” method. It means that I warm my liquid ingredients and butter together (to 110 F), sift half of my flours and all other dry ingredients/spices together (save the yeast and salt), and mix the eggs and liquid extracts/zests together. They all go into the stand mixer in the following order: salt on bottom, sifted dry ingredients, eggs and liquid flavorings/zests, warmed liquid ingredients, and the yeast on top. Blend it together with the paddle beater until incorporated and let it rest covered with a towel for 8 to 10 minutes. It should be nice and spongy after the rest. Then add any mix-ins like nuts, dried fruits, etc. and slowly add the remaining flour in small increments until the dough is about the right consistency. Grease your counter or a marble board with softened butter (oil if making a non-sweet bread). Dump the bowl contents onto the board, knead a few times, cover loosely with cling wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise 45 minutes to an hour until double in size. Then proceed as you describe. I also tend to use local honey in place of sugar in my breads…it seems to work better with the strong flavored whole grain flours. For reference, 18 lumps of dough weigh approximately 2 ounces each and a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup dipped in flour is a good stand in for the glass.

    I used half the zest from lemons for the tvaroh in the dough and divided the other half between the Cheese and Raisin filling and the Poppy Seed and Raisin filling. I used most of the cheese filling and garnished with the poppy seed filling. I did not have a stash of bulk poppy seeds to make my own filling, but I did have a fresh can of Solo brand poppy seed filling that mixed with the lemon zest and a 1/4 cup of raisins. You may find Solo brand fillings in the baking aisle of your local grocery store near the other canned fillings, nuts and mix-ins. I do want to make my own poppy seed filling, but this was not the time to try that. 😉

    We all agreed that the tvaroh was a superior cheese choice over too-sweet cream cheese, too salty ricotta and too moist and lumpy store-bought cottage cheese.

    My next batch will feature the Honeyed Apricot fruit butter I made from dried apricots this past Christmas season. In addition to baking, I enjoy canning. I definitely need to find you on Facebook so you can see pictures of my kitchen adventures.

    My mom’s maternal ancestors were millers and millwrights in Bohemia, south of České Budějovice. They had a combination grist and saw watermill that still stands, although it is now a vacation/outdoor recreation destination rather than a working mill. My Czech cousins are from this branch of the family.

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