The Morkovsky Sisters Kolache Recipe

Featured in the “The Ranch,” November 1998.

Rose Morkovsky Hauger and Ann Morkovsky Adams are Czech sisters who grew up in a large family in San Antonio. Their family farm near Floresville is the focal point of family gatherings and celebrations. They’ve demonstrated their lifetime of kolache expertise in presentations for Texas Folklife Resources around Texas, and at the Smithsonian Institution’s Festival of American Folklife.

Dough

2 envelopes yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1/4 cup oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
8 cups flour
melted butter

Add the yeast to one teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Combine the remaining sugar, the oil and the salt in a mixing bowl. Heat the milk to about 110 degrees (lukewarm). Add 1/2 cup of the milk to the yeast/sugar mixture and set aside. Add the remaining milk to the mixing bowl and combine yeast/sugar mixture. Add remaining milk to the mixing bowl and combine with the other ingredients. Begin adding the flour to the mixing bowl one cup at a time. By the time you have added the second cup, the yeast will have proofed. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and combine. Add a third cup of flour to the mixture and combine. Add the eggs at this point and combine them into the flour mixture. Begin adding the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. The dough is ready when “the dough chases the spoon around the bowl”. This usually takes about a total of about 5 1/2 cups of flour.

Cover the dough in the bowl and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours. Melt a stick of butter on the stovetop so that it is ready for spreading on the dough. Grease the tops of two cookie sheets and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. After the dough is doubled, punch it down into the bowl. Flour the work surface slightly. With a tablespoon scoop out balls of dough and drop onto work surface, maybe a dozen at a time. Then take each fall of dough to the palm of your hand and roll into a ball. Place the ball on a cookie sheet in evenly spaced rows of four across and six down to make a pan of 24. Brush with melted butter. Let them proof maybe another 30 minutes.

For open kolaches, press down an indentation in the center of each ball and fill with approximately one heaping teaspoon of filling. Let them set another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with posypka. Bake the pan of kolaches about 20 minutes but check after 15. They should be a light golden brown in color. Finished kolaches can be frozen for no more than 6 weeks. After they have cooled, wrap single layers of kolaches in plastic wrap and place in a Ziplock bag, squeezing all the air out of the bag as you close it. Yield: about 48 kolaches

Posypka

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Cream Cheese Filling

16 oz cream cheese
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
grated rind of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Soften the cream cheese. Beat remaining ingredients together with cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl. 24 servings

Prune Filling

12 oz dried, pitted prunes
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon or orange peel

Place the prunes in a bowl and cover them completely with boiling water. Let them sit overnight (or at least 6 hours) to rehydrate. Drain the liquid off and mash prunes thoroughly with a fork or run them through a food processor. Add the cinnamon, sugar, and lemon zest. Mix thoroughly. Fills 24 kolaches.

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