The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!
I’m used to the kolaches down in West, Texas, which has a big Czech population, and they are terrific. The recipe I chose is called Prague Kolach (or Prazsky Kolac – I don’t have the appropriate Czech keyboard, so you can’t see all the language marks). The closest thing I can compare it to is a giant coffee-cake-like creme puff, but the cake part has a little more texture and is more bread-like. I know, rotten description, but here’s a picture of it to clarify:
We ate a piece immediately after it was put together because I was thinking the bottom layer of bread might get soggy. I’ll update this tomorrow after it sits in the refrigerator overnight and let you know if it does. (Update: I think it was better after refrigerated overnight. No soggy bottom, either!)
I thought this was good, but wished I had a cup of coffee with it (no caffeine after 3 p.m.). The middle was creamy and delicious – it has a stick of butter in it, so it should be! I also liked the texture of the bread and the crunchy cinnamon streusel on top.
Bret thought it was OK, but lacking something. I thought it was pretty good, but I’d worked all afternoon on it and dadgummit if I wasn’t going to like it after all that. Every utensil in my kitchen is in the sink right now – not the fault of the recipe, but of the cook!
This was a very challenging recipe and I learned new things as I went, which is why I like participating in The Daring Kitchen’s baking challenges!
- 1 3/4 C. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 C. mayonnaise room temperature
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 small egg room temperature
- 1 pkt. dry active yeast
- 5 tbsp. milk warm
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- For the streusel topping:
- 1/3 C. flour
- 1/4 C. butter chilled and diced
- 1/4 C. granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 small egg lightly beaten
- For the Cream:
- 2 C. milk divided
- 1/2 C. granulated sugar plus 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
- 1/2 C. vanilla pastry cream powder I used vanilla pudding
- 1 stick butter room temperature
- 5 tbsp. heavy whipped cream chilled
In a bowl of your stand mixer, sift flour and make a hole in the middle. Place the packet of yeast into the hole along with 1 tsp. sugar and about 3 tsp. warm milk. Mix yeast, sugar and milk with a fork (just those three ingredients, not the flour around it) and lightly sprinkle the surface with flour. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rise for 10-15 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (mayonnaise, sugar, milk, egg and salt) and knead with the dough hook on low speed for 10 minutes, until you have smooth (but sticky) dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cover with a towel or cling wrap and let rise for about an hour to double its volume.
Form the dough into a ball and place it onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With your palms and finger, press the dough and shape it to a disc about 8 inches in diameter and an inch thick. Let rise for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and make the streusel topping. In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add cold butter and with your fingers mix all ingredients until crumbly.
Brush the cake with the egg wash and sprinkle with generous amount of streusel topping. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.
Prepare the Cream:
In a small bowl, mix 1/2 C. milk with the vanilla pastry cream (pudding mix). Set aside. In a saucepan, mix the rest of the milk, 1 1/2 C. with the sugar and vanilla sugar and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the milk-pastry cream mixture and boil for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.
Transfer the mixture into a bowl of your standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment and let cool completely, while stirring constantly on a low speed. Add diced butter and mix together. Separately whip the double cream until stiff. Mix with vanilla cream (fold in).
Cut the cooled cake horizontally and spread the cream (all of it) onto the bottom part. Cover with the upper part. Cut into 8 to 10 pieces and serve. Refrigerate leftover.
Tips and Stuff:
This was translated and I typed up the U.S. measurements to make it more clear.
For the vanilla sugar, I just mixed about 1/2 tsp. of vanilla in with the sugar before adding it.
The dough will be sticky right out of the mixer.
The original recipe called for 320 degrees, but I don't have that mark, so changed it to 325.
I think if I made it again, I would use less streusel - maybe half the amount. It seemed to overwhelm the delicacy of the bread and cream.