Chodské Koláče


Daring Bakers' Challenge September 2014

The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!

Every so often The Daring Bakers hosts come up with a challenge that I get really excited about. When I read this one, it felt OK -  how new it could be, I come from the Eastern Europe kind of OK. Then I went away and came back right on time to complete the challenge.While away I met for a cup of coffee and a most pleasant chat with a lovely, talented young lady, fellow blogger and a Daring Baker member Miki from Mimi's Kingdom and we of course touched the subject of this month challenge agreeing that this Chodské version of the kolache was looking good to the both of us. 
That it was special,and how special,I realised only when I was about to start baking and  the inspiration to play around with it kicked in.

This is what the baking is about, old well known ingredients that have been part of your upbringing shaped into a beautiful new bake that made you do a silly dance in the kitchen.

Chodské Koláče 
the original recipe

for dough
35 gm (1¼ oz) fresh yeast or 2 packets (4 teaspoons) (½ oz) (15 gm) dry active yeast
1 cup (250 ml) warm milk, or even more
½ cup (120 ml) (3½ oz) (100 gm) granulated sugar
1 small egg + 2 small egg yolks, lightly beaten (you will need the egg whites later)
3-2/3 cup (880 ml) (17-2/3 oz) (500 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour (use semi-coarse grounded if you can find in your store)
1 stick (½ cup) (4 oz) (125 gm) butter, softened
1 tablespoon (½ oz) (15 gm) vanilla sugar
grated zest of ½ lemon
½ teaspoon (3 gm) salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (50 ml) dark rum (optional, because we use substitute - potato spirit called “rum” or better “tuzemsky” - according to law – which means “domestic” – with specific aroma)
½ tablespoon (8 ml) cooking oil
almonds and raisins for garnish
1 lightly beaten egg for brushing

for quark filling
3 cups (1-2/3 lb) (750 gm) quark
½ cup (125 ml) whipping cream
caster sugar to taste
rum, lemon zest and vanilla extract to taste
½ tablespoon potato starch (or corn starch)
4-2/3 tablespoons (70 ml) (2-1/3 oz) (65 gm) butter, softened
2 egg whites

for poppy seeds filling
1 cup (250 ml) (4½ oz) (125 gm) poppy seeds
½ cup (125 ml) boiling water
1 small egg
2 – 3 tablespoons ground ginger-breads to thicken the filling
caster sugar to taste
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

for plum jam filling
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (13 oz) (375 gm) plum jam
lemon juice and rum to taste
½ tablespoon potato starch (or corn starch)


In a bowl mix together yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Add 4 tablespoons (60 ml) warm milk, mix well and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes.

In a bowl of your electric mixer (or in a large bowl) mix flour, sugar, salt, vanilla sugar, egg and yolks, butter, lemon zest, rum, oil and leavened yeast. Knead with dough hook (or with wooden spoon) on low speed for about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour to double its volume.

Meanwhile, prepare fillings (recipes follow).

Punch down the risen dough, fold it and let rise again.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.

Prepare 6 parchment paper squares (about 40x40cm (16x16 inch)). Roll each piece of dough on the parchment paper with rolling pin into a circle about 30 cm (12 inch) in diameter and make rims with your fingers. Let rise for 15 minutes.
Brush the edges with beaten egg.

Decorate each kolach with quark, poppy seeds and plum jam fillings and with almonds and raisins. As I mentioned before there are two types of decorating.

1) Spread quark filling over the entire cake and using decorating bag decorate it with thin lines of poppy seeds and plum jam fillings. Finish with almonds and raisins.

2) Using decorating bag with plain nozzle (or just with cutting end) alternating stripes of different fillings. Finish with almonds and raisins.

Bake in the preheated moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 oven until edges turn golden brown – about 20 minutes.
Quark filling:
In a bowl, mix quark, butter and sugar well, add whipping cream, rum, lemon zest, vanilla extract and potato starch and mix together. In a bowl of your electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff and carefully stir it into the quark mix.

Poppy seeds filling:

Finely grind poppy seeds mix with sugar in a bowl and add boiling water. Stir in the egg, ground ginger-breads and cinnamon. Taste it and add more sugar and cinnamon if you want.

Plum jam filling:

Mix together all ingredients, add hot water if too thick.

What I did differently:

Since the recipe is very generous I used half measurements.

I divided the dough into two equal pieces and then each piece into two further 2:1 (two thirds to one third) parts. 
The bigger part I rolled out into a circle, while the smaller one was used to make an edge twist(s)
I only slightly changed the poppy seed filling: Instead of water I used milk, not a lot, just to be able to make it into a smooth paste then I added a knob of butter and vanilla sugar, left the ginger bread and cinnamon out.

Before baking I egg-washed the edges of the dough with an egg yolk, arranged the twists over it and then filled them in using a patisserie bags. For the decoration I used the almond and glazed cherries. Brush the dough all over with an egg yolk before you put it in the oven.

Now, be happy as you will have an amazing rendezvous with food in less then half an hour:))

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