Memories of my Grandma Paschke come through in her Kolache recipe. It’s the very first thing she ever taught me to bake. Real butter was a treat in our home and was usually reserved for holidays. I have fond memories of her calling me to the fridge and placing a small pat of butter on my tongue to enjoy as if we had a piece of chocolate.
The technique in this recipe has you spreading a butter/flour mixture on the rolled dough, folding it up to roll out and spread again creating layers of buttery pastry. Traditionally my grandma used apricot (my favorite), prune, and poppy seed filling. I have swapped the poppy seed for raspberry as it is what my family enjoys most.
1/2 lb. unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
4 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
Pastry fillings of your choice
Cream together the butter and 1 cup of the flour, mixing well until combined. Set aside. Warm the evaporated milk to approximately 110 degrees. (I did this for 18 sec. in the microwave) Blend the milk together with the sugar and yeast. Set aside. Beat the egg yolks until light, add the yeast mixture and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix well until it makes a soft dough.
Place the dough on a floured work area. Flour your rolling pin and place a small amount of flour on top of the dough to prevent sticking. Roll the dough flat to about 1/2” thickness. Spread 1/4 of the reserved butter/flour mixture on top of the rolled dough. Fold the dough as if folding a letter - top 1/3 down, bottom 1/3 up. Roll it out again and repeat the process another 3 times until you have used all of the butter/flour mixture. Fold the dough one last time and wrap it in plastic wrap and chill until firm, approximately 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Flour your work surface and remove the dough from the refrigerator. Cut the dough in half and roll out to 1/4” thickness. Cut the dough in rounds using a biscuit cutter or a juice glass approximately 2.5” in diameter. Do not twist the cutter, just press down and lift up. Place the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet. Make an indentation with your finger in the center of the circles. Fill with a scant teaspoon of pastry filling. Repeat with the other half of the dough. Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove to a cooling rack. Once cooled, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar. Enjoy!