Dalmatian Four-Flavor Kolacky

Domažlicé Kolače

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    12

    kolacky

Appears in

In Czech, kolace literally means any round pastry, but it has come to specify those made with a sweet yeast dough. There are many, many ways to shape and fill kolacky (as we call them here), but every Prague bakery seems to make Doma-zlice kolace, or Dalmatian-style kolacky, which are like small sweet pizzas with poppy seed, farmer’s cheese, apricot, and prune butter toppings.

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 1 ounce (½ cube) fresh compressed yeast or teaspoons (about envelopes1) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup milk (heat to 105° to 115°F if using dry yeast)
  • ½ cup unbleached flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar

Dough

  • cup (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Grated zest of ½ lemon
  • cups unbleached flour, as needed
  • Farmer’s Cheese Filling
  • Poppy Seed Filling
  • ¼ cup prune butter (lekvar)
  • ¼ cup apricot preserves

Streusel

  • 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon milk, for glazing

Method

  1. To make the sponge: Crumble the yeast over the milk in a small bowl. Let stand for 3 minutes. Add the flour and the sugar and whisk until smooth. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until the mixture is bubbly and doubled in volume, about 30 minutes.
  2. To make the dough: Beat the butter in a heavy-duty standing mixer fitted with the paddle blade on high speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in the sugar and mix until light in color and texture, about 2 minutes. Add the sponge. On low speed, add the yolks, one at a time, then the milk, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest. Gradually mix in enough of the flour to make a soft, sticky dough. Gather up the dough into a ball. Change to the dough hook. Knead the dough on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and supple, but slightly sticky, about 6 minutes.
  3. Form the dough into a ball and place in a well-buttered medium bowl. Turn to coat the dough with butter, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1¼ hours.
  4. Turn out the dough onto an unfloured work surface and knead briefly. Cut into 12 pieces, then form each piece into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with one ball at a time, on an unfloured work surface, roll out into a 4-inch round. In each quadrant of the round, about 1 inch from the edge of the round, place a heaping teaspoon of one of each of the fillings. (Each pastry will contain all four fillings.) Transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough and fillings, placing the rounds about 1½ inches apart on the sheets. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until puffed, about 40 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make the streusel. Using your fingertips, combine the flour, sugar, and butter until crumbly; set aside.
  7. Position racks in the top third and center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg mixture. Sprinkle the tops of the kolacky with the streusel.
  8. Bake until golden brown, switching the positions of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, about 20 minutes. Serve warm or cooled to room temperature.

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