Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cherry Kolaches

These were really very nice, the pastry was wonderful. I would also try it with a pineapple filling (Combine 8 ounces of canned, crushed pineapple, in its own juice with 1 Tbs. cornstarch in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens, about 3-4min. Stir in 2 Tbs. of unsalted butter. Put in place of the cherry filling). If they are hard the next day microwave for 20sec, or heat in the oven until warm.
Ingredients: Dough
2 cups of milk
1 package of active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (110F - 115F)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1.25 cups sugar
2 tsp. salt
8.5 cups all-purpose flour

Ingredients: Cherry Filling
1.5 lb fresh cherries
1 Tbs. kirsch
2Tbs. water
1-2Tbs. cornstarch
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon zest
sugar to taste
Ingredients: Streusel Topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 sugar
3 Tbs. chilled butter (unsalted) cut into small pieces.

Method: Dough
1. Warm milk in a medium saucepan, do not boil. Cool for 10-15min until it registers 110F-115F.

2. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and let it sit until foamy (5min or so).

3. Melt the butter in the microwave, and let it cool for 5 min.

4. In a large (after all there is 8.5 cups of flour in this...) whisk together the eggs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Add the cooled milk and yeast to the mixture.

5. Gradually add flour to the batter - 2 cups at a time. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix the flour with the wet ingredients.

6. Keep adding flour until it is completely incorporated and the dough begins to hold together. Don't pound or overwork the dough, otherwise you will get tough pastry. You want the dough to be sticky, moist, and light.

7. Lightly grease a large bowl with veggie oil.

8. Transfer the dough to the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm, draft-free place until it has doubled in bulk (around 1-2hours).

9. Leaving the dough in the bowl, punch it down, until it deflates.

10. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Method: Cherry Filling
1. Wash and pit the cherries.

2. Add the kirsch to the cherries.

3. In a medium saucepan add the cherries and the 2 Tbs. of water. Let boil and breakdown, until a nice, thick consistency has been reached.

4. In a small bowl mix 1 Tbs. of cornstarch with 1 Tbs. of water and add to the cherry mixture. Stir until it thickens. If you would like it thicker, add more cornstarch.

5. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest.

6. Add sugar to taste, it all depends on how sweet the cherries were in the first place.

7. Remove from heat. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Method: Dough Continued & Assembly
1. Grease a 12 x 17 inch baking sheet with butter or cooking spray.

2. With lightly oiled fingertips shape the dough into 2.5 inch balls. Arrange the balls evenly on the baking sheet, 3 across and 6 down.

3. Create an indentation in the kolaches with your thumb (if need be you can expand the size of the dent with a teaspoon lightly covered with oil).

4. Mound 1 heaping tsp. of the filling into the crater created by your thumb.

5. Cover the rolls with a tea-towel, and let rise for an hour, until almost doubled in size.

Method: Streusel Topping
1. Preheat the oven to 375F

2. In a bowl combine the flour, sugar and butter. Mix with finger tips until it is crumbly.

3. Scatter over the kolaches just before baking.

4. Bake kolaches 25-30min, until slightly brown on top.
Dough and inspiration from Rebecca Rather's "The Pastry Queen" pp. 14-17

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