1 Cup Whole Milk
10 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1 large Egg
2 large Egg Yolks, whites reserved
3-1/2 Cups Flour
1/3 Cup Sugar
2-1/4 teaspoons Rapid-Rise Yeast or instant yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons Salt
6 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Flour
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
3/4 Cup Ricotta Cheese (whole milk or part-skim; NOT nonfat)
2 Tablespoons -plus- 2 teaspoons Flour
2 Tablespoons -plus- 2 teaspoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Butter, chilled and cut into 8 pieces
Reserved Egg Whites, beaten with 1 Tablespoon Milk
For the Dough:
Grease a large bowl, set aside. Whisk the Milk, Melted Butter, Egg, and Yolks together in a 2-cup measuring cup (the Butter will form lumps). Whisk the Flour, Sugar, Yeast, and Salt together in the bowl of stand mixer. Fit mixer with the dough hook, add Milk mixture to the Flour mixture, and knead on low speed until no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough clears the sides of the bowl but still sticks to the bottom of the bowl, about 8 to 12 minutes. If the dough hasn't cleared the bowl after 12 minutes, add more Flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time, up to 2 Tablespoons.
Transfer dough to greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Place dough on the lower-middle rack and place a loaf pan on the upper-middle rack. Pour 3 cups Boiling Water into loaf pan, close oven door, and let dough rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
For the Cheese Filling:
Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat the Cream Cheese, Sugar, Flour, and Lemon Zest on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add Ricotta Cheese and beat until just combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Streusel:
Combine the Flour, Sugar, and Butter in a small bowl and rub between your fingers until mixture resembles wet sand. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To Bake the Kolaches:
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Punch down Dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Divide Dough into quarters and cut each quarter into 4 equal pieces. Form each piece into a smooth, tight ball. Arrange 8 balls on each baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place the baking sheets in the oven, replace the water in the loaf pan with 3 cup Boiling Water, close oven door and let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.
Remove baking sheets and loaf pan from oven. Heat oven to 350*. Grease and flour the bottom of a 1/3-cup measure (or a 2-1/4-inch-diameter drinking glass). Make a deep indentation in the center of each dough ball by slowly pressing until cup touches sheet. The perimeter of the dough balls will deflate slightly.
Gently brush the Kolaches all over with the Egg-Milk mixture. Spoon filling into the Kolaches, about 1-1/2 Tablespoons per Kolache. Sprinkle with Streusel. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cool on pan for 20 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 16 Kolache.
Fruit Filling for Kolaches:
Combine 10 ounces frozen Pineapple, Blueberries, or Cherries; 5 Tablespoons Sugar; and 4 teaspoons Cornstarch in bowl. Microwave, covered, until bubbling and thickened, about 6 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Mash with a potato masher. Let cool completely and fill Kolaches as directed.
There is only one problem with this recipe: the Kolaches need to be eaten fresh. After about 24 hours they start to really dry out. My sister mentioned that she made and froze the Kolache and was disappointed. So, eat them fresh--which really isn't so very hard to do!
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
and keep His commandments;
for this is the whole duty of man."
From Cook's Country, December/January 2013