I make a lot of kolach. Mostly I make the traditional nut-roll kolach that looks like this.

Last week I decided I wanted to try something different by putting fresh fruit inside. I decided on slices of plum, nectarine, and peach, which is what you can find in season at the farmer’s market just about now. It came out well and the family really liked it. Here’s some pictures of what it looked like while I assembled it.

Down the middle-third I put a very think layer of honey so that the crushed walnuts would stick. Then I put slivers of the fruit, and then folded over the “arms”. It looks a little like a laced shoe, actually.

Here’s a picture with the egg wash and a light dusting of cinnamon-sugar before I put it in the oven.

fruit-filled kolach2

The best thing is that the dough baked up very well and didn’t get soggy from the fruit.

I have, by far, the best recipe for kolach dough. It’s so versatile. You can put any kind of filling in it and it tastes great. IM’s aunt D and I tested this recipe while she was visiting us from Slovakia. We tested it to make sure we had the correct converted amounts of ingredients from metric to cups.

Here’s the recipe for traditional nut-roll kolach (as pictured at the top):

Ingredients for two rolls

Dough

  • 1 envelope of dry yeast or 1 tablespoon loose dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup of milk, slightly warmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey or sugar mixed in the milk
  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour (best is 2 cups white, 2 cups wheat)
  • 12 teaspoons of sugar (slightly rounded)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk slightly warmed
  • 1/2 cup of oil (best is canola oil)

Filling

  • 2 1/2 cups crushed walnuts
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • added milk until walnuts and sugar are moistened but not runny, about 1/4 cup

Directions
-In a mug, warm the milk to just above room temperature and stir in the sugar. Add the yeast, briefly mix it, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

-In a medium-sized bowl, measure out the flour, add the sugar and salt, and then mix it with a wooden spoon. Add the yeast mixture and then the oil and mix, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with your spoon.

-Here’s an important part: once all the dough ingredients have been incorporated you’re going to have to work the dough by hand (this is when using a bread maker machine would come in handy if you have one). The most comfortable place is to sit in a chair and work the dough for 5 to 7 minutes by using your fingers to pinch and pull the dough together. Work the dough around the bowl until it becomes smooth and begins to pull cleanly away from the sides. The dough is ready when it doesn’t stick to your palm.

-Lightly dust the dough with flour in the bowl and leave it in a warm dry place for an hour, covered with a cloth.

-After the dough has risen, dust your working area with flour and cut the dough into two pieces. Roll your first piece out into a rectangular shape approximately 1/2 inch thick.

-Spread half of your filling over the dough making sure to leave about an inch of dough visible from all four sides.

-From one of the longer sides, roll the dough without leaving pockets of space.

-Lightly pinch the ends and tuck them under.

-Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with baking paper or greased to keep the roll from sticking.

-Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes until golden brown.

baked strudel

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