Halma's Kolache Recipe

I have never actually made Grandma's kolaches, but I've also never found kolaches that were as wonderful as hers.  Although her heritage was English, her husband was 100% Bohemian. My own mother would make an annual effort at the recipe and get pretty close, but never close enough.  Good luck to Prairie Bluestem and others trying to recreate this Czech delight.


1 1/4 cups milk scalded.  While milk is warm add

  • heaping 1/2 cup lard
  • good 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Let cool to lukewarm.

In 1/2 cup lukewarm water dissolve 2 pkg. Red Star dry yeast with 1 teaspoon sugar.  Let stand until it rises.

  • 1 egg
  • 5 cups flour before sifting

Sift part of flour into milk, etc., liquid.  Beat well; add egg whole and beat it in.  Add yeast, stir.  Add rest of flour.

  • 1 teaspoon mace.  Never add mace on wet dough as it discolors dough.  Put it on flour before stirring.

Stir as much as it will stir then knead in rest of flour.  Put in creased bowl and let it raise double.  Keep warm.

Punch down and pinch off large walnut size.  Work dough into center.  Place on well greased pan.

Let raise again. (1 1/2 again as big, feel soft.)  Punch down again--flatten out.

Raise again (no wrinkles, double size).  Grease over top.

Put teaspoon of fruit.  Spread out using finger to punch down center.

Bake ____ degrees for 20-25 minutes.  [Of course there is a water drop blurring the oven temperature.  I think it says 345.]

Fix fruit in advance.

Box prunes with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cloves

Box apricots and about a cup of sugar [My mom's note says 8 oz box to 1/2 cup sugar.]

Stew fruit very tender.  Drain juice off.  Cool prunes and pit.  Chop fine, add sugar and cloves. Should be consistency of jam.

Pierce Congregational Cook Book 1914
This next recipe is from Halma's mother-in-law, Mrs. Mary Mastalir, of Verdigre, Nebr. from page 94 of the Congregational Cook Book.  Mary Novak Mastalir was my great grandmother, known as "The Gran".

   Set sponge the night before baking with one cup of luke warm milk and one yeast cake, previously soaked in a little milk.  In the morning add one cup of milk, one level teaspoonful of mace, a pinch of salt.  Sift part of three cupfuls of flour over the sponge, then add thre-fourths [sic] cup of melted butter.  Mix in sponge and add three-fourths cup of sugar.  Gradually work in the remainder of the three cups of flour until the dough is smooth.  The dough should be quite soft, too soft to work with hands.  Let it raise from one and one-half to two hours.  Roll into little balls and place in greased tins, then flatten with finger tips.  Let raise until light and fill the center with a teaspoonful of stewed fruit, apricots, prunes or anything desired.  Bake in a moderate oven about fifteen minutes.

And now to check on the swallowtail and cedar waxwings out in the soapberry tree.

© 2012 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

This made me hungry. I love the word lard. Some people call me Bohemian.


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