Sunday, October 15, 2006

Great Grandmother Canfield's Kolache

When my mother was a young girl she worked hard to get a written recipe for these kolache. Her grandmother prepared them for special occasions and they are a family favorite. However, like many very old recipes there was nothing written down and the instructions were along the lines of, "add flour until the dough looks like this," "at this point the dough should feel like this," "the prunes should be just this consistency..." So Mom watched and tried to estimate measurements. Then she went home and got her mother to help her experiment until they made Kolache like her grandmother's and had measured quantities and more specific directions. These are a traditional Bohemian treat that has been passed down in our family for generations. Some Americanized versions call for an apricot or cherry topping, but we stick with the traditional prune filling. Many thanks to Mom and Grandma for documenting this lovely roll recipe. The recipe can be halved if you want to make the dough in your bread machine (but the texture is finer if you make it by hand).
3/4 Cup shortening
1 Cup boiling water
1 tsp salt
1/2 Cup sugar
2 eggs
1 Cup cold water
2 packages yeast
6 Cups flour
Mix shortening with salt and boiling water. Let cool. Add sugar, eggs, and cold water (which has been standing for 5 minutes with the yeast and 1tsp sugar dissolving). Add flour. Mix. Let rise in a greased bowl until double in size. Punch down. Turn out onto floured board and let rest 10 minutes. Roll 1/4" thick. Cut with a 2" biscuit cutter (we use a greased drinking glass).
While the dough is rising make the filling.
3/4 pound prunes (cover with water and cook until tender, then chop or grind- reserve liquid to thin filling). Add spices to chopped fruit. Use enough reserved liquid to make a spreadable filling.
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cloves or allspice
1 Cup sugar
Put the dough circles on a greased pan about 1" apart to rise. Press lightly leaving a small ridge around the edge. Spread with filling. Sprinkle with fresh bread crumbs and dot with butter. Let rise until double. Bake in a 350 degree oven until brown, about 12-15 minutes.

1 comment:

Janet said...

ok, I'm commenting on my own post. Reading the published version made me realize that perhaps our written instructions haven't improved much over the originals. Please comment on any parts of the recipe that aren't clear to you and I'll try to clean it up a little more. Thanks!