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The sour cream-enhanced dough for these rich, tender buns is a real pleasure to work with, particularly after its overnight refrigeration. This recipe was inspired by one from the Texas Highways magazine Web site; it, in turn, was adapted from a recipe by Dorothy Kubena, “a long-time participant in Caldwell’s Kolache Festival.” We provide the directions for two different fillings: sausage (which requires a somewhat different shaping technique), and pineapple. The pineapple filling comes from the Christian Sisters, from the Taylor Brethren Church in Taylor, Texas (via the AARP Web site--see what I mean about “combining the best parts of several”?)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine*, melted
2 teaspoons instant yeast OR 1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 large eggs
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
*If you use unsalted butter or margarine, add an additional 1/4 teaspoon salt.
20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained*
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch OR Instant ClearJel(r)
2 tablespoons melted butter
*If you’re using cornstarch as the thickener, reserve 3 tablespoons of the pineapple juice, in which you’ll dissolve the cornstarch.
2/3 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup sugar 1/3 cup (about 5 2/3 tablespoons) melted butter
DOUGH: Warm the sour cream gently, and combine it with the sugar, salt, and butter or margarine in a large mixing bowl, the bowl of an electric mixer, or the bucket of your bread machine. Cool the mixture to lukewarm (if it isn’t already that temperature), and add the yeast (if you’re using active dry yeast, dissolve it in the water first), warm water, eggs, and flour. Mix and knead the dough, using your hands, a mixer, or a bread machine, till it’s soft and smooth. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the dough overnight. Note: This dough won’t rise much, so don’t worry about having to put it in a huge bowl.
Next day, remove the dough from the fridge, and divide it into about 20 pieces, each 1 3/4 ounces, about the size of a golf ball. Place the pieces on lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving about an inch between them. Flatten the balls till they’re about 1/2-inch thick, cover them with a proof cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow them to rest for 10 minutes.
PINEAPPLE FILLING: In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the drained pineapple to boiling. If you’re using Instant ClearJel(r), mix it with the sugar, and stir this mixture into the pineapple. Immediately remove the filling from the heat, and stir in the melted butter. Cool to lukewarm before using.
If you’re using cornstarch, mix it with the reserved pineapple juice. Stir the dissolved cornstarch and the sugar into the hot pineapple, and cook over medium heat, stirring, till the mixture thickens and becomes clear. Remove it from the heat, stir in the melted butter, and let it cool to lukewarm before using.
STREUSEL TOPPING: In a small bowl, mix together the flour and sugar, then add the butter, stirring till crumbs form.
ASSEMBLY: Using your fingers, make a wide, deep indentation in the center of each flattened dough ball. Don’t be afraid of being decisive here; you want to make a deep enough indentation that it doesn’t just disappear as the buns rise and bake. Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling into each bun; crumble a little of the streusel on top. Cover the kolaches, and allow them to rise for about an hour; they won’t necessarily double in bulk.
Bake the kolaches in a preheated 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, till they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and serve warm, or at room temperature. Yield: about 20 kolaches.
The dough for these is the same as for the pineapple kolaches above; just the shaping is different.
Fry or boil 20 small (2 1/2-inch or so) breakfast sausage links till cooked through. Allow them to cool.
Divide the dough into 20 pieces, and shape each piece into a flattened oval. Place a sausage on each oval and pull the dough over it, sealing the edge and ends, to enclose the sausage completely. Smooth out the kolaches as best you can, so they look nice. Cover them, and allow them to rise for 1 hour; they won’t necessarily double in bulk.
Bake the kolaches as directed above. Brush them with melted butter when they come out of the oven, if desired. Yield: about 20 sausage kolaches.
Note: Though this probably isn’t traditional, I think a bit of shredded cheddar cheese, and/or a dab of mustard, would be good rolled inside the kolache with the sausage.