Showing posts with label sweet dough. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweet dough. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Apricot Kolaches #BreadBakers

Kolaches are a Texas breakfast treat that can be either savory, think sausage and cheese or sweet, usually with a fruit filling. The filling in these apricot kolaches isn’t traditional but they are delicious. 

Houston has a homegrown doughnut chain called Shipley Do-Nuts, one location mere minutes from our house there. It’s a treat to go early in the morning and get a dozen of their hot glazed doughnuts, fresh out of the fryer. The place smells of sweet sugar and fresh coffee and since there’s no place to sit and eat, folks are lined up to place their orders to go. They even have a drive-through. This is Houston, after all. Everyone drives everywhere. And since it’s also Texas, Shipley's makes kolaches. My personal favorite is jalapeño sausage with cheese. Divine.

So why are kolaches typical in Texas? There are many towns and rural areas where folks from Czechoslovakia came to settle during the mid- to late 19th century. Along with their devotion to the Catholic Church, strong work ethic and love of polka music, they brought their kolache making tradition. If you are ever headed to Texas, make sure to check the events calendar for a Czech Fest. Taking place in several towns, the fun starts on Labor Day weekend with the biggest, Westfest. While many of the Czech fests include a kolache baking contest, they all have polka bands and you will be required drink cold beer and get up and dance. It’s a rule.

This month’s Bread Bakers challenge is to use stone fruit like cherries, peaches, nectarines, mangoes and the like. Problem is, except for mangoes, the stone fruit that is imported to Dubai never really smells or tastes of properly ripened summer fruit. Traditional fruit kolaches have a cooked fruit filling in a sweetened yeast dough so I could have made do. After all, every fruit is sweet if you cook it down with sugar. I decided to use canned apricot halves and leave them whole instead. Just because I think they are pretty that way.

The dough divides nicely into 18 pieces, but my can of apricots was short one half. No problem, I filled that final kolac (<that’s the singular) with some homemade preserves, in this case, fig. You could actually do the same with all of your kolaches if you can't be bothered to make filling.

This recipe calls for chilling the dough in the refrigerator overnight so start one day ahead of when you’d like to serve these kolaches. This is ideal since then they can be fresh baked for breakfast.

Ingredients for 18 kolaches
For the apricot filling:
1 can apricot halves (net wt. 410g, drained wt. 240g) in syrup
1/4 cup or sugar, or more to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the dough:
1 cup or 245g sour cream
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup or 113g butter, melted and cooled, plus more for buttering the dough bowl
2 teaspoons instant yeast OR 1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup or 120ml lukewarm water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4-5 cups or 510g strong white bread flour

For the crumb topping:
1/4 cup or 42g all-purpose flour
1/8 cup, firmly packed, or 25g brown sugar
1/8 cup or 25g granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

To assemble the kolaches:
≈ 2 tablespoons fine semolina

Take your eggs and sour cream out of the refrigerator and leave them to come to close to room temperature.

Drain the apricot halves and put the syrup in a small pot. Lay the apricots out on some paper towels to dry.

Cook the syrup with the sugar over a medium low heat until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup. Add in the butter and salt and stir well. Add in the apricot halves and set aside to cool. Once cool, the syrup turns into a kind of jelly. Refrigerate the apricots and jelly when the dough rests overnight.

Put the yeast in a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer. Add 1 tablespoon from the sugar for the dough and the warm water. Leave to proof for a few minutes.

Add the butter, sour cream, egg, sugar and salt into the mixing bowl. Beat until well combined.

Add in four cups or 385g of the bread flour and beat well. The dough will become quite thick but still very soft and sticky.

Use your bread hook to add in the last cup or 125g bread flour and knead for a few minutes. It's still going to be pretty soft and sticky but, fear not, it will be easy to handle once chilled.

Put the dough into a buttered bowl, cover with cling film and pop it in the refrigerator. Let it rest overnight.

When you are ready to bake the next morning, take the apricots and dough out of the refrigerator.

Cut the dough in half. Then cut each of those halves into three equal parts. Then divide the three parts into three more. This should give you 18 reasonably equal pieces of dough.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Roll the dough pieces into small balls and place them evenly spaced on the lined baking sheets.

Cover the balls lightly with cling film and set in a warm, draft-free place to rest for 10 minutes.

Use your fingers and thumbs to press out an indentation in the middle of each ball that’s large enough for your apricot halves.

Sprinkle a healthy pinch of fine semolina – perhaps a 1/4 teaspoon – into each indentation.

Add about 1/2-3/4 a teaspoon of the jellied apricot syrup into each as well. Tuck a half apricot in on top of the jelly.

Combine the all-purpose flour, sugars and butter in a food processor and pulse until crumbly to make the crumble topping.

Sprinkle the crumble liberally on top of the apricots. Set the pans in a warm, draft free place for about 30 minutes.

When the resting time is almost up, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Bake the kolaches in your preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until they are golden brown.

There's the fig preserves one, top right. 

Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Polka music optional.

Many thanks to Mireille from The Schizo Chef for hosting Bread Bakers this month. Are you ready to get baking with stone fruit? We’ve got plenty of great recipes for you!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Mocha Porter Quinoa Loaf #BreadBakers

A slightly sweet loaf made from ground quinoa, mocha porter beer and brown sugar, with semi-sweet chocolate chips rolled up inside, this bread would be perfect for breakfast or an after school snack. 

It has been my privilege for the last week to be the stay-at-home mom for a dear, darling friend whose wonderfully wisecracking husband underwent surgery to remove a cancerous lung. My presence allowed her to be where she needed to be without worrying unduly about her children. I can’t express the delight it gave me to bake chocolate chip cookies for after school snacks again! As involved as I was in volunteer opportunities and gratifying community service way back when, my favorite time of the day was always when my daughters arrived home from school and told me about their days while munching on a couple of warm cookies, fresh out of the oven. I miss those days.

I am pleased to say that our patient is out of ICU and on the mend and I am back home again but I left behind this high protein loaf, made with quinoa and tasty mocha porter beer, and slightly sweetened with brown sugar. The semi-sweet chocolate chips are optional, but I highly recommend their addition.

Many thanks to Jenni from Pastry Chef Online for her oatmeal porter bread recipe which I adapted to create this loaf and to Mireille from Chef Mireille's East West Realm for hosting this month’s edition of Bread Bakers. And an extra thank you to my Bread Bakers co-creator, Renee from Magnolia Days for creating the initial link list. We have a great bunch of quinoa breads for you today so make sure to scroll to the bottom of my recipe to see the links.

A note about quinoa: From what I have researched, quinoa is very high in protein but for our bodies to access the protein, it has to be either cooked or ground to open the seeds. If the seeds are used whole, they will pass through us just as they went in and we miss out on the benefits of the protein contained therein. The more you know!

For the dough:
1/4 cup or 60ml whole milk, plus 1-2 tablespoons more for brushing on the loaf before baking
3 1/2 cups or 440g flour plus a little extra for rolling the dough out
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup, packed, or 50g light brown sugar
1 cup or 200g quinoa (I used black quinoa but any sort will do nicely.)
1 cup or 240ml mocha porter (Mine had a strong coffee flavor with a background of slightly sweet stout. Imagine a coffee Guinness.)
1/4 cup or 60ml canola oil plus a little extra for greasing the bowl and bread pan
1/2 teaspoon salt
7/8 cup or 145g (or more - you could put a whole cup but that's all I had) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Warm your milk in a microwave or on the stovetop until it is quite warm to the touch but you can still hold your finger in it for several seconds comfortably. For those who like to use a thermometer, you are looking for between 125-130°F or 51-55°C.

Put one cup or a little less than a third of the flour into the bowl of your stand mixer, along with the sugar, and spoon the yeast into the middle.

Pour in the warm milk, right on the yeast. Give the bowl a little swish to mix in some of the flour and sugar. Allow to rest for about five minutes. The milk should activate the yeast and become frothy. If it doesn’t, start over with fresh yeast.

Starting to bubble up. It's a good thing.

While the yeast is proving, grind your quinoa using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, if you have one.

Add the rest of the flour to the yeast bowl, along with the ground quinoa, salt and oil then pour in the porter. The extra four ounces are for the baker.

Mix well with your bread hook and keep mixing until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Scrape the dough off of the bottom of the bowl and flip it over. Continue mixing with the bread hook for another 3-5 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally and flipping the dough over.

Scrape the dough into a ball in the bottom of your bowl and drizzle in a little oil around the ball. Turn the ball in the oil to coat lightly.  Cover with a towel and put in a warm place for the first rise of about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, grease your standard loaf pan with some oil.

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Use your hands to pat it into a small rectangle. Sprinkle on the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough up lengthwise and put it seam-side down into the prepared loaf pan.

Cover very loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for about half an hour. When the half hour is almost up, preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C.

When you are ready to bake, remove the plastic and brush the loaf lightly with the milk.

Put the loaf in the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 350°F or 180°C.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cover with foil if it is browning too quickly but isn’t cooked inside. Once again, if you are a thermometer using type, and I highly recommend you become one, you are looking for an internal temperature between 195-200°F or 90-93°C for doneness.

Allow the loaf to cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.


Have you ever baked with quinoa? If not, we hope you will give it a try!

BreadBakers#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Brioche aux Pépites de Chocolat

Brioche is a subtly sweet eggy yeast dough, kneaded with added butter.  The addition of semi-sweet or dark mini chocolate chips elevates it to favorite status for breakfast or snack time. 

Happy birthday, Sunday Supper!  This week we are celebrating the second anniversary of the creation of Sunday Supper, a movement dedicated to getting folks back around the family dinner table, eating together.  Along with recipes, we are sharing our favorite Sunday Supper memory from the last year.  For my recipe, I decided to go back to my first Sunday Supper post and choose someone else’s recipe from that list to adapt.  I first participated just over a year ago and the theme was “bucket list.”  I tackled lemon soufflé.  As I looked through those recipes, I realized that one of my favorite bloggers, Nancy from Gotta Get Baked, had made something that was also on my bucket list:  Brioche.  So yay!  Another year and another challenge to scratch off the list!

My favorite Sunday Supper memory really speaks about the hearts of the men and women who form this group.  It’s not even post, theme or recipe related.  One night, a couple of months back, one of our British members wrote a heartfelt plea on the Sunday Supper Facebook group wall.

What followed were jokes and commiserations and virtual handholding.  When the next morning rolled around, she came back to thank everyone for seeing her through.  The thread ended with a comment from our wonderful leader, Isabel from Family Foodie.

And, Isabel is exactly right:  That is what makes this group special.

And, now on to the brioche!  I’ve given these special sweet rolls their French name because, when we lived in France, they were my daughters’ first choice of snack when we’d walk down to the local bakery of an afternoon, and that brings back another lovely memory for me.  You can’t beat brioche with little chocolate chips for a great breakfast or snack!

Make sure to scroll down and see all the other celebratory recipes and favorite Sunday Supper memories we have for you today.

For the dough:
4 cups or 500g flour
1 packet (1/4 oz or 7g) dried yeast
2/3 cup or 155ml milk
1/3 cup or 70g sugar
1/2 cup or 110g butter, very slightly softened
2 eggs
100g mini semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

To decorate before baking:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
About 3 tablespoons or 30g pearl sugar

Warm your milk in the microwave by zapping it for about 30-40 seconds.  Sprinkle on the dried yeast and one teaspoon of the sugar.  Stir gently and set aside for about 10 minutes.

In the bowl of your standing mixer, measure your flour and add in the rest of the sugar and the two eggs.  Pour in the milk/yeast mixture.

Mix well and keep mixing until you have a nice homogeneous dough.  This gets pretty stiff and you may need to hold the mixer down if it starts to travel.  Cut your butter into chunks and add about one-third of them to the dough.

Knead, in your mixer, until the butter is fully incorporated. (You can do this by hand but it takes some muscle and time.)

Add the second third of the butter to the dough and knead until incorporated.

Add the final third of the butter and knead again until incorporated.

You should have a stretchy, silky, buttery dough.

Form a ball with the dough and leave it in the bowl.  No need to grease the bowl, it's buttery enough.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it doubles in volume.  (If you are living in a cold place, fill your sink with a few inches of hot water and set the covered bowl in there.)

Meanwhile, prepare your 12-cup muffin pan by lining it with stiff paper cups.

Punch down the dough and remove to a clean work surface.  Pour on the mini chocolate chips.  Fold and knead the dough until the chips are evenly distributed.

They look like they don't want to mix it but perseverance here is key.

Cut the dough into 12 reasonably similar pieces.

Roll them in balls and set them inside the prepared muffin cups.

Set aside for about an hour in a warm place to rise for the second time.  (If you live in a cold place, you can do the hot water in the sink trick again but do be careful to put just a little water so it doesn’t come up and wet the stiff paper cups and dough when you put the muffin pan in.)

When you are about 15 minutes from the end of the second rising, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Beat your egg yolk with the tablespoon of milk.  When the brioche are ready to bake, brush them lightly with the egg yolk/milk mixture and sprinkle on the pearl sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the brioche are golden and sound a bit hollow when tapped.


Happy 2nd Anniversary, Sunday Supper!  It's been an honor and a privilege to be a part of this wonderful group.  Look at all the other celebratory recipes and special memories my fellow members have shared!

Brilliant Breads and Breakfast Fare:
Amazing Appetizers and Cocktails:
Spectacular Soups and Salads:
Enticing Entrees:
Decadent Desserts: