Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rohlicky and Kolaches

At Deputywife's request here is the recipe that I've used for years to make rohlicky and kolaches. Actually the butter semmel dough works well too.

For the uninitiated, kolaches are dessert rolls with fruit or other filling; rohlicky are crescent poppy seed dinner rolls. In the area of Iowa where I spent the first 40 years of my life there are literally hundreds of different recipes for the basic dough. Through trial and error this is the recipe I came to like best and I've used it now for over 20 years. I don't live in Iowa anymore, but my family still expects to see these on the menu. The dough can also be used to shape any dinner roll you desire.


1 cup warm milk
1 cup warm water
2 pkg. dry yeast
3/4 cup corn oil (I insist on Mazola)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
5 - 6 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, oil, sugar, eggs and salt. Beat in flour to make a soft dough (I use my electric mixer fitted with dough hooks). Let rise until double; punch down. Proceed with directions for kolaches, rohlicky or roll of choice. [This process of rising and punching down can be repeated several times; just be sure not to let the dough rise more than double each time. I prefer 2 or 3 risings as I believe it results in a more tender finished product, but one rising is sufficient.]

To Make Kolaches

Form dough into small balls, approximately the size of a walnut. Place on greased cookie sheet and brush with melted butter; let rise again until light. Using two fingers on each hand make an indentation in the center of each ball, pulling dough to form a ridge around the outside. Fill with approximately 1 Tablespoon of desired filling. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 375º until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and brush crust with melted butter.
Traditional Czech fillings are prune, apricot, cherry, pineapple, poppyseed, date, etc.
My family likes cherry best.

To Make Rohlicky

The traditional Czech way to form rohlikcy is to roll pieces of dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. Cut circle into 8 wedges. Form each wedge into a crescent by rolling from the wide end towards the point. Place formed rolls in pan with point underneath.

I prefer to form my rolicky this way: Divide above dough into fourths. Divide each fourth into 12 equal pieces. Form each piece into a short, thick rope, approximately 6 inches long. Twisting the rope slightly, place in a slightly curved shape in a greased 10 X 15-inch baking pan with high sides, spacing slightly apart. You should be able to fit 2 rows of 12 rolicky in each pan.

Brush tops of rohlicky with 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water. Sprinkle generously with poppy seed. Let rise until double.

Bake at 375º until lightly browned, approximately 15-20 minutes. Brush with melted butter immediately upon removing from oven.

(the Czech answer to cheese strudel!)

1 lb. dry cottage cheese or ricotta
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tablspoon flour
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together well. Use to fill kolaches.
The flavor improves if the mixture is allowed to set in the refrigerator overnight. Left-over filling can be frozen for future use.

I also like to use this dough to make what I call fruit braids. I just roll the dough into a rectangle however big I want, spread my choice of filling lengthwise down the center third, cut the outside edges into strips and braid across the filling. You can add icing or not. These taste just like kolaches..just more dough and less filling and much faster to make. I made several of these when I was baking for Jeff and Deb's wedding and they were gone pretty quickly.

Good luck with your baking, Chris. I'll be anxious to hear how it turns out. The next time I'm up that way you'll have to join us for some baked goods and visiting.



deputyswife said...

Thank you so much for the recipe! I am excited to try this out! I think maybe I need to try some kolaches tomorrow. I have everything here, except mazola oil, just our local Fareway brand. I will try to run to the store tonight to get mazola.

Thank you so very much again! And yes, the next time you are in Iowa, we will have to meet!

Mary L. said...

The original recipe was called "Mazola Oil Dough" and I've just always preferred it. But actually any good corn oil would work. For that matter if you prefer a different type of cooking oil I'd say try it. Corn oil isn't the healthiest for us, but it's what I like.

Susan said...

Mmm! Everything looks wonderful...especially those fruit braids!

call me crazy said...

Oh Mary~ I think I gained weight just looking at your photo's!! :o Everything looks yummy!! Thanks for sharing your recipes! :)

rupr said...

I am from Czech republic and it was nice to see Czech recipes on your blog. I am not very good in baking. I can make perfect cheese, but I totaly failed to make typical Chech christmas cookies. My sister promised to me to teach me next year. She made wonderful vanilla rohlicky.

Lori in South Dakota said...

ahh--found your recipes and will try them tomorrow!! YUM!

Anonymous said...

Relocated from Iowa to the west coast about four years ago and have missed my Grandma's rohlicky and kolaches ever since.

I'm planning on preparing a feast for my boyfriend this weekend to finally introduce him to some of my favorite foods: roast duck, dumplings, sauerkraut, rohlicky and kolaches for dessert!

Thank you so much for the recipes! My grandmother has passed now and along with her went all of the traditional recipes and cooking that I had grown to love.

Thank you thank you thank you!

Anonymous said...

Mary: What type of flour do you use? We've been using high gluten with very good success. Thanks. Victor

Mary L. said...

Victor, sorry I can't reply to you personally so hope you see this here. I use regular all purpose flour...preferably unbleached, but also use bleached. Have never used the high gluten but I'm sure it makes great bread.

Anonymous said...

I loved finding this recipe! I am from a small Czech community in Kansas and my grandma used to always make rohlicky for Christmas until she passed, and kolaches are a staple in my hometown. Thank you for posting this recipe, it helps to bring my family together, since we all pitch in when making these goodies.

Brooke J.

Mary L. said...

Glad your family continues to enjoy them. I hope you have good success with this recipe..I'm sure you will. Greetings to another Kansan and Czech.