Makes 24 kolaches
When my sister, Beth, bought some land with a peach orchard on it, we harvested peaches and made everything we could think of with the crop. We made preserves and crostatas, both featured in this book. Garth asked if I could make peach kolaches. My first question was, “What is a kolache?” I learned from him that it’s a Czech-inspired pastry that he used to eat in Oklahoma. What? The history is that Czech immigrants settled in the Oklahoma Territory and brought with them their culture and cuisine, including the kolache. Garth grew up in Yukon, Oklahoma, and for over fifty years the town has been home to the Oklahoma Czech Festival, a huge annual outdoor event. The festival promotes and celebrates Yukon’s Czech heritage with a carnival, parade, craft booths, music, dancing, games, and — you guessed it — kolaches. These pastries are so yummy. I was happy to recreate something from Garth’s childhood that made him smile, and to find another tasty use for homegrown peaches!
- 2 cups milk
- 1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
- 1/4 cup solid shortening (I like Crisco sticks)
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 8 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped
- 1 cup peach preserves, store-bought or try Beth’s Peach Preserves (see recipe below)
Sweet Sugar Drizzle
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
- Pinch of kosher salt
1. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat until it starts to steam (but not boil) and forms a skin on the surface. Take it off the heat and let cool slightly, 15 to 20 minutes; it should still be warm. Transfer 1/2 cup of the milk to a small bowl, add the yeast, and set aside until the yeast has dissolved and the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter and shortening together for 1 minute, stirring once halfway through, until melted and combined. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
3. Grease a large bowl with cooking spray and set aside.
4. In another large bowl, mix together the eggs, granulated sugar, salt, and butter-shortening mixture. Add the reserved milk and the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Slowly add the bread flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing with a fork or your hands until the flour is incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a board or kitchen counter lightly dusted with bread flour and form into a ball; it will be slightly sticky to the touch. Don’t overwork this dough, or it will be tough. Put the dough ball in the greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about an hour.
5. Punch down the dough to deflate, cover again with the plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
6. In a medium bowl, mix the peaches with the preserves and set aside.
7. Spray two large (13 x 18-inch) baking sheets with cooking spray. Remove the dough from the fridge, shape it into balls 3 inches in diameter, and place them on the prepared baking sheets, about 3-1/2 inches apart. You should be able to get 12 on each baking sheet. Using the bottom of a small jar or the back of a spoon, press down in the middle of each ball to make a space for the filling and dollop 2 tablespoons of the filling in each. Cover the kolaches with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
8. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
9. Bake the kolaches for 25 to 30 minutes, until light and golden brown.
10. Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, vanilla, and sugar. Add the cream 1 tablespoon at a time until you get a thick but spreadable consistency. Whisk in the salt.
11. Using a pastry brush, brush the sides of the kolaches generously with the glaze. Serve warm.
Beth’s Peach Preserves
Makes 4 pints
- 28 to 30 ripe medium peaches
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 4 lemons)
- 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then place the peaches in the water 4 to 6 at a time and boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the water using a slotted spoon or wire spider and immediately submerge in a bowl of ice and water to stop them from cooking. Leave the peaches in the ice water, and then, one at a time, take them out and peel them; the skins should slide off easily.
2. Pit and dice the peeled peaches, then put them in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the lemon juice, 2-1/2 cups sugar, and the cinnamon and stir gently to combine. The amount of sugar you need will depend on the sweetness of the peaches, so add sugar to taste. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 1 hour, allowing the sugar to macerate the fruit.
3. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally and using a potato masher or pastry blender to periodically break up the peaches into smaller pieces, until the mixture has reduced by almost half and thickened, about 3 hours. As the mixture thickens, you will need to stir more often to prevent sticking and scorching.
4. Can the preserves in 8-ounce jars using the hot water bath method.
Trisha Tips: If you don’t want to blanch and shock the peaches, or if your peaches are super ripe, use a paring knife to peel them.
Excerpted from Trisha’s Kitchen: Easy Comfort Food for Friends and Family © 2021 by Trisha Yearwood with Beth Yearwood Bernard. Photography © 2021 by Ben Fink. Reproduced by permission of Mariner Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Cook With Trisha
Two more recipes to try from Trisha’s Kitchen:
These combine all the savory vegetable flavors of Trisha’s mama’s classic chicken potpie and puts it on a bun.
With three kinds of cheeses, caramelized apples and crunchy pretzel bites, there’s so much to love about this hearty soup.
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