Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Kolaches

[Photograph: Lisa Fain]

Kolaches, those sweet little stuffed pastries of Czech origin are one of those regionally unique treats that's not too easy to find outside of a certain area of Texas.

To satisfy her craving for these little yeasted buns, Lisa Fain, author of The Homesick Texan Cookbook, took it upon herself to recreate them in her tiny New York. She equates the challenge to tackling bagel-baking in Texas—ambitious with a touch of foolhardiness.

It took Fain a few attempts to get her kolaches up to her exacting standards but these are pretty darn close to the ones that she was missing.

For the uninitiated, kolaches are lightly sweet, squishy little buns that are most commonly filled with dried fruit, cream cheese, or sausage. The sweet ones are finished with a sprinkling of cinnamon spiked streusel. Fain reminisces stopping for the best kolaches in West, Texas, a hamlet that lies halfway between Dallas and Austin, but if a Texas road trip isn't in the cards just yet, this homemade version is almost as satisfying.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Homesick Texan Cookbook to give away this week.

From The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain. Text and photographs copyright © 2011 Lisa Fain. Published by Hyperion. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

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