Some of you might have noticed that my Daring Baker post didn't appear on the 27th, as it typically does. That's because I lost my sense of adventure this month. The DB assignment was to make an English suet pudding. All month I struggled with whether or not to take on this challenge. I even tried a non-suet version, but found it rather bland. An English "pudding" is nothing like what we, here in the US, call "pudding." It is more like a steamed (not baked) cake/bread. Maybe it was the thought of finding, buying and rendering suet that put me over the edge. I just couldn't drum up any enthusiasm for it.
INSTEAD, though, I came up with my own baking challenge - a wonderful little Czech sweet bun known as kolache.
We were introduced to kolaches by Chris and Kelsey, who get them for breakfast every Sunday morning, before church. As far as I can tell, there's nowhere in Albuquerque where they're sold, and I've never seen them anywhere else we've lived. But in and around Houston, there seems to be a hotbed of little kolache bakeries. My self-assigned mission this month was to find a good recipe for kolaches. HERE's the one I used.
The unbaked kolaches, ready to go into the oven.
Today was the day! I mixed up a half-batch of that somewhat sweet, light, yeasty dough this afternoon; let it rise; shaped it; let it rise, briefly, a second time; put the thumbprint indentations into the little buns and filled them with apricot and cherry fillings; let them rise a third time; baked them; and slathered them in melted butter and a light sprinkling of extra-fine granulated sugar.
Dan and I just finished feasting on hot kolaches. They were really, really good. I know we'll enjoy these more than we would have enjoyed a figgy pudding or any other English pudding.
Sometime soon I'd like to try the same basic kolache dough recipe, filled with scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, and cheese. The recipe would also make a wonderful dinner roll recipe.
I'm hoping to be back to my daring self next month, and up for the official Daring Bakers' challenge.