We have had a lot of friends move lately. Moving is fun, especially when it’s not your own stuff. When it’s your move, it’s pretty stressful, not to mention the weeks of packing leading up to the move. But, when it’s someone else’s move, you show up at a packed house at 7am and go go go until it’s done. That is fun.
You meet your moving friends’ other friends who are there to help, and you get to see your moving friends at their wit’s end and see how they respond when their favorite picture frame is broken, or when their new dryer doesn’t work. You get to nag them about having ten-dozen too many hardback books, or three times the cookie sheets they really need. You get to “stumble upon” their old yearbooks and laugh at their freshman year picture and how they wrote “don’t sign my crack” in the binding of their copy. You work until you’re tired and then you sit on moved boxes in the ‘new house’ which feels quite daunting and eat fast food and wipe your greasy fingers on your pants because no one can find the napkins, or the chairs, for that matter.
You move all the stuff and as you’re realizing that it’s all just stuff…matter, with an affectionate name like “memorabelia” or “antiques”, you go back to the old house. You help clean up the spot from a spilled soda on the carpet that was fought over and then just covered by a moved couch, and you wash down the back door once-laden with prints of doggy-noses, and you paint over where all the kids’ heights were marked each birthday on the wall. You notice that the room where you once crammed 30 friends for an evening of fellowship now looks so small and lifeless without the warmth of family and sounds of laughter.
And you realize, that it’s not the stuff, or the structure that make the memories, it’s the people and what goes on inside.
All these emotions need a little comfort, and for us, kolaches are comfort. I will always have a special place in my heart for donuts, but you really can’t beat a kolache on any morning. Sweet dough and your choice of filling will make these delightful.
*recipe note: get creative with your filling…make these italian for dinner with cheese and pepperonis, and then dip them in marinara, or form our dough around a sausage!
1 1/2 T. yeast
2 t. salt
2 1/2 T. gluten
1/2 c. non-fat dry milk powder
4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 T. sugar
6 T. butter, cut into 8 pieces
1 1/4 c. milk
Put all ingredients in a bowl or stand mixer and knead 2 minutes by hand, or with mixer, use dough hook on “4” setting to knead dough for 2 minutes.
Examine dough, if it sticks to fingers or sides of bowl, add 1/4 cup flour at a time and knead unto it is no longer sticking to hands or bowl. If the dough is too crumbly, add 2 T. milk at a time until not crumbly.
Knead or mix 10 more minutes. Leave dough in bowl and cover with a towel or plastic wrap for about 6 hours (give or take two hours there, depending on your needs, and you will be fine!). Dough will double or triple in size.
Preheat oven to 350.
Punch the dough down to deflate and divide into 12 balls. flatten balls and fill with desired filling (see below). Pinch dough to form a wrapper around filling, and place on a greased baking sheet, 3 inches apart (you will need two baking sheets) pinched side down.
Bake 18-30 minutes, until kolaches have puffed up and are starting to trun golden brown.
Remove and enjoy hot, or freeze for later use. To eay from frozen, thaw on counter overnight and then heat in oven at 350 for 8 minutes.
Juevos Rancheros con Queso Filling
for 12 kolaches
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded cheese
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
Crack eggs and put in nonstick pan on stove. Scramble with salsa, cheese, salt and pepper.