With local peach season coming to a close, I wanted to take advantage of the sweet fragrant fruit with a couple of lovely home-style recipes. Today it was a beautiful, soft sweet ginger-peach kolache.

I first became familiar with the kolache in San Antonio, where this Central European treat enjoys great popularity. The confection which was first eaten as a wedding treat in Czechoslovakia, is now celebrated at kolache festivals wherever there are Central European enclaves’ throughout the United States. There are also many takes on this semi sweet bread, some with jam and dried fruit centers, others resembling pigs in a blanket with the soft bread wrapped around a sausage or hot dog.

Ingredients

1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup of warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 eggs
3/4 cup of melted butter
1 teaspoon of salt

In a large bowl, combine yeast, warm milk, sugar and one cup of flour. Cover and let it rise until doubled in size. Beat together eggs, 1/2 cup of melted butter (reserving 1/4 cup for brushing on the pastry) and salt. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture and blend. Stir in the rest of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. The dough should be soft and moist.
Knead dough for about 10 minutes on floured surface by hand or 5 minutes in a mixer with a dough hook. Dough will be shiny, smooth and malleable. Put dough in a greased bowl and let rise covered until doubled in size—about an hour.
After dough has risen, punch it down and pull off egg-sized pieces. In your hands, roll pieces into balls and then flatten to about three inches in diameter. Place flattened pieces on a greased cookie sheet or parchment, cover and let rise again for another half-hour. After second rising, use your finger to gently make an indention in the center of the dough (be careful not to flatten it too much) and fill with one tablespoon of fruit filling (recipe below) and sprinkle with posypka (recipe below).
Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Leftovers will keep tightly wrapped in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Filling

1 cup homemade or store-bought peach jam
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1-2 fresh peaches, sliced into thin wedges

Mix the ginger into the jam and then place by the tablespoonful into the divet in the kolache dough. Place one or two slices of peach over the top of the jam pushing one end of the peach into the jam.

Posypka (sweet crumble topping)

Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Mix all of the ingredients together by pulsing in a food processor or by mixing with a pastry cutter. Sprinkle the posypka over the tops of the kolache before baking.

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