Ham and cheese kolache cut in half next to a sausage and cheese kolache cut in half with full kolaches behind on a wooden cutting board on top of a white and brown towel (with logo overlay)

Homemade Kolaches: A Texas Tradition

Kolaches are a delicious combination of a sweet dough filled with breakfast foods that seem to be a tradition in Texas. Have you tried one?

Have you ever heard of kolaches? I hadn’t until I moved to Houston a few years ago. One morning my father-in-law went to get doughnuts for breakfast he also came home with some ham and cheese kolaches and sausage and cheese kolaches.

I had no idea what to expect but decided to give the ham one a try. It seemed like a strange thing to have for breakfast. But I’ve learned that a lot of things are done differently in Texas. Ever since that first try, though, I always opt for a fresh kolache whenever we go to the doughnut store!

Having never heard of them before, I decided to look up the history of kolaches. Texas had a large community of Czech immigrants settle in the area. These started off as a treat from the European country. Traditional kolaches were made with fruit. Technically, they call the Texan version a Klobásník, but everyone here still just calls it a Kolache (pronounced koh-la-chee).

For a while now, I’ve been thinking about trying to make my own kolaches at home, but I wasn’t sure what to do. I found this recipe and decided to give it a shot. The recipe was for ham and swiss cheese but we used cheddar cheese instead. We also made a few with breakfast sausage and cheese, but they can be made with almost any filling. I’ve seen them filled with eggs, bacon, potatoes, ranchero, brisket, spinach, chicken, jalapenos, pepperoni… the list goes on and on!

I didn’t realize how much it takes to make the dough for the kolaches. You have to make part of the dough and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. Then work it again in the morning and let it rest for another hour. Then make the kolaches. Overall, it took so much longer than I thought, and won’t be something I make all the time because of it. But it was fun to try, and they tasted very similar to the store-bought ones.

Step by Step

Start by making the “sponge” the night before you want your kolaches. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yeast and flour. Then combine that with warm milk, sugar, eggs, and melted butter. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, start by gently mixing the sponge and add a bit of salt. Then slowly start adding in flour until it forms a dough that you can work with. When I made it, I used about 3 cups of flour.

Once you have your dough let it rest for about 20 minutes. Then knead it on a floured work surface for about 10 minutes.

Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough in it, turning to make sure the dough is covered with oil. Cover the bowl and let it rest on the counter for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, prepare your fillings. We made ours with ham torn into small pieces, breakfast sausage cooked and broken up, and cheddar cheese cut into small squares.

Punch down the dough. This isn’t as rough as it sounds! Gently use your fist to push the air out of the dough. Divide the dough into 36 pieces.

Flatten each piece of dough into about a 3″ circle.

Add about one tablespoon of your fillings on each piece.

Fold it over until it is completely closed and sealed.

Preheat your oven to 375F while letting the kolaches rest for a few more minutes. Brush the dough with melted butter and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until they just start to get golden. If they start to get too brown, the dough will dry out.

Supposedly you can freeze these after they’ve been cooked, but ours didn’t last long enough to test this out.

Recipe

Originally Published On: March 12, 2018

Last Updated On: January 23, 2020

Ham and cheese kolache cut in half next to a sausage and cheese kolache cut in half with full kolaches behind on a wooden cutting board on top of a white and brown towel

Kolaches

Kolaches are a delicious combination of a sweet dough filled with breakfast foods that seem to be a tradition in Texas. Have you tried one?
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Refrigeration & Resting time 9 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 25 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ham, pastry, texas
Servings: 32 pieces
5 from 5 votes

Ingredients

Sponge
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk (warmed)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
Dough
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
Filling
  • 3 links breakfast sausage
  • 4 oz ham
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese
Topping
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)

Instructions

Sponge (NIGHT BEFORE)
  • Mix yeast and flour together in a large mixing bowl
  • Add remaining sponge ingredients and whisk until combined
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight
Dough (IN THE MORNING)
  • Remove the sponge from refrigerator and gently stir, adding the salt
  • Add flour until it forms a dough
  • NOTE: you may not need all 3 cups of flour, depending on the humidity where you live
  • Once the dough forms a ball, let it rest for 20 minutes
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes
  • Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough inside, making sure to coat the dough with oil
  • Cover and let rest for about an hour or until doubled in size
Filling
  • Cook breakfast sausage and crumble into bite-sized pieces
  • Chop or tear ham into small pieces
  • Shred cheddar cheese
  • When dough is ready, gently punch down by using a closed fist to slowly push the extra air out
  • Divide the dough into 32 pieces
  • Flatten the pieces into circles about 3 inches in diameter
  • Add a bit of the filling (either ham and cheese or sausage and cheese) to the dough
  • Fold the sides up to close and pinch together to seal
  • Place seam-side down on a greased cookie sheet or baking stone
  • Continue until all dough has been used
Baking
  • Preheat the oven to 375F while the kolaches rest
  • Brush kolaches with melted butter
  • Bake for about 12-15 minutes until they start to turn golden
  • Don’t let them get brown or the dough will start to dry out
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Nutrition Facts
Kolaches
Amount Per Serving (1 piece)
Calories 147 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 28mg9%
Sodium 183mg8%
Potassium 50mg1%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 196IU4%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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41 thoughts on “Homemade Kolaches: A Texas Tradition”

  1. I have never heard about Kolaches and I am grateful that you share the recipe, so if I ever go to Houston, I will know what to order. I will try to make them too. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I wonder if there is a way you can simply the dough. I love breads that sit over night but it is far too much effort sometimes. kolaches is not something I’ve tried but it looks awesome

    1. I haven’t tried another dough yet. This one is so fluffy, I haven’t found another that would have the same effect. Of course, you could always try wrapping them in a canned dough and see how they come out. It might not be exactly the same but still yummy.

  3. Being from Texas myself,…. Kolaches are almost a religion here! haha My very favorite is the boudin kolache!! Boudin is a cajun mix they use instead of sausage and it is amazing!!! Never would I have thought to put boudin in a kolache!!

    1. Oh, I’ve never had a boudin kolache before. When we drive from Houston towards Florida I see a lot of billboards in both Texas and Louisiana for boudin but I’ve never actually had it before.

  4. These look like they would taste absolutely amazing. I love bread items that you make from scratch so I would indulge in this for sure.

    1. They are so yummy! If you ever travel to the states, particularly Texas, you should definitely give them a try here. In the meantime, you can make them yourself to hold you over 🙂

    1. I didn’t know what I was missing until we moved to Texas a few years ago! We went to a doughnut shop in Florida when we were visiting family and it just wasn’t the same without Kolaches!

  5. Omg How yummy!!! so I was born in Dallas. My parents live there and I have never heard of these lol…. next time I’m visiting my parents I will have to see if I see them around now that I know kolaches exist lol… it’s funny how once you learn of something you realize it’s all over and you were just oblivious lol…

    1. I haven’t had any in Dallas, but I’ve only been there once. I know they have them in Lubbock because we have stopped there when driving to Missouri so it isn’t just a Houston-area thing.

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