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 made from a sweet dough filled with various foods that are a tradition in Texas. These can be breakfast kolaches with sausage or sweet with fruit filling. 

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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 donut shops!

Having never heard of them before, I decided to look up the history of kolaches. Texas had a large community of Czech immigrants who settled 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 kolache dough. 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 at room temperature. 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.

Before baking, I like to use melted butter to make the kolaches a golden brown color. You can also use an egg wash if you prefer. 

This recipe is for a batch of savory kolaches. But you can opt to make them with any filling. There are some that prefer a sweet pastry and make these Texas kolaches into a dessert with cream cheese filling or fruit filling. 

For those with a stand mixer, you can make the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the whisk for the first step, then the dough hook attachment at low speed when you start to mix the flour for the dough. 

Homemade Kolaches Step by Step



  • 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)


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 3 links breakfast sausage rolls
  • 4 oz ham
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese


  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)


Start by making the “sponge” the night before you want your kolaches. In a large 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 adding 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 ball let it rest for about 20 minutes in a warm place. Then knead it on a floured work surface or parchment paper 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 with a kitchen towel 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 equal pieces.

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

Add about one tablespoon of your fillings on each piece of kolache dough.

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.

Bake, seam side down, 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.

Kolache Leftovers

Storage: Store leftover Texas kolaches in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Reheating: Kolaches reheat best in the oven on low heat or the microwave until just warmed through.

Freezing: To freeze kolaches, spread out on a tray with parchment paper and freeze individually. Once frozen, the kolaches can be moved to a freezer bag or container. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.


Originally Published On: March 12, 2018

Last Updated On: June 1, 2023

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 are made from a sweet dough filled with various foods that are a tradition in Texas. These can be breakfast kolaches with sausage or sweet with fruit filling. 
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Refrigeration & Resting time 9 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 10 hours 25 minutes
Dietary Needs:
Servings: 32 pieces
4.72 from 7 votes


  • 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)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 links breakfast sausage
  • 4 oz ham
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted)


  • Mix yeast and flour together in a large mixing bowl
  • Add remaining sponge ingredients and whisk until combined
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight
  • 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 in a warm place
  • 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 with a kitchen towel and let rest for about an hour or until doubled in size
  • Cook the breakfast sausage and crumble it into bite-sized pieces
  • Chop or tear the ham into small pieces
  • Shred the cheddar cheese
  • When the dough is ready, gently punch down by using a closed fist to slowly push the extra air out
  • Divide the dough into 32 equal 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
  • 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
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.

All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutrition content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.

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47 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.

  6. 5 stars
    I’m making these for the second time. I live in Austin. I find it takes a while to work in all 3 cups to form into a ball after resting overnight. I usually only get in 2 or 2.5 max for fear of overworking the dough. They came came out WONDERFUL! I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong, though. Should I stop at 1 cup or keep going like before to get at least 2 cups in?
    Thank you for posting this! As a Texan I’ve grown up on kolaches and it’s so great to make them myself so I can personalize them and make them my own.

    1. It doesn’t sound like you are doing anything wrong. I’ve found that sometimes I need all 3 cups of flour, other times I don’t. If the dough is coming out good for you, then I would stick with what you are doing. It may depend on what time of the year you are making them and what temperature it is in your home.

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