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Czech-inspired kolache pastries full of flavor, history

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Sok San has been the baker at North May Donuts & Kolaches for over 5 years, shown forming donut dough on the recent busy Christmas Eve morning.  mh
  • Sok San has been the baker at North May Donuts & Kolaches for over 5 years, shown forming donut dough on the recent busy Christmas Eve morning. mh

Known by multiple names — kolacky, kolatchen, kolác?, kolach, klobasnek or kolache — it translates into a delicious, sweet, fruit- or meat-filled pastry.

Shapes give a clue to the fillings inside. Elongated rolls are usually filled with sausage, meat or cheese. Rounded or diamond-shaped pastries often contain fruit fillings such as apricot or apple in a sugar paste.

The story of how the treats arrived here is one of immigration. Czechs and other immigrants settled in Oklahoma Territory and brought with them their culture and cuisine, including kolache.

Find nine types at North May Donuts & Kolaches, 10712 N. May Ave. Its star is a double-barreled number, two side-by-side sausages with cheese wrapped in pastry ($1.49). Varieties include bacon, egg and cheese; cheese; jalapeño; egg; ham; and fruit.

For something quick, The Donut Palace, 1701 W. Britton Road, is a small, drive-through-only, one-stop shop. Baked on-site, its sausage kolache come in two sizes: small (89 cents) and large ($1.99). Arrive early, as the shop often closes when the pastries sell out.

Ingrid’s Kitchen, 6501 N. May Ave., features big, round kolache filled with raspberry or apricot ($3). It also sells sausage and cheese kolache ($3) to-go from its in-store section.

South of the city, find an extra-cheesy sausage kolach for $1.99 at Donut Palace & Kolache, 900 SW Fourth St., in Moore. They’re made fresh daily, and its sausage is a juicy combination of chicken, beef and pork.

Sok San has been the baker at North May Donuts & Kolaches for over 5 years, shown rolling out kolache dough on the recent busy Christmas Eve morning.  mh
  • Sok San has been the baker at North May Donuts & Kolaches for over 5 years, shown rolling out kolache dough on the recent busy Christmas Eve morning. mh

Love baking?

Here’s a kolache recipe to try at home, adapted from the Smithsonian Folklife Cookbook.

Czech Apricot Kolaches Pastry 3 tablespoons dry yeast 1/2 cup lukewarm water 1 teaspoon sugar 2 cups milk, scalded and slightly cooled 3/4 cup sugar 2 teaspoons salt 1/2 cup oil 1/2 teaspoon mace 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind 2 tablespoons lemon juice 3 eggs well beaten 7 cups unbleached flour

Filling 2 1/2 cups finely sliced, dried apricots 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind 3 teaspoons lemon juice 1/2 cup sugar to taste

Glaze egg wash 1 cup sugar 1/3 cup flour 2 tablespoons butter, softened

Directions 1. Dissolve yeast in water with 1 teaspoon sugar.

2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except two cups flour. Beat well. Add remaining flour, stirring with a wooden spoon. Place in a large, greased container, cover and refrigerate overnight.

3. For filling, boil dried apricots in water for 20 minutes. Drain and combine all ingredients, add sugar to taste.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. To shape kolache, place a portion of cooled dough on a floured surface. Pat dough into a rectangular shape about 1/4-inch thick and cut with a sharp knife into 2-inch squares. Working with a few squares at a time, stretch slightly and drop one teaspoon of filling in the center. Draw together the corners at the center, two diagonal corners at a time.

6. Brush the tops with the egg wash. Mix sugar, flour and butter and sprinkle it on top. Place kolache on a greased cookie sheet. Let them rise for about 30 minutes and bake until light brown.

Print headline: Craving kolache, These Czech-inspired pastries are full of flavor and history.

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