Kolach

  • Yield 75 pieces

A sweet bread packed with a sugary walnut filling

kolach

"The recipe for these walnut-filled sweet rolls came from Slovakia when my mother immigrated to the United States about 1920. The ground walnut filling is my favorite, but my mother also made it with ground poppy seeds. My brother, son and I carry on the family legacy of baking this Old World pastry."

Ingredients

Dough:
2 packages active dry yeast
2 cups warm (105F to 115F) water, divided
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour, divided
Filling:
1 pound walnuts, ground
1 1/2 to 2 cups sugar
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
Assembly:
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) melted butter, divided

Instructions

  1. To prepare the dough, dissolve yeast in 1 cup water in a small bowl. Combine remaining water and shortening in a saucepan; heat slightly to dissolve and cool. Mix sugar, salt, eggs, yeast mixture and shortening mixture in a large bowl. Add 6 cups flour, 2 cups at a time. Knead on a floured surface until smooth, adding another 1/2 to 1 cup flour if needed. Cover and let rise until doubled, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. To prepare the filling, combine walnuts, sugar and nutmeg in a medium bowl; mix well.
  3. To assemble, separate dough into 5 pieces. On a floured surface, roll each piece into a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Brush each with 1⁄4 cup butter and sprinkle 11/2 cups filling on top. Roll up to form a 15-inch roll. Repeat with remaining dough. Place on baking sheets 2 inches apart. Cover and let rise 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until golden. Brush lightly with remaining butter, if desired. Place on wire racks to cool before slicing each roll into 15 pieces.

—Robert Shranko, Prescott, Ariz.

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