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Makes twelve 4-inch buns

10½ hours 40 minutes active, plus cooling

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A kolache (pronounced koh-LAH-chee) is a rich, tender yeasted bun with a center hollow that traditionally is filled with sweet cheese and fruit before baking. Czech in origin, kolaches were brought to the U.S. by immigrants from Central Europe who settled in the Great Plains during the 1800s. We fill the buns with spoonfuls of lemon-scented sweetened cream cheese plus jam, then finish them with a dusting of crumb topping (you can skip the topping; the buns still will be delicious). Use one or multiple varieties of jam (blueberry and apricot were our favorites). So the kolaches can be served freshly baked for breakfast or brunch, we developed this recipe to be made over the course of a couple days, so plan accordingly. First, make the dough, let it rise until almost doubled, then refrigerate it (for up to 24 hours) to slow down the yeast’s activity. The next morning, shape the chilled dough, let it rise for 1 to 1½ hours, then fill and bake the buns. The kolaches are best the day of baking but will keep overnight, covered and stored at room temperature.

Makes twelve

4-inch buns


Don’t add more flour to the dough during mixing; the dough should feel sticky. When portioning and shaping it, it’s fine to dust the counter and your hands to make the dough workable, but use only as much flour as is needed. And be sure to keep the cream cheese filling and jam refrigerated until needed. Cold fillings stay in place better during baking.

10½ hours

40 minutes active, plus cooling

For the dough

  • 2

    large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks, room temperature


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Hannah P.
January 16, 2024
Easier Than Expected
Don't let the number of steps scare you. Easy to follow recipe and worth the time for a nice breakfast pastry.
Louise P.
January 5, 2024
Authentic tasting Kolaches
My husband has often spoken fondly of the kolaches that his Czech grandmother used to make, so I was keen to try this recipe. He loved them - said they were just like he remembered them. The next time that I make them, I'll try making them half the size but with the same amount of cheese and jam in each Kolache, just so the ratio of filling to pastry is higher. These are so beautiful, tender and delicious - a fun project! Thanks for this recipe!
Lynn P.
December 25, 2023
I had to switch up when I retarded the dough to fit my time schedule. I did the initial proof, then shaped the pastries and put the tray in the fridge for a 12-hour stint because I read that shaped dough can't handle as long of a retardation period as unshaped dough. When I pulled them out of hibernation, they hadn't risen whatsoever, so I put them in my oven with the light on and they rose perfectly. The dough is crazy rich, and the color is very yellow because I used eggs from my backyard chickens -- beautiful! I made four flavors -- wild blackberry, apricot-passion fruit, raspberry-habanero, and calamondin marmalade, all which came from my yard. I will definitely be making these again!
Kathy D.
December 19, 2023
Freezing works!
I made a double batch and froze the leftovers individually wrapped and they were delicious. A few seconds in the microwave had them tasting like they were fresh from the oven.
Linda N.
December 14, 2023
I made these and they are wonderful! Has anyone made them and then froze them for a few weeks? Since it takes 2 days to make, I’d like to prepare them and freeze for a future brunch.