Six cherry cheese kolaches on a wooden cutting boardA single cherry cheese kolaches on a small white plateA tray of 6 cherry cheese kolaches fresh from the oven with a chef's knife to the left

Cherry Kolaches

Kolaches are pillowy Czech pastries that resemble Danishes and are filled with either a sweet or savory center. We went with the former with cream cheese and cherry fillings and a sweet streusel crumble topping. Czech kolaches were traditionally served in the afternoon as a snack and at events like weddings, but we think you can enjoy them any time. They’re especially enjoyable with a cup of coffee or tea!

Prep

3 ½ hours

Cook

25 minutes

Total

4 hours

Yield

12 Kolaches

Six cherry cheese kolaches on a wooden cutting boardA single cherry cheese kolaches on a small white plateA tray of 6 cherry cheese kolaches fresh from the oven with a chef's knife to the left

Ingredients

    Dough

  • 240g (2 cups) All-purpose flour
  • 210g (1 ¾ ) Bread flour
  • 65g (⅓ cup) Sugar
  • 6g (2 tsp) Instant yeast
  • 150g (⅔ cup) Whole milk
  • 62g (¼ cup) Plain yogurt
  • 170 g (¾ cup) Butter, melted & cooled
  • 1 Whole eggs
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 7g (1 ¼ tsp) Fine salt

    Cherry Filling

  • 340g (2 ½ cups) Fresh or frozen cherries
  • 50g (¼ cup) Sugar
  • 70g (¼ cup plus 2 tsp) Water, divided
  • 60g (¼ cup) Lemon juice
  • 5g (1 ½ tsp) Cornstarch

    Cream Cheese Filling

  • 226g (1 cup) Cream cheese
  • 50g (¼ cup) Sugar
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 5g (1tsp) Vanilla Extract

    Streusel Topping

  • 43g (⅓ cup) All-purpose flour
  • 50g (¼ cup) Sugar
  • 28g (2 tbsp) Butter, melted
  • pinch Salt

Instructions

  1. Set up the proofer: Set the proofer to 80°F (27°C) and put the water tray in the middle of the warming plate. Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) water into the tray and place the rack on top of the tray.
  2. Mix the dough: This dough is soft and sticky, and while it can be mixed by hand, we recommend using a stand mixer. To mix by hand: Combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, butter, eggs, and egg yolks. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a smooth elastic dough forms. To mix with mixer: Using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a mixer. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, butter, eggs, and egg yolks. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes until no dry remains. Turn to medium speed and mix for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough will be soft, and somewhat sticky when done.
  3. Bulk fermentation: Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and place in the Folding Proofer for 1 to 1 ½ hours until doubled in size. While the dough proofs, make the fillings. At the end of the bulk fermentation time you can deflate the dough and refrigerate overnight to finish the next day if desired. The dough will firm up and be easier to handle after chilling.
  4. Make the cherry filling: Combine the cherries, sugar, 60g (¼ cup) of water, and lemon juice for cherry filling in a saucepan. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes over medium-low heat, occasionally mashing the cherries to break them down. Whisk the cornstarch with 10g (2 tsp) of water then whisk this slurry into the filling. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
  5. Make the cheese filling: Either by hand or mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla together until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Make the streusel: Combine sugar, flour, and salt. Add the melted butter and rub in with fingers until a sandy mixture forms. Set aside.
  7. Divide & shape: Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces (about 85g each) and shape into rounds. Line two ¼ sheet pans (9 ½ x 13"/ 24 x 33cm) with parchment and place 6 rounds per pan.
  8. Final proof: Place the pans into the Folding Proofer with the accessory shelf, and proof at 80°F (27°C) for 1 to 1 ½ hours. (Near the end of the proofing time, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C)
  9. Fill the dough: Using two fingers firmly press an circular well about 2 inches in diameter into the center of each roll. Egg wash the rim of the dough. Fill the indentation with cream cheese and then the cherry filling. Sprinkle the kolaches with the streusel.
  10. Bake: Bake the kolaches at 350°F (177°C) for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Six cherry cheese kolaches on a wooden cutting boardA single cherry cheese kolaches on a small white plateA tray of 6 cherry cheese kolaches fresh from the oven with a chef's knife to the left