2 cups lukewarm milk (110°F-115°F)
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast (4 ½ teaspoons)
½ cup instant potato flakes
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons salt
5 ½ - 6 cups bread or all-purpose flour, divided
¼ cup butter, melted
2 (15-ounce) cans tart pitted cherries
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup corn starch
Red food color, few drops
In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle, combine lukewarm milk and yeast; let stand 5 – 10 minutes until foamy.
Stir in potato flakes, sugar, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth then gradually add remaining flour until a soft, fairly sticky dough forms.
Exchange paddle for dough hook; knead 8 – 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Place dough in bowl that has been lightly coated with nonstick spray, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
While dough rises, prepare filling. Drain cherries; set aside the juice. In a saucepan add cherries and sugar; heat to boil. Mix cornstarch with ¼ cup of juice and stir into boiling cherries. Stir until thickened. (May add more cornstarch and juice mixture if needed to get a thick pie filling consistency.) Stir in a few drops of red food coloring to get a pretty red color. Cool to room temperature.
Punch down dough. Form dough into 1 ½” balls. Place 3 inches apart on greased or parchment-lined baking sheets. Brush balls with melted butter. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let balls rise until puffy, about 30 – 40 minutes.
While dough is rising, preheat oven to 400°F.
Flatten the center of each ball until the dough is quite thin, leaving a narrow ring of dough like a wheel around it. Put 1 – 2 tablespoons filling into the center of the flattened dough.
Bake kolaches 10 – 12 minutes, or until lightly browned and the internal temperature is 190°F – 200°F.
When the kolaches are done baking, brush them with melted butter and set aside to cool.
Yield: About 36 kolaches.
Kansas Wheat Commission Test Kitchen Note: Two (21-ounce) cans of cherry pie filling may be substituted for the cherry filling recipe.
Test Kitchen Tip: For a moist, tender roll, avoid the temptation to add more flour. The dough will be fairly sticky after kneading but will become easier to handle after the first rise.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING (1 KOLACHE, 73g): 140 calories, 2g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 15mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 28g total carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 11g total sugars, 4g protein, 3mcg folate, 0mg vitamin C, 0mg iron.