Saturday, October 8, 2011

VeganMoFo V: Texas Sized Kolaches

Most people are completely unaware of how culturally rich Texas is.  They don't call it Six Flags Over Texas for nothing.  Texas was dominated by so many countries in its early history that, depending on where you live, the cuisine and culture is completely different.  Texas Hill Country has a lot of German and Czech influence.  One of the glorious things the immigrants brought with them is kolaches.  Traditional kolaches are sweet with fruity fillings.  However, Texans have really adapted them as their own, adding savory fillings out the wazoo.

Kolaches hold a special place in my heart because my mom always makes them for the holidays.  She would fill them with eggs, potatoes, sausage, and cheese.  They really remind me of being home.  Plus, my mom proved that she is the absolute greatest because when I became vegan, she'd make three batches of the stuff: one for the omnis, a vegetarian version, and a vegan batch for me.

Honestly, these can be filled with anything.  Some combos that I like: scramble/potato/sausage, cheese/tempeh bacon, sausage/jalapeno/cheese, and sausage/cabbage/apple.  This dough makes a lot.  I'm not kidding when I say this is a meal in a bun.  Feel free to half it...or even make 24 instead of 12.  I like to make a dozen for Era and I to take for breakfast in the mornings.

this has apple, cabbage, cranberries, and onions in it.
Texas Kolaches
(makes 12)

Feel free to fill with whatever you want.  This is just how I filled it today.

2 cups non dairy milk
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup vegetable shortening
¼ cup non dairy margarine
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 ½ tsp salt
5-6 cups unbleached all purpose flour

12 sausages (I used my chipolata recipe)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced in half moons
2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste

Make the filling first.  Follow the directions for the sausages.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the onions, and cook until they just start to brown.  Add the apples and cabbage.  Cook until tender.  Add the garlic, salt, and pepper.  Stir in the cranberries, and remove from the heat.

Now, make the dough.  Heat the milk, sugar, shortening, and margarine in a medium saucepan until everything is melted.  Let cool until lukewarm.  Add the yeast, and pour into a large bowl.  Mix in the salt and 5 cups of flour.  Mix until combined, adding a little flour at a time until the dough is soft but easy to work with.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Place into a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size (about an hour).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 2 cookie sheets.  Punch down the dough, and divide it into 12.  Roll each ball out until you get a 5 or 6 inch circle.  Put a portion of the apple mixture inside, place a sausage on top, and wrap it up.  Be sure to pinch the seams.  Turn it seam side down, and make three slices in the dough.  Repeat with the remaining batch.

Brush the tops with vegan egg whites (2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup water, heated until smooth and viscous).  Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

This is one of my favorite food memories because it reminds me so much of childhood and togetherness.  Whenever I'm feeling homesick, I think of dishes like this that provide me a little piece of home.

Tomorrow, I had something planned, but I'm gonna have to do a Mandy Moore Sunday!  More details coming soon...


Rachel Hallows said...

I lived in Texas for 16 years and can't recall ever having kolaches. Then again, I wasn't a very adventurous eater at that time. These look amazing! I might have to try them soon.

coldandsleepy said...

Those look amazing. I will eat ANYTHING if you put it in a bun like that.

celyn said...

These look so good! I bet they freeze well, too? said...

Wow, those look amazing!

Anonymous said...

This is so awesome! I think kolaches might be linguistically related to our (Austrian, that is) Kolatschen (or sometimes Golatschen) - but those are sweet! They come with fruit or cheesecake-like fillings and are usually served with the afternoon coffee.
Now I really must make those savoury cousins of theirs!

Stacey said...

Growing up in Iowa I remember the pastry style kolaches and was surprised to find savory kolaches when I moved to Houston. Thanks for sharing your story and recipe!

Jenny said...

I'm a fan of most things Texas, so I'm sure I'd like these, too!

Mandee said...

I didn't know that about Texas, I love learning new things via VeganMoFo! I've never heard of kolaches but they look so good and the filling you made sounds delish!

Aissa-sah said...

I live in San Antonio and made these a few weeks ago. They were amazing. Coming up with new fillings... Let me know next time you are in town...