Kolace (Sweet Buns)
A few years ago I went on a camping trip to the Czech Republic with a group of teenagers from Norwich and Luton. We were the guests of a local group for young people and we stayed at a campsite near Brno, the second city of the Czech Republic. It was an excellent holiday and our hosts did well to cater for a group of English people that included both vegetarians and vegans.
During my time there I wanted to find out more about Czech cooking. It's not the most exciting cuisine in the world but since I got back I have made these delicious buns.
250ml of milk
80g caster sugar
2 sachets of dry yeast
500g sifted flour
50g butter, melted but cooled
2 egg yolks, whisked
1 egg for glazing, whisked
Jar of jam (plum jam is usually used)
1. Warm 100ml of the milk in a pan. Add a tablespoon of the caster sugar and add to yeast. Whisk, cover and leave for about 10 minutes.
2. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the butter, egg yolks and the remaining milk, caster sugar and the yeast liquid. Mix together with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes. Dust with flour, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 2 hours.
3. When the dough is doubled in size, use a tablespoon to cut out large pieces and place on floured surface. Roll each into a ball of about 4-5cm diameter. Pat down flat each ball to a thickness of about 2cm. Make a deep indent in each one with a finger knuckle.
4. Use a teaspoon to put the jam in the indents. Glaze each kolace with beaten egg.
5. Bake at 180C for about 20-25 minutes until golden. Leave to cool and serve.
There are other toppings including poppy seeds and curd cheese. I've haven't got around to doing these yet.