Apple Cream Cheese Kolache
After our trip to Austin, I gained a lot of inspiration. The food culture in this town is eclectic, fun and passionate. We ate a lot while we were there and between the awesome local chains, farmers markets and specialty shops, I was excited to get back into the kitchen and see where this town has taken me. I was especially excited about the Kolaches. I thought after living in NYC, there wasn't any international pastry I haven't heard of, but I was totally wrong. Kolaches are traditionally Czech and have a long heritage in Texas. You can find them in most bakeries and donut shops there. And they are delicious. I have never seen or heard of a Kolache in NYC! Though when I got back, I googled it and apparently there are 2 shops in Brooklyn that specializes in them! Who knew! I cannot vouch for them, but the ones in Texas are good. So in hopes of fusing the idea of Kolaches into my world, I'm making Apple Cream Cheese Kolaches. I made them with a dough I'm more familiar with, milk bread and added a burst of fall flavors.
This is by no means a traditional Kolache recipe. It's not from a Czech grandma or bakery. But The spirit of the Kolache is there. I'm going to call this a Asian Texas Fusion because fusion is big now and because I can never get enough milk bread! Seriously, it's kinda becoming a problem for my muffin top.
The Kolaches I tried we fluffy on the inside, but the outside had a bit of a chew. Using the milk bread dough, these Kolaches came out soft and feathery. This dough is adapted from the woks of life blog; it's super easy to make and really versatile. If properly mixed, the dough is tacky, but not sticky. So it won't stick to your hands or work surface. It will cling a bit to the bowl once its risen, but a quick sweep of the fingers and it all comes off.
Creating the well for these buns are key. Create a deep enough well so that your filling will stay... filled. Not deep enough and once the dough rises, your filling is going to slide right off in the oven...trust me... I know. Not that it won't be delicious either way, but lets keep it on the inside.
Baked up these are golden brown, fluffy and filled with apple and cream cheese. They really look quite impressive! I can't get enough!
Apple Cream Cheese Kolache
Yields 15 buns
For the bun
- ⅔ cupheavy cream
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoon milk
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup sugar
- ½ cup cake flour
- 3½ cups bread flour plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoons salt
- Egg wash: whisk together 1 egg with 1 teaspoon water
For the apple filling
- 3 medium apples, finely diced
- 3 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
For the Cream Cheese filling
- 8oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Make the Bun by adding all the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer.
- With the dough hook attachment, mix the dough till combined. Then knead the dough (on a Kitchenaid I like to move this up to level 2) for 15 minutes. Once dough is smooth, and you can see through it with the windowpane test, cover and allow to proof for 1 hour.
- Make the apple filling
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan
- add the apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and water
- Allow to cook down for about 5 minutes or until the apples have softened but aren't mushy.
- Make a slurry with the cornstarch and water. Add the slurry to the bubbling apple mixture and cook for another minute while stirring. Mixture should be thickened. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Make the cream cheese filling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, egg yolk and lemon juice.
- Mixture should be well combined and creamy. Set aside.
- Once the dough has been proofed, punch it down and place on a clean board.
- Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces and shape in rounds. Set aside and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Once rested, place the balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet (13X9). Create wells in the center of the balls by pushing down with a 1/4 cup measure. I also used my fingers to deepen the well. Make sure it's deep enough or else your filling is going to slide right off the top!
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of apple filling into each well. Top it with 1/2 tbsp of cream cheese filling.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.