Dec 11, 2010

Double the dough, half the mess

I am all for efficiency, especially when it comes to cleaning. Why scrub my Kitchen Aid bowl and attachments more than I have to? Last night was pizza night, and instead of doing takeout, I chose to make pizza from scratch. That process starts with the crust, so yesterday afternoon I tried out a new recipe for a thin crispy crust and modified it (I don't have a day or two to let it slowly rise in the fridge.) It was actually pretty good and I'm becoming more convinced that my choice of flour really does have a profound affect on the taste and texture of my yeast breads.

After the dough was mixed and nestled in a greased bowl to double in size, I seized the opportunity to whip up a batch of kolache dough, too.

Before baking
To all my non-Oklahoma or midwestern friends who are wrinkling their brows and wondering WHAT a kolache is, here's the scoop.  Kolache (or kolacky, spell it as you wish) is a yeast bread, probably hailing from Czechoslovakia (there's a Polish version too), and it's pronounced ko-LAH-chee. My paternal grandma made them and she filled her light little pillows of sweet dough with prunes (yes, prunes), peaches, or a cream cheese mixture, baked them until they were golden and then drizzled a simple glaze on them. Other traditional fillings include fruit (peach, pineapple, blueberry or strawberry) ground poppy seed or cottage cheese/cream cheese blend. (I hear tell some Texans make a savory kolache, with the dough wrapped around sausage and cheese. But I think someone should explain to them we call those "pigs-in-a-blanket." Bless their hearts.)

Let 'em cool for 20 minutes, huh?
These overnight rolls are a scrumptious reminder of special breakfasts long ago, and I don't think I've made them since my boys were pre-school size, which means it's been about two decades too long since I made them.  I departed from tradition and filled mine with chocolate/hazelnut (aka Nutella), guava, and a peach/orange marmalade.

In the end, I dirtied nearly all of my mixer's attachments and several other bowls and pans. But the ginormous Kitchen Aid mixing bowl WAS washed only once. Efficiency reigns triumphant, at least in the battle if not the war. Now to get up those outdoor decorations before the predicted rain/snow begins to fall.

Happy Saturday!