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Made with sweet yeast dough, these fruit-filled pastries were featured in our June/July 2009 special issue about the food wonders of Texas. Kolaches, which are Eastern European in origin, can be filled with just about any fruit, from blueberries to apricots.

Yield: makes 16 pastries

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 19 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
  • 12 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (1/4-oz.) package active dry yeast
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus 2 tbsp. melted
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 12 cups flour
  • 34 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Combine berries, 12 tbsp. sugar, lemon juice, and 1⁄4 cup water in a 2-qt. pan over medium-high heat. Cook until thick, 8–10 minutes. Remove from heat; mash berries until chunky; let cool. In a bowl, stir the yeast, 1 tsp. sugar, and 1⁄2 cup water heated to 115°; let sit until foamy. In a large bowl, beat softened butter and 3 tbsp. sugar until combined. Add salt and egg yolk; beat until smooth. Add yeast mixture, 3 1⁄4 cups flour, and milk; form a dough. Knead dough in bowl to form a ball. Cover bowl with a towel; set aside in a warm place to let rise, about 1 hour. To make crumb topping, combine remaining sugar, 1 tbsp. melted butter, and remaining flour in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 375°. Divide dough into 16 balls; arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap; let rise for 30 minutes. Using back of a spoon, make an indentation in each ball. Spoon 1 tbsp. filling into each; sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake until golden, 30–35 minutes.

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