Houston Ham and Cheese Kolaches

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“This recipe is not EXACTLY like they have around here, but I am working on it. This will give you a really good idea of what we bring home from a donut shop in and around Houston. These breakfast treats come from the Czech immigrants who settled the Texas Hill Country (between Houston and Austin and around Austin), and frequently come in a fruit type (dimpled and filled, like a danish) that is also available up North, and meat (which apparently doesn't exist anywhere else but around here in Texas). Ham and cheese has always been one of my favorites. The amount of flour you use will greatly depend on whether you are making this in or around Houston right before or after a rainstorm, as I always seem to; or if you are making it someplace with a normal, low level of humidity. Start the sponge the night before.”
2hrs 45mins
32 kolaches

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. SPONGE: Mix together yeast and 2 cups of flour. Add the rest of the sponge ingredients. Mix with spoon until thoroughly combined and then put in your refrigerator overnight. (this time is not in the cook time).
  2. The next morning, stir the sponge lightly and add the salt. Begin adding flour until it forms into a dough ball. If there is little humidity, this could be as little as one cup. If you are here in Houston, I usually end up putting in a couple and then kneading another half cup.
  3. Once you have a doughball, Let it rest for 20 minutes.
  4. Knead for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface, adding flour as needed. The dough should be very easy to knead, fairly loose.
  5. Place kneaded dough into a bowl, lightly oiled and turn dough so that it is covered with oil. Let it rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Meanwhile, mix together ham and cheese.
  6. Punch down dough.
  7. Divide into 32 small balls (divide in half, then divide in half again, and again, etc.). Take each ball and flatten with your hand to a 3" circle. Place one tablespoon ham and cheese mixture into the center of each circle and close into a ball, twisting the opening closed. Make sure the opening is well sealed, or the kolaches will burst open in the oven.
  8. Place filled balls seam side down onto greased cookie sheets (I use 2). Cover and let rise again for half an hour. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  9. Brush kolaches with melted butter. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden colored. You don't want these to get brown, or they will be too dry. Just golden, like biscuits or dinner rolls.
  10. Baked kolaches can be frozen, thawed, and reheated in the microwave.

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