My Grandma Jean used to make us cherry kolaches and they were my very favorite treat. Using all white flour weighed on her conscience, so they were always made with part whole wheat flour. I did the same, adjusting my favorite dough -Julia Moskin’s japanese milk bread- with half whole wheat flour. This recipe makes 18 kolaches, and if you make both cherry and black sesame you will have filling leftover. I’m thinking pop-tarts…
For the Dough:
- 1/3 cup bread flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 lbs. pie cherries, liquid drained and reserved
- 1 cup reserved cherry liquid
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 4 TBSP butter
- 1/4 almond extract, optional
Black Sesame Filling
- 1/2 cup black sesame seeds, toasted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
Make Starter: Combine 1/3 cup bread flour, 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until thickened, whisking constantly. Transfer to mixing bowl.
Make Dough: Combine starter with milk, eggs, sugar and salt in a stand mixer with dough hook. Mix to cool the starter. Add flour and yeast and mix for 5 minutes, until a dough has formed. Add softened butter, one tablespoon at a time and mix until a smooth dough is formed – about 10 minutes. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
Make Cherry filling: Whisk to combine sugar, salt and cornstarch in a medium saucepan. Whisk in 1 cup reserved cherry liquid and lemon juice. Add cherries and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula until very thick and translucent. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and almond extract, if using. Let sit a room temperature until ready to use.
Make Black Sesame filling: Toast sesame seeds in a small skillet. Let cool completely. In a food processor or blender, combine cooled seeds, butter and sugar. Process into a paste.
Grease or line 2 large baking sheets with parchment.
When dough has risen, pinch off pieces of dough a little larger than the size of golf ball, or if using a scale, about 75g per piece. Shape into a ball by hand, then roll on the counter with your palm in a circular motion to even it out. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until you have 18 balls total – 9 on each sheet. Spray with cooking spray, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Assemble kolaches: Make a large indentation in the center of each dough ball, about 2″ in diameter. Fill with about 2 tablespoons of the cherry or black sesame filling. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the bottoms are just starting to brown. Eat while they are warm, or reheat slightly for best eating.