Maddie and Mitchell from Madison, WI (2018 Week 7: Sweet Dough)


Maddie and Mitchell


Madison, WI

Baking Challenge

Sweet Buns

Give your creation a name – and tell us about your recipe.

Great Grandma's Czech Kolaches

For this week's sweet bun bake, we decided to get back to our ancestral roots and make a Czech filled pastry. Our family just rediscovered my great grandmother's handwritten recipe for kolaches in her old notebook. The recipe was clearly meant just for her reference, as it did not include details such as yield (we ended up with 46!), how to shape them, proof time, baking temperature, or baking time. This meant we had our own technical challenge, just as Mary and Paul provide the bakers on the show with few directions! It took us at least five times reading through my great grandmother's notes to figure out exactly how to make the dough!

Family favorite kolache toppings include cherry, poppy seed, and prune. Unfortunately, we did not have my great grandmother's recipes for kolache toppings, so we looked some up online.

We ultimately made four different fillings to top our 46 kolaches: Door County cherry, poppy seed, apricot, and cream cheese.

Now that you’ve survived this challenge, what words of wisdom can you share?

When you come across old family recipes, give them a try!
While we were a bit apprehensive at first about how they would turn out given the brevity of the recipe, they turned out great. Even if they had not, the experience still would have been worth it. It was so wonderful following the guidance of my great grandmother's recipe scrawled in cursive, and to give something a try that didn't come from the internet.

Tell us about how you added a Wisconsin twist.

Both of our families have ancestors that settled in Wisconsin after leaving the Bohemian region of Czechoslovakia. After many generations here making kolaches, it has become one of our own Wisconsin recipes. For ingredients, we used Door County cherries for one of our fillings, as well as Wisconsin butter.

How did you do?

Absolutely lovely.