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Sourdough Kolaches

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Sourdough Kolaches are a yeasted thumbprint pastry made with a sweet enriched dough and topped with a fruit jam and streusel. This sweet treat is a great recipe to use with your sourdough starter!

Sourdough Kolaches are a yeasted pastry made with sweet enriched dough, topped with jam & streusel. A great recipe with your sourdough starter!
baked kolaches with sourdough starter on baking tray
white platter filled with sourdough kotaches

Have you ever heard of a kolache? This yeasted pastry is similar to a danish but the dough is yeasted and not laminated. These delicious treats can be filled with a sweet fruit filling or a savory filling, too! 

These became popular in Texas, where many Czech immigrants settled. You can now find these beauties in bakeries and gas stations and are synonymous with road trips in Texas!

I love finding new and unexpected ways to use my sourdough starter, and this recipe is a perfect example! Kolaches are traditionally made with a yeasted dough, so it is only natural to use a wild leavening instead of traditional yeast.

baked kolaches with sourdough starter on baking tray

Sourdough Kolaches 

These pastries don’t have a strong sourdough taste, but the sourdough here gives a nice deep flavor that is built in part from a naturally leavened dough. This dough is a soft and smooth dough and easy to work with even though it is a little sticky. 

three plates with sourdough kolaches and blueberry filling

How to make this recipe

This recipe is very simple to make! Here is a brief overview of the recipe to give you an idea of how it works. For the full set of directions and measurements, please make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below!

  1. Place the uncooked bulgur in a medium sized saucepan with the water. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook until the bulgur is cooked through, about 12 minutes.
  2. Chop the parsley, cucumber, tomato, mint and green onion.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette dressing.
  4. When the bulgur is done, strain any excess water out.
  5. Place the cooked bulgur, chopped vegetables and herbs, and vinaigrette in a large mixing bowl and toss to coat.
  6. Cover with a lid and chill for at least 1 hour, or until ready to serve.

Mixing Kolache Dough

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sourdough starter, sour cream, melted butter, and sugar until combined.
  2. Add in the salt and slowly add in the flour, ½ cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go, until the dough combines together and is smooth and firm but still slightly sticky. If you need to add a little extra flour to make the consistency right, go ahead. I have noticed the temperature and humidity levels affect how much flour I need. Don’t add too much flour or your pastries will end up being too tough, but go ahead and add enough to make the dough smooth but only slightly sticky.
  3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
collage showing steps to make kolaches dough

Shaping the Kolache

  1. Flour your counter and hands to work with the dough, as it will be sticky. Dump out the dough onto your counter and evenly divide the dough into 24 balls, roughly the size of the golf balls.
  2. Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, with a good 2-3” in between each ball.
  3. Use a drinking glass to gently flatten the balls.
  4. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Use a spoon (or well floured fingers) to make an indention in the dough. Don’t be stingy, you want a good indentation that will hold a good amount of filling and also stay through the rising and baking.
  6. Fill the indentations with about 1 Tablespoon of jam or fruit pie filling.
  7. Cover the kolaches with a clean kitchen towel and allow the kolaches to rest for 1 hour.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
collage showing how to shape kolache pastries

Make the Struesel and Bake

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar and flour.
  2. Mix in the melted butter until the mixture is sandy and well incorporated.
  3. Sprinkle the streusel over the proofed kolaches.
  4. Bake the kolaches for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  5. Remove to a wire rack to cool, and then enjoy!
collage showing steps to make and bake kolaches

Variations to make

What is so great about Kolaches is that you can do so many variations! 

Sweet ideas:

  • You can use any flavor of jam or fruit based pie filling to fill your kolaches – just make sure it is nice and thick jam.
  • You can use a poppy seed filling, too.
  • Combine your fruit filling with a cream cheese 

Savory ideas:

  • Fill these with any combination of sausage, cheese, sauerkraut and eggs that you like!
  • If you make a savory version, instead of making a circle of pastry dough, wrap your savory fillings more like a pig in a blanket. 
tray holding freshly baked blueberry kolaches with streusel

What kind of sourdough starter do I need for this recipe?

This recipe uses a fed and active sourdough starter. You will need to feed your starter and then have it be bubbly and active before making this recipe. 

For reference on how to properly feed your sourdough starter and how to know when it is active, read the article Feeding Your Sourdough Starter.

cooling tray with a kolache with bite taken out

Storage information

These kolaches can be stored in a covered container on the counter for up to 3 days.

Other Eastern European recipes your family will love:

graphic for sourdough course - reads "new to sourdough? learn the skills to impress your family and friends with your sourdough baking. Click here".
plates filled with kolaches stacked

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baked kolaches with sourdough starter on baking tray

Sourdough Kolaches

Sourdough Kolaches are a yeasted pastry made with sweet enriched dough, topped with jam & streusel. A great recipe with your sourdough starter!
4.20 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 24 pastries
Calories: 410kcal
Author: Jenni – The Gingered Whisk

Ingredients

Kolaches

  • 1 cup sourdough starter 100% hydration, fed and active
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 3-4 cups flour or more, if your dough is still really wet
  • 1.5 cups jam flavor of your choice, just make sure its thicker in texture so it doesn’t run

Streusel

  • cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • cup butter melted

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sourdough starter, sour cream, eggs, melted butter, and sugar until combined.
  • Add in the salt and slowly add in the flour, ½ cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go, until the dough combines together and is smooth and firm but still slightly sticky. If you need to add a little extra flour to make the consistency right, go ahead. I have noticed the temperature and humidity levels affect how much flour I need. Don’t add too much flour or your pastries will end up being too tough, but go ahead and add enough to make the dough smooth but only slightly sticky.
  • Cover the dough and place in the fridge overnight.
  • In the morning, prepare the streusel by mixing together the ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Flour your counter and hands to work with the dough, as it will be sticky. Dump out the dough onto your counter and evenly divide the dough into 24 balls, roughly the size of the gold balls.
  • Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, with a good 2-3” in between each ball.
  • Use a drinking glass to gently flatten the balls.
  • Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Use a spoon (or well floured fingers) to make an indention in the dough. Don’t be stingy, you want a good indentation that will hold a good amount of filling and also stay through the rising and baking.
  • Fill the indentations with about 1 Tablespoon of jam or fruit pie filling.
  • Cover the kolaches with a clean kitchen towel and allow the kolaches to rest for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Sprinkle with a little of the streusel over the filling.
  • Bake the kolaches for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool, and then enjoy!

Notes

You can use any flavor of jam, fruir presserves, fruit butter, or fruit based pie filling that you like. Just make sure it is thicker in texture to minimize its running when you bake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 203mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g

(adapted from King Arthur Flour and Teenie Cakes)

26 Comments

  1. Hi Jenni! Greetings from fellow daring baker from Czech Republic! Your koláče looks really pretty. 🙂 Here in Czech Republic we usually make these smaller ones with poppy seed/quark/walnut/plum jam fillings, it's nice to see the interesting unusual flavors made up by people from Texas and also other parts of the world, it is really inspiring for me. I can share some authentic old Czech recipes with you, if you would like to take a trip to the roots of these sourdough sweet treats sometimes. 🙂

    1. Hi Karolina! Oh yes, I love authentic recipes! I would love to try a "real" version of these! 🙂

    2. sorry for being late with my reply! so, send me a message to safarikova.karolina [at] gmail.com whenever you want and I will look up something for you! 🙂

  2. I can't wait to try this version of kolache. Yours do look yummy, perfect for the season!

  3. korenainthekitchen.com says:

    Yum, love your pumpkin version. Good on you for getting these done in between naps and preschool!

  4. riseofthesourdoughpreacher says:

    What a marvellous idea to put the streusel on top of the kolaches
    Thumbs up for your version, I love it!
    Have a lovely day
    Lou

  5. You had me at pumpkin butter 🙂 These look outstanding. I'll be right over… 😉

  6. pizzarossa says:

    Okay, I am going to buy pumpkins today to make purée *just* to make this filling!!! Yum!!!

  7. Pumpkin butter– I have been using pumpkin in everything these days and now I have more inspiration. Thanks!

  8. I love kolaches – whenever I travel to Texas, I make sure to go to The Kolache Shop and stock up 🙂

    These look wonderful!

  9. Hi there. I missed where the 2 eggs should be added. Thanks for sharing a recipe for using up sourdough starter.

    1. Hi! You mix the eggs into the dough in the first step!

  10. How best to store? Very sticky with jam filling.

    1. Store these in an air tight container on the counter. They do best in a single layer, but if you need to stack them, place a sheet of parchment paper in between each layer.

  11. If making a savory version, would you reduce sugar in the dough?

    Also what method would you use to wrap dough around savory fillings?

  12. I tried printing your recipe as it looks really yummy but even though I had the printable version, it just didn’t print. I wonder if you could direct me on the how to get it to print? Thanks very much for posting this and I look forward to making it.

    1. Oh no! Thanks for letting me know! I will check into that. Do you have an ad blocker on? Sometimes some ad blockers block the print out version from loading.

  13. Good recipe. Nice fluffy dough and the tangy taste from the Sourdough and the sour cream really accentuates the pastry. I made these for my Mom and Dad this morning. Made the dough last night of course. Got up to start baking them at 5:30. At around 6:30 my Dad came in complaining at me about waking him up then my mom came in an hour later complaining about the unwashed dishes (not done yet, mom…) But in the end they really enjoyed them… of course.

  14. I want to make these for my family when I travel (fly) back to Texas for Christmas as a surprise. Have you tried freezing them? If so, do they freeze well? I’d need to make them ahead of time and freeze them, but I don’t want to go through the effort if they don’t freeze well. I have froze many kolaches in my lifetime though lol, so I’d think it’d be fine?

    1. I have frozen them a few times and they worked well!

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