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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!

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.

Other dessert recipes you can make with your sourdough starter:

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 is a fairly straightforward recipe to make. For the full set of instructions, please make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below, but here is a brief overview:

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

Other Eastern European recipes your family will love:

plates filled with kolaches stacked

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Yield: 24 pastries

Sourdough Kolaches

baked kolaches with sourdough starter on baking tray

Sourdough Kolaches are a yeasted pastry made with sweet enriched dough, topped with jam & streusel. A great recipe with your sourdough starter!

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Kolaches

  • 1 cup sourdough starter, 100% hydration, fed and active
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 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

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/6 cup butter, melted

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sourdough starter, sour cream, eggs, 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 and place in the fridge overnight.
  4. In the morning, prepare the streusel by mixing together the ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. Place the balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, with a good 2-3” in between each ball.
  7. Use a drinking glass to gently flatten the balls.
  8. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  9. 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.
  10. Fill the indentations with about 1 Tablespoon of jam or fruit pie filling.
  11. Cover the kolaches with a clean kitchen towel and allow the kolaches to rest for 1 hour.
  12. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  13. Sprinkle with a little of the streusel over the filling.
  14. Bake the kolaches for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  15. 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 Information:

Yield:

24 pastries

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 410Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 203mgCarbohydrates: 75gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram, and don't forget to tag #gingeredwhisk.

(adapted from King Arthur Flour and Teenie Cakes)

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Liz

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

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

Jenni

Tuesday 24th of November 2020

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

Barbara Bakes

Sunday 24th of November 2013

We love kolaches are our house too.

Richard Randall

Saturday 23rd of November 2013

They look fantastic.

Cher Rockwell

Friday 22nd of November 2013

I love kolaches - whenever I travel to Texas, I make sure to go to The Kolache Shop and stock up :-)

These look wonderful!

Rachel Hammer

Thursday 21st of November 2013

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

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