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“Kolaches—soft dough surrounding a sweet filling, served for breakfast or as a treat with coffee—are popular in Texas, where they were introduced by the state's Czech immigrants. In this version, a beet-vanilla filling is a springtime twist on classic flavors like strawberry or poppy seed; the posipka (crumble topping) is made with goat cheese.”
1 cup low-fat milk, warmed to 110°F
1 package active dry yeast (about 2¼ teaspoons)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar plus ½ cup, divided
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
3 large eggs, divided
2½ cups bread flour
1 cup white whole-wheat flour plus 3 tablespoons, divided
4 ounces golden and/or red beets (about 2 small)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1 tablespoon water
1Preheat oven to 375°F.
2Pour milk into a medium bowl and sprinkle with yeast and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; stir to combine. Set aside until bubbles appear on the surface, about 10 minutes.
3Cream 7 tablespoons butter, ½ cup granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Add 1 egg and the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
4Swap the paddle for the dough hook. With the mixer on medium-low, add bread flour, ½ cup at a time, until the mixture begins to come together. Gradually add 1 cup whole-wheat flour, scraping down the sides as needed, just until the dough starts to pull away from the sides. (The dough will be sticky.) Knead on medium-low until smooth and slightly shiny, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased large bowl. Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
5Meanwhile, wrap beets in foil and roast in a small baking pan until tender when pierced with a knife, 40 to 50 minutes. Unwrap and let cool. Peel the beets and cut into large chunks. Transfer to a food processor and add the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, the remaining 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites), vanilla and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Pulse a couple times until combined. Set aside.
6Mix the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, 3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour and ⅛ teaspoon salt in a small bowl with brown sugar and goat cheese until crumbly. Set aside.
7Punch down the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them, equally spaced, in a greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cover and let rise until the balls are touching, about 30 minutes.
8Whisk the reserved egg whites with water in a small bowl. Brush the dough with the mixture. Using your index fingers and thumbs, start in the center of a dough ball and press outward to form a 1-inch deep rectangular bowl about 2 inches long. Fill with 2 teaspoons of the reserved beet filling. Repeat with the remaining dough balls and filling. Sprinkle the filling with the reserved goat cheese mixture.
9Bake the kolaches until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.
To make ahead: Store in an airtight container for up to 1 day.
Equipment: Stand mixer with paddle attachment & dough hook