Tangzhong Kolaches #BreadBakers

Our BreakBakers theme for this month (hosted by Karen's Kitchen Stories) was to bake a bread using a tangzhong, which is a roux of flour and water (or sometimes milk), which is cooked, cooled, and then added to the bread dough. It has the desirable effect of turning almost any dough into soft and fluffy bread. The tangzhong helps the dough hold onto moisture and stay fresh and works for all manner of applications from bread to rolls to pastries. As I looked for recipes I figured, what would be better suited for an even more soft and fluffy result than a pastry known for being soft and fluffy! Kolaches are exactly that: soft and fluffy Czech pastries filled with cheese or fruit.

They are sometimes topped with a streusel called a posypka topping among other names, depending on the region.  Not absolutely required but definitely tasty!  Having never tried one before, I was happy to give the recipe a go!  They did not disappoint.  The only thing I would change is to make 8-10 instead of 6.  At six per batch, you have to split them with someone!  But SO fluffy!  I might consider docking the center as well: this was extremely happy dough.  Flatten that center well... well.

Tangzhong Kolaches
makes 6-10
3 tbsp water (43g)
3 tbsp milk (43g)
2 tbsp flour (14g)

2½ cups (335g) flour (may a few tbsp need more if adding sourdough starter or using an extra large egg)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp + 1 tsp (30g) sugar
2 tsp (6g) instant yeast
optional - 1 spoonful sourdough starter
4 tbsp (56.5)g unsalted butter softened to almost melted
1 large egg at room temperature
½ cup (245g) warm milk about 115ºF
Extra butter for brushing dough

Posypka topping (streusel):
¼ cup flour (35 grams)
1 tbsp sugar (12 grams)
Tiny pinch of salt
4 tsp cold butter (18 grams), cut into small chunks

4 oz cream cheese, softened (114 grams) (Quark is an oft-used option)
2 tbsp sugar (25 grams)
½ of an egg yolk
~½ tsp lemon zest
~1/8 tsp vanilla
Raspberry preserves (optional)

To make the tangzhong: Whisk together the 2 tbsp flour, 3 tbsp milk and 3 tbsp water in a small saucepan until smooth. Place over medium heat and whisk for about 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and whisk leaves a trail on the bottom of the saucepan. Scrape into the bowl of a stand mixer (or another bowl if you wish) and let cool slightly.
To the bowl add the milk and starter if using, and whisk together.  Add the 2½ cups flour, salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Add the softened butter and the egg and stir to make very soft dough.  Place the bowl on the mixer stand and begin kneading with the dough hook. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.  If the dough is too sticky, add flour 2 tbsp at a time while the machine kneads, until the dough no longer clings to the side of the bowl. This should be Goldilocks dough: not too sticky, not too dry; just a perfect, easy to handle, smooth dough.

Cover the dough and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours.
Turn the dough onto the counter or a pastry mat. The dough should be workable by hand with no sticking, but if for some reason it is sticky you can flour the the counter or your hands. Divide the dough into 6-10 equal portions. Shape each into a ball by folding in the sides and corners a few times. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet.  

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour.

While rising, mix together ingredients for the Posypka Topping and the cream cheese filling:
Posypka Directions: In a small bowl, mix together flour, sugar and salt. Toss the butter with the flour mixture and rub it in with your fingers until it is a powdery streusel.  Work the crumbs until they stick together in clumps that are the size you desire.  Chill to hold the crumbs in that size range.
Cream Cheese Filling – Mix together softened cream cheese and sugar, then stir in the egg yolk. Mix well, adding the lemon zest and vanilla.
Preheat oven to 400ºF.  If you’d like to introduce steam into the oven (to help with rise and promote a soft crust), put an empty cast iron skillet on the bottom rack.  Make an indentation in each risen ball and fill with filling.  (I used a combination of cheese filling and preserves for mine.)

Sprinkle with posypka topping. Let rise for about 10 minutes or so.  Once the oven is preheated, carefully pour about 2 or 3 cups of cold water into the hot skillet for steam.  (This step is optional.)
Bake Kolaches for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350º and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until very lightly browned and baked through.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



    Be sure to check out the rest of the fluffy bakes:


  1. What an amazing recipe. I am serving these up with brunch over the holidays.Thanks so much.

  2. "Happy dough!" Love that!! What a great bread for using a tangzhong.

    1. I love happy dough. And it definitely doubled down on the soft and fluffy!

  3. What a great idea to use this tangzhong method with kolaches! They look so soft and tender!

  4. I am a fan of kolaches from way back but yours are some of the most wonderful I've ever seen, Kelly! So pretty!

    1. Oh hooray! Very happy to get a seal of approval from someone who knows!

  5. I am fan of kolaches, you made a beautiful and delicious kolaches. I would love to make it.

  6. What an amazing bread and that filling looks so delicious. Perfectly done.

  7. Wish I could get one of those to have with my teas...yum!

  8. These look and sound amazing! Bookmarking to try during holidays.


Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting, I love hearing from you! If you have any questions I will do my level best to answer them for you.