Sweet sausage with creamy brie that’s wrapped in a brioche-like dough, if you haven’t tried kolaches yet make Sausage and Brie Kolaches your first go-around!
Grab your passport, pack a suitcase because we are going on a virtual trip to Prague today!
A few weeks ago I was asked by the wonderfully amazing tour group Eating Europe if I would contribute a recipe using one of their featured cities as my inspiration. After having such an incredible time on my tour with them in Rome last year, it was hard to say no plus I love the opportunity to try another countries cuisine at home.
With the options of London, Rome, Amsterdam and Prague on the table the pick was the Czech Republic – a country that I have never visited and only knew a smidget about their food culture. Why choose a country with no connections you ask? Because it’s fun to explore even if it’s just from the comforts of your home and in your kitchen.
I already knew it was a cuisine that was very meat heavy and they make some fine beer but who needs another recipe for goulash when your grandmother has probably passed down the best one you’ve ever tried.
No, what I wanted was something that I had heard of but it seemed like only the lucky folks of Texas were eating all the time.
Never heard of this funny sounding pastry before? That’s okay because after today, you will be glad you did.
Traditionally a kolache is sweet. It’s made with a slightly sweet yeasted dough and then topped with fruit, usually a jam of some sort. Arranged on a table they can be a rainbow of colors and in the Czech Republic it was generally a mid-day snack. Somewhere along in history as Czech immigrants came to America, so did the kolache and it settled in Texas. I heard about the Texan love for their kolaches from a food writer a few years ago when we attended a writers workshop upstate New York together.
Clearly, this is what I need to make but with my own spin on it. The sweet kolaches sounded great but what I really wanted was a savory one. In my research I saw that a sausage kolache was popular but it was basically a link sausage with dough wrapped around it.
The original bagel dog perhaps? I jest but it wouldn’t do. Cheese and sausage stuffed inside like a little savory pocket on the go? Now that is exactly the kind of meal I wanted. I could even see baking an egg on the inside for the perfect breakfast sandwich and don’t think it won’t happen sometime soon!
12 ounces brie, rind removed and cut into 12 - 1 ounce pieces
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 large egg plus 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment add the flour, instant yeast, salt and sugar. Mix on low speed to combine.
In a small saucepan on medium low heat, melt the butter in the milk and remove when the milk is heated to 110 degrees. Do not let the milk boil, if it’s warmer than 110 degrees, let it sit for a few minutes before it cools down.
With the mixer running on low speed, slowly drizzle the butter/milk combination down the sides of the bowl. Once it’s been added, stop the mixer and add your eggs. Turn the mixer back on to medium-high speed to finish mixing in the all the flour. The dough should be soft and elastic at this point and pull aways from the sides into a ball. Remove the down from the mixer and place on a floured surface, knead it with your hands a few turns and then form into a ball. Place it back into a greased mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel to rise. Let rise in a draft-free and warm space for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. In a saute pan over medium heat drizzle a small amount of neutral oil and add your sausage. Use a spatula to break it up into small pieces and mix in the thyme. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sausage is cooked through and starts to brown. Set aside.
Once the dough has fully risen, punch it down and place on a well floured surface. Divide it into two pieces, keeping the second piece covered while you work with the first. Roll the dough out into a rectangle and about 12 inches in length and 8 inches wide. Cut into 6 even pieces.
Place 1 ounce of brie on each square of dough and then 1/4 cup of sausage filling. Bring up the sides of the dough and pinch in the center to fill. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Let the filled kolaches rise for a second time for 30 minutes. During the second rise heat your oven to 350 degrees.
When the kolaches are finished with their second rise, brush the tops with the egg wash and bake for 25-30 minutes or until they are golden brown on top. Let cool slightly before eating.
Store extra kolaches in the refrigerator in an airtight container.