Lydia Faust's Texas Kolaches
Like smoked sausage and brisket, kolaches (pronounced ko-LAH-tch, with no “-ee,” in local parlance) are among the iconic foods of Central Texas, where German and Czech immigrants settled in the early 1900s. A kolache is a yeasted bread filled with a topping, which can be sweet or savory. Lydia Faust has made a name for herself in the town of Snook, Texas for her exquisitely tender, buttery kolaches. Faust once ran a bakery selling them, and now she leads an annual kolache making workshop to help carry on the tradition. Locals of all ages and baking experience levels come to the workshop (held in an elementary school) to bake dozens and dozens of kolaches under her watch. Her recipe, adapted here, is a fun weekend baking project that even amateurs can pull off. There are a few different filling choices (each one makes two cups) and an optional streusel topping—pick one or mix and match. The recipe makes three dozen kolaches, perfect for sharing.