Kolache are pastries that hold dollops of fruit rimmed by puffy pillows of dough. Originating as a semi-sweet wedding dessert in Central Europe, the kolach has become popular in parts of the United States. We’re hoping SA catches on to this trend soon but, for now, you’ll have to make them at home!


Serves: Makes 20 small kolache
Cooking Time: 1 hr + 3 hrs, to rise


  • Pastry

  • 7g Anchor Instant Yeast
  • 300ml warm milk
  • 115 butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 110g castor sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 500g cake flour
  • egg wash, to brush
  • Lemon curd and poppy seed filling

  • lemon curd, to fill
  • poppy seeds, to sprinkle
  • Roasted strawberries and black pepper filling

  • sliced strawberries, roasted in a little butter and castor sugar in a 180°C for 20 minutes, to fill
  • freshly ground black pepper, to sprinkle
  • Roasted figs and walnut filling

  • quartered figs, roasted in a little butter and castor sugar in a 180°C oven for 20 minutes, to fill
  • small handful toasted walnuts, roughly chopped, to sprinkle
  • icing sugar, to dust



In a large bowl, combine the yeast, milk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla essence and lemon zest. Beat well to combine, 5 minutes.


Sift the castor sugar, salt and cake flour together. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to form a soft, but not sticky dough that should be easily workable. On a lightly floured surface or in a mixer fitted with a dough hook, knead the dough until smooth and springy, about 10 minutes.


Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Allow to rise in a warm place until double in size, about 2 hours.


Punch down the dough and knead briefly. Roll out on a floured surface to 1cm thickness and cut into 5cm rounds. Reroll the scraps. Place the rounds on a piece of greased wax paper on a baking tray. Cover the rounds with a damp tea towel and allow to rise, 1 hour and 30 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 180°C. When the dough has risen, gently press your thumb into the centre to make a hollow. Brush with egg wash.


Bake in the oven until golden and risen, 20 - 25 minutes.


Allow to cool a little. Fill one third of the pastries with lemon curd and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Fill another third with roasted strawberries and a crack of black pepper. Fill the final third with roasted figs. Sprinkle with walnuts and finish with a dusting of icing sugar.

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