A new little bakery just opened up within walking distance from our house. The display cases are filled with fresh donuts, bread, and kolaches. If I close my eyes, I think I can smell them from my living room. The kolaches from this bakery actually inspired today’s recipe. I know many of you are looking at my pictures saying, “Wait! Those aren’t kolaches!” In most places, these are either called pigs in a blanket or klobasniky. The name kolache is reserved for pastries filled with non-meat fillings (usually fruit).
Where I live, kolaches refer to pastries stuffed with things like cheese, sausage, ham, jalapeño, eggs, etc. I’ve even seen kolaches stuffed with pepperoni, much like a mini-stromboli. My favorite is the sausage, jalapeño, and cheese kolache.
These savory kolaches are still made with a sweet dough. It’s not overly sweet, but it’s one of the main reasons why these kolaches are so good.
The dough takes a little while to prepare since it requires a chilling period. Because of this, it’s definitely not a last-minute breakfast option. However, these kolaches can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days and reheated for a quick breakfast. Best of all, they taste just as good when they are reheated compared to fresh out of the oven.
Or dare I say it… Even better.
This sausage and cheese kolache recipe makes about 15 kolaches. If you like a little heat, you can add julienned jalapeños to the filling. To tell the kolaches apart, I added a little slice of jalapeño to the top of the jalapeño kolaches before baking.
I also used smoked cheddar sausage and sliced American cheese. It’s important to use a smoked or cooked sausage, because raw sausage won’t cook fully inside the kolaches. I used Eckrich Cheddar Smokey Sausage Links, because they are fully cooked and the perfect size. If you can only find large links, just cut them in half.
Using sliced cheese rather than grated cheese makes assembling these kolaches really easy. I used American cheese (I know, it’s not really cheese), but any cheese that melts well will be just fine. Just place the cheese on the opposite side from the seam and you can help prevent the kolaches from leaking as well.
These sausage and cheese kolaches are so good that I couldn’t help but take nearly 200 pictures of them. I even went as far as to make a GIF to show you the ooey gooey cheesy goodness within these kolaches (posted below).
The GIF below actually started at 90 MB in size with over 500 frames. It would have thrown my server into a frenzy if I tried to upload it. Actually, even my computer was having issues when I tried to save it. With a little hair-pulling, I finally got the size down to less than 5 MB. Still not great, but I couldn’t resist showing you guys.
I think I’ve been watching this GIF on loop for about 10 minutes straight. I may have a problem.
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
- ¼ cup water, lukewarm
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 cups flour (+/- ½ cup)
- 8 slices of cheese
- 15 smoked sausage links
- 2 jalapeños, julienned (cut into strips)
- Add the yeast and lukewarm water to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes, until foamy.
- Heat the butter and milk in a small saucepan until the butter has melted and the milk is lukewarm (about 110 degrees Fahrenheit). Remove from heat and add to the yeast mixture. Add the eggs and stir slowly until the eggs are incorporated. Then, add the sugar and salt and stir gently.
- Add the flour one cup at a time while stirring the dough. Keep adding flour until the dough becomes workable, but still tacky. This is somewhere between 4½ to 5½ cups of flour total. Adding too much flour will cause the dough to be dense, so it is better to slightly underestimate and add more later. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, between one and two hours.
- After it has doubled in size, punch the dough down then cover and let rise in the refrigerator at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into 15 equal-sized balls about 2.75 ounces each (around 2 inches in diameter). Place the balls of dough on a lined baking sheet. Flatten the balls into ovals and make a long indention into the center using your thumb for the filling. If the dough is too cold and difficult to work with, cover and allow the dough to rest for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Place half a slice of cheese into the indention, then top with a sausage link and some julienned jalapeño. Fold the dough around the fillings, pinching the edges together. Place on the lined baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Cover and allow the dough to rest while preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, or for about 20 minutes. This will bring the dough close to room temperature before baking.
- Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
- Let the kolaches cool before serving; the filling will be very hot.
Allow the kolaches to cool completely after baking. Place the kolaches into a ziplock bag. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
To reheat, remove a kolache from the fridge and wrap in a paper towel. Microwave the kolache for up to 30 seconds. Careful, the filling will be hot.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”