Catholic Recipe: Kolace (Bohemian Filled Buns)
Easter cooking culminates a week of intensive baking in our house. On the Monday and Tuesday of Holy Week we eat strudels, their golden goodness soaked in honey; on Spy Wednesday remembering Judas, "Judases", ropes of bread braided like a hangman's knot are baked to be eaten on Holy Thursday. There are hot cross buns on Good Friday, while egg bread is the traditional recipe for Holy Saturday.
Easter bread and Easter cake is baked in traditional ring molds and symbolizes eternity which has neither beginning nor end. Every Easter we have a cake baked in a lamb mold, the most highly decorative piece of culinary art on our menu. We tell the children the symbolism of the lamb and the fact that it is one of the two creatures whose shape Satan cannot take. (The dove is the other.)
Little experience is needed to be successful with Koläce, Bohemian filled buns. The recipe follows:
In a large bowl cream butter or margarine and add 4 egg yolks, one at a time. Add yeast dissolved in warm milk, 4 egg whites beaten stiff, the cream sugar, salt and lemon rind. Into this mixture sift 5 cups of flour. Beat the dough hard, until it does not stick; cover it, and put it in a warm place. When it is double its original size, take it out by the tablespoonful and place each spoon of dough separately on a floured board. Roll each into a ball and then flatten it like a cookie, about 1/2 inch thick. Make 5 dents in the center with your finger and fill with jam, cottage cheese, poppy seed or fruit. Lightly push up the edges with your finger. Let the Koläce rise in the pan, brush with beaten egg or cream, and bake in a moderate oven (375° F.) for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned.Recipe Source: Family Customs: Easter to Pentecost by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1956