Kolacz Slaski – Sweet Cheese Bread

Kołacz (from Polish:  Koło: “disk”, “circle”, “wheel”) is a traditional Polish pastry, originally a wedding cake (Kolacz Weslney) dating to the start of the 13th century, that has made its way into American homes, including homes in the Anthracite Coal Region due to the heavy influence of Eastern European immigrants to the area to work in the coal mines.

Served around the Christmas and Easter holidays, this “cake” is a yeast-raised coffee cake similar to babka but made in a round pan without a central hole (wheel shaped).

Kolacz traditionally is made in four different varieties: with just crumbs (without filling), with cheese, poppy or apple filling. Some make a lattice top over the filling, others adorn theirs with braids and bird shapes.


Cook’s Tip

Homemade Pot Cheese

This recipe is for the popular cheese-filled version and has a crumb topping. Kolacz Slaski recipes traditionally call for pot cheese in the cheese layer. Pot cheese is very simple to make yourself, takes only three ingredients, and not a lot of time. It keeps in the refrigerator up to four days, so you could make it ahead for use. If you do not want to make pot cheese or cannot buy it, drained cottage cheese may be substituted.

If you would like to make your own pot cheese, you will find the recipe for it on this site, simply click on the button below to take you there..


Kolacz Slaski – Sweet Cheese Bread

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: DessertCuisine: Eastern European, Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate

Served around the Christmas and Easter holidays, this “cake” is a yeast-raised coffee cake similar to babka but made in a round pan without a central hole (wheel shaped).

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 3/4 cup whole milk, warmed to 105 – 110F degrees

  • 3 cups flour or as needed

  • 2 egg yolks (reserve whites for use in filling)

  • 2 whole eggs

  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

  • Cheese Filling
  • 2 cups drained cottage cheese (drain in cheesecloth lined colander until liquid is gone) OR homemade pot cheese

  • 2 whole eggs plus reserved egg whites from the cake

  • 1/4 cup of sugar

  • Crumb Topping
  • 1/4 of cup cold butter, cubed

  • 1/4 cup of sugar

  • 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

Directions

  • Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Let it stand for 5 minutes.
  • Separate the eggs, reserving the whites for use in the cheese filling.
  • In stand mixer, beat the eggs with 1/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add yeast mixture and the remaining cake ingredients to the mixer bowl. Mix well with a dough hook to obtain a smooth dough.
  • Spray the dough with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and allow to rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
  • Filling
  • Separate the eggs. In a mixing bowl, add the two reserved eggs whites from the dough to the other two whites and beat until stiff peaks.
  • Place the pressed cottage cheese in another mixing bowl and add sugar and blend it together.
  • Add egg yolks one at a time to the cheese mixture, mixing well after each addition.
  • Add the egg whites in two steps, folding in gently after each addition.
  • Assembly
  • Spray a spring form pan with a non stick spray and line the bottom with a parchment paper circle.
  • Divide your dough in to two parts.
  • Spread one part on the bottom of the pan, add the cheese in a layer, then cover with the remaining dough.
  • Brush top with melted butter.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Topping
  • In a mixing bowl add cubed cold butter, sugar and flour and blend with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Completing the Kolacz Slaski
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Sprinkle top of the cake with topping mixture and bake for 55 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil if it starts brown too quickly.
  • Cool completely before removing from pan and cutting.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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