In days past, I restricted myself to breakfasts on the run. The extra fifteen minutes of sleep seemed worth sacrificing a hot breakfast for a green package of granola bars.
But after a couple years of noisy wrappers and crumbs in my lap and my car, I realized that the morning routine was in sore need of improvement.
I did away with the 2.00 cups of somewhat decent coffee. I bought a French Press and began grinding my organic beans each week.
I put the granola bars on a "Snack Only" shelf, and promised myself that the only time they would start my day would be on a red eye plane from the East Coast to Austin.
I began baking. Baking dozens of fresh berry muffins, buttery scones, and tall loaves of honey whole wheat bread. And I began frying. I became a friend of henhouse eggs...those golden yolks a yellow sun on my big brown Pottery Barn plate.
Yes. Breakfast became my friend. Instead of dreading the sound of my alarm clock, I began to look forward to my morning awakening. I knew that good food and a tall cup of coffee were on their way.
And breakfast is done a little differently here.
Ken's 24 hour donuts.
For those of you unfamiliar with this delightful breakfast treat, a short history: Kolaches are a Czech pastry that were originally served as wedding treats. The sweet yeast dough is baked with fillings such as fruit, poppy seeds, and cream cheese. Often, they are served open faced with a topping of popsika ( butter, flour and sugar).
When a number of Central European immigrants settled in Texas, kolaches became another item of Texas pride. Central Texas is now littered with bakeries that specialize in kolaches, and we're lucky enough to have one located right by our house.
But as much as I enjoy picking up a kolache from the store, I love making my own. The dough is a joy to work with, and the smells that drift from your oven while these buttery discs are baking is heavenly.
There are a number of ways to fill your kolaches, but I stuck with a simple jam and cream cheese filling. I didn't sprinkle a popsika on top, but I've included a recipe in case you feel inspired to do so.
I hope that you can take the time to enjoy a homemade breakfast this week. Maybe that day can only come on the weekend...but when it does, I hope you can take the time to sip, to savor and to enjoy being alive.
*Adapted from Homesick Texan
1 package of active dry yeast
1 cup of warm milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 teaspoon of salt
1. In a large bowl, combine yeast, warm milk, sugar and one cup of flour. Cover for 15-20 minutes until almost doubled in size.
2. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, melted butter, and salt. Add egg mixture to yeast mixture. Stir in two more cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Add in an additional 1/2 cup, if necessary. The dough should be soft and moist, but not too sticky
3. Knead your dough for about 10 minutes on a floured surface. Continue to add more flour if it begins to stick to your counter.
4. Place your dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size—about an hour.
5. After dough has risen, punch down and pull off egg-sized pieces. In your hands, roll pieces into balls and then flatten to about three inches in diameter.
6. Place flattened pieces on a parchment lined cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another half-hour.
7. After second rising, make an indention in the center of the dough and fill with one tablespoon of jam or cream cheese filling (recipe below).
8. Bake in a preaheated oven at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly brown. Brush with melted butter when you take them out of the oven and serve warm.
Cream Cheese Filling
1 8 oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp jam
1 tsp lemon juice
1. In a large bowl, cream the cheese until light and fluffy. (about 1-3 minutes). Add in the egg yolk, sugar, jam and lemon juice until well combined.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores