Cranberry Kolacz Recipe
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
6 cups flour
1 cup dried cranberries
1 lb container small dry curd cottage cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Warm milk, I do that in a microwave. If you’re less lazy than I, do it on the stove in a small saucepan. Add the butter. I usually cut the butter into pieces so it melts into the milk faster. Add the sugar, salt, and allspice to the milk/butter.
- Stir the yeast into the warm water in a small container. It should bubble a bit if the yeast is good.
- Place the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook. Add the yeast. Crack the eggs into a bowl. I do this so that it is easier to take out the random egg shell, if necessary. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork. Add the eggs to the milk mixture.
- Sift 3 cups of flour. I do this over a large bowl with a large sieve. Those flour sifters make my hand hurt and that makes me cranky. Slowly add the flour to the milk mixture (by now you should have the mixer going)
- Add the cranberries. Of course, I use the bourbon soaked cranberries as seen on a previous post. Feel free to snack on some as you add them to the mix.
- Sift 3 more cups of flour and slowly add it to the mix. Let the mixer do the work. It is ready when it no longer stick to the sides.
- Put the dough in a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel. Let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour. It rises in an hour on a warm day or in a warm area of the kitchen. When I make this bread in the winter, it seems to take forever for it to rise. It is worth taking the time to make sure it rises, though. It makes the bread more moist and “fluffy”, for lack of a better adjective.
- Punch the dough down and divide it in half. I just cut it in half with a butter knife. Since it is a dense dough, it can be a little troublesome to try and divide it just by pulling.
- Spray two cake pans with baking spray with flour. I know it’s cheating, but it really saves so much time and spreads so much easier. I take this time to bring out my inner Martha Stewart and use the time saved with the spray to cut two circles of parchment paper to line the cake pans. This bread really likes to stick to the pans and this really helps, so it’s worth the time. Put each half of the dough into a pan and spread it as much a possible to the edges.
- Mix all the topping ingredients together. This is easy to do in a large bowl with a rubber spatula. Spread it over the bread. It is best to spread it as close to the edges as possible. The areas of bread not covered by the topping will brown/burn faster than the rest of the bread when baking. Let the dough rise again until doubled. This usually takes more than an hour for me.
- Bake for 45min to an hour in a 350-degree oven. Let cool on racks. Take out of pans by cutting around the edges with a butter knife to loosen the bread from the pans.
- This bread is slightly sweet and great for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee. I had a lot left over the other day and made a turkey sandwich with the bread. Mmmmm, so goooood!