You can take the gal out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the gal. And, when this gal was craving kolaches, she had no choice but to make her own.
Any donut shop in Texas worth its keep offers kolaches, and while there’s an ongoing argument about the origination and authenticity of these sausage-filled treats, there’s never any argument about their deliciousness.
In Texas, especially central Texas, the sausage kolaches are stuffed with a little mini hotdog that often has tiny cheese pockets right in the sausage.
Texas Sausage Kolaches Everywhere!
Back when I had my gourmet food shop, there was a donut shop a few doors down that made their kolaches with real sausage, not those little mini hot dogs (though they are tasty!), and that’s what gave me the idea to make them this way.
Of course, in Central Texas, kolaches are everywhere. Grocery stores sell them, Buckee’s (Texas-size roadside gas and convenience stores) had some FABULOUS kolaches, and every single donut shop worth its sugar sold them.
With no hope of finding those specialty mini dogs north of the border, I turned instead to a good quality smoked sausage.
What Kind of Sausage Should You Use?
In Texas, they had cheesy sausage, jalapeno sausage, regular sausage, and probably some I’m forgetting about. I used a good-quality smoked sausage that I found at Costco.
I cut these long links into thirds and then sliced them down the middle. They turned out just the right size and weren’t too greasy.
What You Need to Make Texas Sausage Kolaches
- A stand mixer with dough hook – my KitchenAid mixer is an essential tool in my kitchen! Get the big one – size matters!
- Big mixing bowls – I LOVE these stacking (space saving!!) stainless steel bowls
- Sharp knife – Henkels are my favorite!
- Cutting board – plastic are best. They’re easily washable, can go into the dishwasher, and are more sanitary than wood ones.
- Use a good quality sausage that’s pre-cooked (or smoked) as it’ll be less greasy
- Use good old fashioned American cheese slices – they have the perfect flavor and consistency for these kolaches
- Get fancy! Switch up the cheese using cheddar, pepper jack, or your favorite cheese
- This is not a quick fix. The bread is yeast-risen and takes a few hours. Make this your weekend baking project.
Are Texas Sausage Kolaches Freezable?
Yes! Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then pop them in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and freeze them for up to three months.
To reheat, take one out of the bag and remove the plastic. Wrap it in a paper towel and microwave it, from frozen, for about 45-60 seconds depending on the size of your kolaches and how strong your microwave is.
Let it cool a bit before biting into it.
- 8 smoked sausage links
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 1 package active dry yeast
- Melt the butter and milk in the microwave on high for one minute or until butter is fully melted. Set this aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Dissolve the sugar in the warm water in a small bowl, and add the yeast. Set this aside to proof, about five minutes, or until it is frothy and foamy.
- In the bowl of a KitchenAid or similar heavy-duty mixer, blend the eggs, salt, and 1/3 cup of sugar. Whisk this together with the whisk attachment or just use a hand whisk. Attach the dough hook and add 4 1/2 cups of flour. Mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated. Add more flour in 1/4 cup increments until the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl (I added about 3/4 more flour during this process), and I had to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
- Put the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary. The dough should not be sticking to your hands or your counter. I added about 1/4 cup more flour during this process to get the dough where I wanted it.
- Lightly oil a bowl that's at least twice the size of the ball of dough. Put the dough in the bowl and turn it around until sheened with oil. Cover and let rest in a warm spot for an hour or until it doubles in size.
- On a clean, lightly floured surface, divide the risen dough in quarters. Roll each quarter of the dough into a long log and cut it into six pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Each ball should be slightly larger than a golf ball.
- Roll each ball of dough into a circle that's a bit longer than the piece of sausage. don't roll the dough too thin - you don't want holes in your dough. Working one at a time, roll the dough, then lay the sausage on the dough, add a half a slice of cheese (optional) and roll the kolache up burrito-style, tucking in the ends as you go.
- Lay the kolache on a parchment-lined baking sheet and when they're all done, let them rise for another 45 minutes.
- Melt a few tablespoons of butter and brush the tops of your risen kolaches with butter. Bake them at 375-F for about 12 minutes, or until they're golden brown and not gooey inside.
- Enjoy warm from the oven, or freeze some to heat up for mornings on the go!
- To freeze for later:
- Individually freeze the kolaches and store them in a freezer-safe zipper bag. To reheat, wrap a kolache in a paper towel and microwave it for about 30-45 seconds until warm. enjoy!