This is the second time I have made kolache, but my first time ever working with quark outside of a particle physics context. Quark. I just love the word. So Anglo-Saxon, full of consonant and bark and spit. Seamus Heaney sort of gravel. The particle physicist who discovered and hence named the quark found the word in James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake—a book full of portmanteaus and allusions to drinking and neologisms, “Three quarks for Muster Mark!” And because quarks behave in threes, in a curiously spiritual sort of way, it fit. Quark cheese gets its name from a Middle German term, borrowed from Old Slavic, meaning “to form”—something about how when milk gets sour it forms something. Because of all these connections, I now think of quark as something of a holy, primordial cheese. Formed of the elements yet in always trinity, hm hm hm.
Moravian Kolaches for Theological Fermionic Bakers
Adapted from the Daring Bakers Forum Challenge from Chez Lucie (a Czech blog—translation required)
For the dough
500 g all-purpose (plain) flour
100 gm confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1 cup (250 ml) milk, warm
75 g butter, melted
100 g sourdough starter
pinch of salt
2 small egg yolks
For Pepper Ginger Quark filling
3 cups (1-2/3 lb) (750 gm) quark
½ cup ginger jam
½ cup Pam’s Pepper Jam
1 small egg yolk
confectioner’s (icing) sugar to taste
For Streusel Topping
50 g plain flour
¼ cup, 50 g butter, chilled and diced
50 g granulated sugar
In a bowl mix together sourdough and 1 teaspoon sugar with the warmed milk.
In a bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, egg yolks, and butter with the sourdough starter. Knead for ten minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about one hour to double its volume.
Meanwhile prepare quark filling – just mix all ingredients –and set aside.
Prepare streusel topping. In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add cold butter diced in small cubes and with your fingers, mix all ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.
When the dough is risen turn it onto a lightly floured surface and roll it with rolling pin to a thickness of about 2 cm.
Cut circles with a glass or divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.
Fill each circle with quark filling.
Wrap it into a “purse” shape.
Preheat oven to moderate 340°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Put each kolache onto a prepared baking sheet. Brush it with egg wash. Sprinkle it with streusel topping. Bake for about 20 minutes to golden brown.
So perfect as a pastry for breakfast. Make a pot of coffee, sit by the window and watch the autumn leaves fall. Saw this tree in the park yesterday and just had to snap a photo. Oh how I love the fall colors. They are too brilliant to be captures on film or by reel. I’m sure the eye doesn’t even do proper justice to their true vibrancy.