Kolaches connect this Kansan to her Czech heritage

By Tammara Fogle | October 2, 2023

Congratulations to Joan Stadler of Derby, winner of a $25 gift certificate to The Spice Merchant for this month’s international recipe. 

Kolaches are a pastry filled with sweet or savory ingredients that Stadler describes as the most popular recipe among people of Czech descent. They can be served as a bread or roll at any meal and also as dessert.

Stadler said her grandmother taught her how to make kolaches when she was a young girl. Stadler taught her six children and expects to teach her grandchildren soon. Stadler’s mother, who is 86 still makes kolaches  for special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The pastries are a staple of the Czech festival held in Wilson, Kan., each summer. If you try Stadler’s recipe, make sure to say “dobre chutnani” (“good eating”) when serving them.

To submit your international recipe, send it to The Active Age, 125 S. West St., Suite 105, Wichita, KS, 67213; or email joe@theactiveage.com.


1 ½ cups scalded milk

1 cup cooked and mashed potatoes

2/3 cup shortening or butter

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 pkg. yeast

½ cup lukewarm water

1 teaspoon sugar


Dissolve yeast in water. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar. 

In a large bowl, mix potatoes, shortening, 2/3 cup sugar, salt and beaten eggs. Add the dissolved yeast mixture. Add flour and work the dough until smooth. Set aside in a warm place. Let rise until double in bulk. 

Cut off sections of dough and roll into a ball. Place on greased baking pan. Let rise 30 minutes, then punch down the center of each one and add filling of choice. Let rise again and then bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Note: For store-bought fillings, Stadler recommends Solo brand cake and pastry fillings such as apricot, poppy seed or prune, or Wilderness brand pie and pastry fillings such as cherry, apple and strawberry.

Raisin-Cottage Cheese Filling

1 lb. cottage cheese

2 egg yolks

3 tablespoons butter, melted

Grated lemon rind

½ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup raisins

Sugar, to taste (about ¼ to ½ cup)


Combine all ingredients in a bowl. 1 tablespoon flour can be added to thicken mixture.