Kołacz weselny (KOH-wahtch veh-SEL-nih) is a yeast-raised coffee cake similar in texture to a babka but made in a pan without a central hole, and with a sweet cheese filling. If you can't find dry curd cheese, you might want to make your own farmers cheese from scratch.
Kołacz means "wheel" in Polish and weselny is the adjectival form of "wedding." These wheel cakes were traditionally served at weddings and other holidays, but are rarely seen today.
There are many kołacz recipes. Some make a lattice top over the cheese filling, others adorn theirs with braids and bird shapes. This version sports a crumb topping.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Rising time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: 1 (12-inch) Kołacz
- 3 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 3/4 cups warm milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) melted butter, cooled slightly
- Cheese Filling:
- 1 1/2 pounds dry curd or farmers cheese or ricotta cheese
- 4 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 tablespoons potato starch or 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup light or dark raisins, plumped in water and drained
- Crumb Topping:
- 2 ounces (1/2 stick) cold butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- To make the sponge, in a medium bowl, mix yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, milk and 1 cup flour. Set aside in a warm place to rise until light and foamy, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make the dough, using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer or large bowl, beat 4 eggs with 1 cup confectioners' sugar until light colored and slightly thickened. Add flour and sponge, and continue to beat the dough until well incorporated. The dough will be too loose for a dough hook, so continue to use the paddle.
- Gradually add melted butter and continue to beat until the dough is smooth and starts to blister, about 10 mnutes. Scrape down dough from sides of bowl, cover and let rise in the same bowl until doubled.
- Grease a 12x3-inch round pan. Stir down dough and pour it into the pan. Cover and let rise until dough comes to within 1/2-inch of top of the pan.
- Meanwhile, make the crumb topping by mixing 1/2 stick butter, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar and 1/2 cup flour as for pie crust. Set aside.
- Make the filling by beating farmers cheese or ricotta, 4 egg yolks, 1 cup confectioners' sugar, and 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar. Beat in potato starch or cornstarch, melted butter and raisins. Beat egg whites to a froth and blend them into the cheese mixture. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. When dough has risen, pour cheese filling on top of dough and allow to sink in, pushing it down, if necessary.
- Sprinkle the cake with crumb topping. Bake about 50 minutes or until dough is golden brown. Let cool to room temperature before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.