2012 Kolache and Christmas Bread Baking Class
The Class was held on October 27, 2012, in the Saint Joseph Catholic Church Parish Activity Center located at 700 East 26th Street, Bryan, TX [St. Joseph PAC]. The class of 12 was taught by Mr. Stanislav Vitha and covered some evolutionary differences between the original Czech and Moravian koláče and their current Texas versions. Stan was born in South Bohemia, Czechoslovakia. He attended college and received his doctoral degree in Molecular and Cell Biology in České Budějovice, the home of the original Budweiser Budvar beer. After getting his doctoral degree in 1995, he started his post-doctoral research at Ohio State University in Columbus, OH, where he met his future wife, Tanya Wagner. He then spent time doing research in Reno, NV, and East Lansing, MI. Tanya and Stan got married in 2000 and have three children, Alena, Kamila and Erika. They moved from Michigan to Bryan, TX, in 2004. Stan got interested in baking and cooking after moving to the US, since he could no longer get his favorite food in the corner grocery store or at home from his mom. Home-made bread, rohliky, kolache, strudel, Christmas bread, as well as traditional Czech meals with potato and bread dumplings and fruit dumplings (knedliky) are among his favorites.
The class started at 9 a.m.with the making of the dough for koláče and for Christmas Bread, grinding poppy seeds and making the filling, as well as preparing the cheese filling from home-made yogurt cheese (tvaroh). Braiding of the Christmas Bread and rolling out and decorating the koláče was a lot of fun work. The koláče were of the style typical for the West Bohemian region of Chodsko, the size of a dinner plate with fruit and yogurt cheese filling arranged in a colorful pattern. For lunch, the class baked crescent rolls (rohliky), which were enjoyed with butter, ham, and cheese. The baking marathon lasted until 3 p.m.