An authentic Central Texas Czech recipe for homemade sausage kolaches. A rich, lightly sweet yeast dough wrapped around a savory sausage filling and then baked till golden brown.
Klobasnek is the more technically correct name, for what is widely known throughout Texas as the sausage kolache. The donut shops are credited with making the meat version popular throughout Texas. Whereas now most places, if you walked in asking for a klobasnek, they would likely kindly offer you a kolache. Though here in the Czech Belt of Texas, you can still get corrected if using the wrong terminology.
Throughout this post, I will use both terms for the Texas breakfast staple, kolache and klobasnek, so that people searching for an authentic recipe can find this one.
When I recently asked my son if he wanted a kolache or klobasnek he replied rather frustrated with “a Kuh-LAH-chee” while pointing towards the sausage filled pastries.
Even HEB named their frozen sausage filled pastries kolaches. I suspect that the klobasnek will continue to be widely recognized as the Texas Sausage Kolache.
I personally always thought the plural term for klobasnek, which is klobasniky, was so fun to say. I’m a little sad that never took off.
Making the dough
The first step of making homemade sausage kolaches is to make your kolache dough. I’ve written extensively on my Cream Cheese Kolache Recipe lots of tips to get the dough right. I use the same dough recipe for both sweet and savory filled kolaches. My Texas Kolache recipe is adapted from an award-winning recipe out of Hallettsville.
I don't recommend making any changes to the dough recipe. I find the klobasnek a bit trickier to make, because you must roll out and shape the dough, which is rather sticky.
Tips on making the dough
For more detailed instructions, I recommend reading the tips on my original kolache recipe. In case you don’t, here are a few basic tips.
- I recommend making the dough by hand versus using a stand mixer.
- The dough is sticky, and this YouTube video will help you with the technique to knead it.
- Don’t add too much flour because it will make your kolaches dry. After the first rise, the dough will be easier to work with.
For klobasnek, you want to use a fully cooked breakfast sausage link. The sausage should be around 3” in length. If you use a full-size specialty sausage, you can quarter it. If you use an uncooked sausage, be sure to fully cook it before rolling it up in the dough.
Many donut shops use hot dogs, but I recommend using a higher quality sausage, especially since you are spending the time to make them from scratch. Of course if that is the nostalgic taste you are to trying to recreate, a halved hot dog will work.
What breakfast sausage to use?
I usually buy Kiolbassa fully cooked pork links or the Eckrich breakfast links.
Most breakfast link packages contain 10 sausages. This recipe makes 12 sausage kolaches, so I recommend buying two packs.
Popular klobasnek fillings:
- Jalapeno Cheese Sausage Kolache: Use a jalapeno cheese sausage.
- Sausage and Cheese: Use ½ slice of cheddar cheese and one sausage link.
- Sausage, Cheese, and Jalapeno: Layer ½ slice of cheddar cheese, 3-4 slices of pickled jalapeno and one sausage link.
- Ham and Cheese: Use ½ slice of cheese and 1-2 slices of rolled up ham.
- Brisket: Fit a slice of brisket or chopped brisket into center. Also delicious topped with jalapenos and/or cheese.
- Boudin Kolache
Assembling the sausage kolache
On a lightly floured surface, turn out risen dough. Flatten and shape into 11” x 12” rectangle. I prefer to shape with my hands, but you can use a rolling pin too. Cut evenly into 12 squares using a pastry or pizza cutter. Each small square should be at least 3” X 3”. You can flatten a little more as the dough tends to shrink and contract after you cut it.
Place sausage in center of each piece of dough. Bring sides around and pinch in the center to form a seam. You are trying to have more dough on top, than the bottom. Pull and stretch top and bottom dough around sausage and pinch to merge with center seam. It is much like you are wrapping a blanket around a baby.
After a few, you will find your technique and get better. You should never compare your first batch to after you have made these a few times.
Place filled sausage kolaches seam side down on a baking sheet at least 1-2 inches apart. Brush tops liberally with melted butter. Cover and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Baking the sausage kolaches
Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes or until tops are golden brown and sausage is fully heated. Remove from oven and brush the tops of the kolaches with more melted butter. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.
I experimented with baking at higher temperatures, but found they browned too quickly for my preference. If your pastries are browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
Serving and Storage
These sausage kolaches are the perfect portable breakfast. Most people typically enjoy them straight out of a paper bag from the kolache or donut shop. They make a great breakfast entrée or snack.
Store leftover klobasnek in the refrigerator. This recipe stores well and you can enjoy reheated kolaches for many days. I like to make a big batch and freeze for a quick weekday breakfast.
Klobasnek aka Texas Sausage Kolache
- ¼ cup Warm water 100-110F
- 2 ¼ tsp. Active Dry Yeast 1 packet
- 1 tsp. Sugar
- ½ cup Sugar
- 1 cup Milk
- ¼ cup shortening or butter melted
- 1 ½ tsp. Salt
- 1 Egg Yolk
- 3 ⅓ cup Bread Flour sifted
- 2 Tbsp. Butter melted for brushing
- 12 fully cooked breakfast sausage links
- Activate yeast. Combine warm water, yeast, and 1 tsp. of sugar in small bowl. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes. Yeast should be bubbly and have doubled in size.
- In a large bowl, stir together sugar, milk, melted shortening, salt and the egg yolk. Stir in yeast mixture. Add 1 cup of sifted bread flour at a time until 3 cups are added. Stir until a sticky dough starts to form.
- Sprinkle the remaining ⅓ cup bread flour on a hard work surface, turn the dough out onto the surface and knead for 10-12 minutes. Dough will be sticky and elastic. Transfer dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a 11” X 12 “rectangle. Using a pastry or pizza cutter, cut dough evenly into twelve 3” X 3” squares.
- Place sausage in center of each piece of dough. You can flatten dough a little more if needed. Bring sides around sausage and pinch in the center the to form a seam. You are trying to have more dough on top than the bottom. Pull and stretch top and bottom dough around sausage and pinch to merge with center seam.
- Place filled sausage kolaches seam side down on a lightly greased baking sheet at least 1-2 inches apart. Brush liberally with melted butter. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Bake in preheated oven at 350F for 30-35 minutes or until tops are golden brown and sausage is reheated. Remove from oven and brush with additional melted butter. Let kolaches cool for 10 minutes.
Baking – If kolaches are browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
Sausage, Jalapeno and Cheese Kolaches - Layer ½ slice of cheddar cheese, 3-4 slices of pickled jalapeno and one sausage link in center of dough. **Please see the full blog post for pictures of the steps and additional tips in making the sausage kolaches.
To make the day before
- After the first rise, cover the dough and place in the refrigerator.
- Remove dough from the fridge the next morning and let dough start to reach room temperature. Follow instructions for rolling and filling sausage kolaches.
- The dough is always a little bit easier to work with when you make them this way.
How to freeze
Wrap each sausage kolache individually in plastic wrap. Place wrapped klobasnek in a freezer safe Ziploc bag in the freezer.
To reheat from freezer -Remove plastic wrap and microwave for 30 seconds. Flip klobasnek over and microwave for additional 30 seconds.
Cheers! - Alaine