Category Archives: South Dakota

Czech Kolaches – South Dakota

We’ve talked before about how kuchen is South Dakota’s official state dessert, but you might not be aware the close runner-up were kolaches (koh-LAH-chees). This tasty pastry was brought to the

Czeck Kolaches - South Dakota

Mount Rushmore State from immigrating Czechs around the middle of the 19th century to the southern part of the state. In fact, tiny Tabor (population 413), holds Czech Days every year and kolaches are a huge draw.

Kolaches can be made with a variety of fillings including cream cheese, poppy seed, prune and even savory elements like sausage and cabbage. We tried our hand at apricot and cherry as we thought those were the real crowd pleasers and we were not disappointed. Great with a cup of coffee or tea, we found ourselves sneaking just one more . . . and then another.

If spelunking is your thing, check out Wind Cave National Park, located in the southern part of the Black Hills National Forest. With over 143 miles of winding passageways under only 1.2 square mile of surface area, and housing a unique cave formation known as boxwork, this cave system is not to be missed.

Czech Kolaches

  • Servings: 24 pieces
  • Time: 3 hrs. 40 min.
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For Pastry:

  • 1¼ cup warm milk, divided
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

For Apricot Filling (enough for half of recipe):

  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum

For Cherry Filling (enough for half of recipe):

  • ¾ cup cherry juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups frozen cherries, thawed

Instructions

To make pastry: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine ¼ cup milk, sugar, yeast and ¼ cup flour. Let stand for 15 minutes or until mixture becomes frothy. Add remaining flour and milk, then butter, egg and lemon zest. Mix with a dough hook on low speed until a smooth dough is formed, about 4 minutes. Cover with a tea towel and let rise, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

To make fillings: While you are waiting for the pastry to rise, make the fillings. For the apricot, in a small sauce pan, add orange juice and dried apricots. Let simmer for 30 minutes or until apricots are very soft. Remove from heat and add sugar. Let cool. Add to bowl of food processor, along with rum and process until well combined. Transfer to a clean bowl and put in fridge to allow to chill.

For the cherry filling, in a small saucepan add cherry juice, sugar and cornstarch. Cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and bubbling. Remove from heat. Add cherries. Transfer to a clean bowl and put in fridge to allow to chill.

To assemble kolaches: Punch down dough. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape with hands into flattened balls. Place dough on baking sheets lined with parchment paper approximately 1 inch apart. Cover with tea towels and let rise until puffed, about 35-45 minutes. With your fingers, make a deep indentation in the center of the ball leaving a generous lip so the filling does not ooze out. Drop mounded tablespoons of filling in the center of each pastry. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

 

Fry Bread – South Dakota

Fry bread is a scrumptious puffy, chewy carb that is associated with state fairs, powwows and fun. Although it’s the official state bread of South Dakota, fry bread has a complicated and painful history. In

Fry Bread - South Dakota

1864, the U.S. government forced Native Americans in Arizona to relocate to an internment camp 300 miles away in New Mexico. Called “The Long Walk,” the government gave them canned goods, sugar, white flour and lard to prevent starvation. Native Americans created fry bread with these staples and it caught on with many tribes in the plains and southwestern states. Many North American Indians now regard fry bread as a symbol of both persistence and pain.

Lots of variations of this recipe exist, some using yeast and some not. We went with a traditional, no yeast version that uses baking powder as its leavening agent. While fry bread is not going to win any nutritional awards – it’s basically fried dough – it’s a delicious once-in-a-while treat that can be either sweet (drizzled with honey, topped with jam, dusted with powdered sugar) or savory (topped with ground beef or turkey and other taco fixings for fry bread tacos).

Visit Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills. Standing 641 feet long and over 500 feet high, this still-in-progress monument accepts no federal funds. Its mission is to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians.

Fry Bread

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 40 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 heaping teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ to ½ cup warm water
  • Crisco (for frying)

Instructions

 Place dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Add milk and mix with a fork. Add water a little bit at a time and mix just until the dough comes together (do not overmix!). Cover with a tea towel and let sit 30 minutes.

Heat Crisco in an electric or cast iron skillet to medium heat. Pinch off an egg sized piece of dough. On a work surface dusted with flour, flatten and stretch the dough, working out from the center, until it reaches your desired size. Gently place in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip dough over and fry on the other side. Remove to paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough.

Kookoo For Kuchen – South Dakota

South Dakota’s official state dessert is kuchen. Sprichst du auch Deutsch? If you do speak German, you know that “kuchen” means cake. Germans make up the largest ancestry group in the state and they brought their formidable Teutonic culinary skill with them from the old country. You can find literally dozens of variations of this

Peach and Blueberry Kuchen - South Dakota

recipe. Some use yeast for the crust, but we’ve gone with more of a pastry crust. Folks also like to disagree about which fruit is best for kuchen — plum, apple, strawberry, cherry and rhubarb are all good bets. We went with peach as they are in season right now, and added a bit of blueberry preserves for color contrast. We finished our kuchen off with a cream filling topped with streusel. Have a slice for dessert (or even breakfast!) with a cup of coffee or tea.

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