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Dougal Makes Cream Cheese Rolls

When my 14-year-old son asks to bake something (himself), especially something from his ethnic heritage, well history, nostalgia, and pride tell me to say yes. My oldest son asked to make cheese rolls (or buchta in Czech) which is one of his favorite sweets. We didn't get started until late on a Friday night, after dinner out, after going to see the new Percy Jackson movie, after a trip to the grocery store to get the ingredients because I hadn't planned well. But we did it. How could I discourage such an urge?

My grandmother, maybe around the same age my son is now. 
Cheese rolls are not dinner rolls with cheese on them; they are jelly-roll type sweets of yeasted dough filled with sweetened cream cheese. We used my grandmother Anita (Morkovsky) Kallus' recipe, which is below. A buchta can actually have in it some of the same things that kolaches are filled with... poppyseed, apricots, cream cheese, but also pecans, brown sugar, raisins or whatever else might strike your fancy. They can also be shaped so that the dough is braided on top, which is lovely. They can be sprinkled with white sugar, posipka (like streusel) or a glaze, which I'm not normally fond of (too sweet), but my son and I used it sparingly.

Cream cheese roll or buchta.
I want Dougal to be unafraid to try recipes. I had convinced myself for all of my 20s that I couldn't bake anything with yeast in it. I'm not sure why because I loved to cook and actually did it quite a lot. Thank goodness I got over that after watching many other woman make the things I wanted to make. So, baking together was a chance for me to show my son that, with just a little knowledge, he could dive in and try something.

Rolling out one quarter of the dough after refrigerating it overnight. 
We talked about what "scalding" meant; about not having the water too hot when you sprinkle the yeast on top; how sticky is too sticky for the dough and when it needs more flour; how to keep the rolling pin from sticking to the dough; how to leave a border of dough around the filling so he could seal the edges once the buchta was rolled up; not to cut the buchta too soon after taking it out of the oven or the filing oozes out all over the pan. I felt like I actually taught him something which, as any mom with a teenager knows, is priceless. Dougal did a fantastic job... so much so that, after seeing the entries in the buchta bake-off at WestFest last Sunday, I'm going to encourage him to enter the contest next year.

Spreading the filling onto the rolled rectangle of dough with
the back of a spoon.
When we were all done, he basically ate an entire buchta himself, half almost straight out of the oven and half for breakfast the next morning after that. Luckily he runs cross country so the 7 miles a day keep the pounds off him. My office mates finished off another roll in nothing flat. Homemade cheese roll is so much better than what you can get in a commercial bakery. The yeast, the butter, the vanilla, the rich cream cheese, no preservatives... you really can taste the love in them.

Rolling up the buchta. 

Cream Cheese Rolls
1 8-ounce carton sour cream, scalded
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 t. salt
1 packages dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees)
2 eggs beaten
4 cups all-purpose flour
melted butter for brushing.
Filling (see below)
Glaze (see below)

Combine the scalded sour cream, sugar, butter and salt; mix well and let cool to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a big bowl. Stir in sour cream mixture, then eggs. Gradually stir in flour (dough will be sticky). Add more a tablespoon at a time, if TOO sticky. Cover and chill overnight.

Two of the four buchty starting to rise.
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

Divide dough into 4 portions. Turn each one out on a heavily floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times. Roll each into a 12 x 8" rectangle. Spread 1/4 of filling over each. Roll up jelly roll fashion. Cover and let rise. Brush with melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

The cream cheese filling.
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk together until smooth. Spread loaves with glaze while warm. Makes 4, 12" loaves.

Real Texas-Czech men BAKE!


  1. Your blog is an inspiration Dawn. Nice work!

  2. Anita Morkovsky Kallus was my Cousin, her parents Alois and Marie Raska Morkovsky were my GG Aunt and Uncle. My G Grandparents were Jan and Veronika Konvicka Raska. Is this recipe from Aunt Marie Raska Morkovsky?

    1. So sorry to have missed this comment. This recipe is actually from my Great Aunt Bessie, Anita's sister. That makes her your cousin, too! Hope you try the recipe and thanks for reading.

    2. Thank you for the response Cousin, I will be making this for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hope you all have a Great Holiday Season.

      Terry Tate


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