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Texas Style Leftover Brisket Kolaches

Have leftover brisket you need to repurpose? I can’t think of a more Texan way to do it than brisket kolaches. These bad boys are stuffed with chopped brisket and cheddar cheese. If you’re a fan of Texas style sausage kolaches or Klobasnek, these will be right up your alley.

These brisket kolaches are inspired by one of our favorite Austin food trucks, Kerlin BBQ. They make a “kerlache” with chopped brisket and cheddar that’s phenomenal.

Making Texas Style Brisket Kolaches

I repurposed a sausage kolache recipe from Serene at House of Yumm. This is the most authentic Texas style kolache recipe I’ve come across, and the rolls taste just like the ones you’ll find at your favorite kolache spot here in the Lone Star State.

It’s a yeasted dough, but it’s seriously simple. Aside from waiting on the dough to proof, it’s as easy as mixing a handful of ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

ingredients for Texas kolaches

You can find Texas kolache recipes made with things like ready-made crescent roll or biscuit dough. They’re just not the same. Take the time and let the yeast work its magic.

mixing kolache dough in a stand mixer with a dough hook

I used a stand mixer but if you watch Serene’s recipe video, she mixes the dough with a wooden spatula until it comes together. You can definitely get by without a stand mixer and dough hook.

dough on a dough hook in the stand mixer

You want to proof the dough in a draft free spot in your kitchen to maximize humidity and yeast activity. I used the microwave, but your oven or a proving drawer will work fine.

dough in a bowl before and after proofing

After your kolache dough has doubled in size, you’re ready to portion it out and fill. Mine in the photo above is probably slightly under proofed. Sorry, Paul Hollywood.

I used a food scale to weigh the entire dough, then divided that by 12 to get a weight for each piece. After re-reading Serene’s post, I saw she used a nifty technique of cutting the dough like a pizza into the number of “slices” you need.

leftover chopped brisket and cheddar beside a half sheet pan with 12 pieces of kolache dough

Similar to our leftover brisket fried rice, I used fatty brisket from one of our favorite BBQ spots here in Austin. If you’d like to make your own, check out Serene’s recipe for Texas Style Smoked Brisket since we’re already borrowing her kolache dough recipe.

You could also try our recipe for Traeger smoked tri tip, which makes brisket style tri tip in half the time, leftover smoked and seared ribeyes, or our smoked pulled beef that puts a Texas spin on Mississippi pot roast.

Related: Our Guide to the Best Food in Austin

rolling and filling the dough with brisket and cheddar

The recipe calls for an ounce of brisket and a small amount of cheese. If you’d like to load yours up for a meatier kolache, I think it should be fine. This dough is really easy to handle and quite stretchy so I say go for it. The original Kerlin BBQ brisket kolaches are packed to the brim with brisket.

Once your kolaches are filled, you’ll want to cover them and do a second proof for about 45 minutes. They’ll rise a bit, but you’re not looking for a massive size increase during this stage.

filled kolaches brushed with egg wash before baking

And that’s it. Preheat your oven (or your Traeger grill), brush with an egg wash, and bake until golden brown.

golden brown baked kolaches

Let them briefly cool before digging in. They’re best fresh, but I love them almost just as much after reheating. I wrap them in a paper towel and microwave for 30-45 seconds. Boom—almost like new.

More Texas Inspired Recipes

And that’s a wrap, er, kolache. If you have a question about this recipe, drop a comment at the bottom of the post.

Leftover Brisket Kolaches

Leftover Brisket Kolaches

Yield: 12 Kolaches
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Proof: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

A Texas breakfast staple, these kolaches are stuffed with leftover chopped brisket and cheddar before they're baked to golden brown perfection.


For the Kolache Dough

  • 2/3 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp) Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 large Eggs, beaten
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 4 cups (480g) All Purpose Flour, divided

For the Egg Wash

  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 teaspoon Milk

For the Filling

  • 12 oz Leftover Brisket, chopped
  • 3 oz Cheddar Cheese, cut into 12 pieces


For the Kolache Dough

  1. Microwave the milk for 20-30 seconds until it reaches 110ºF to 115ºF.
  2. Add to a stand mixer bowl or large mixing bowl before stirring in the sugar and yeast. Rest for 10 minutes until foamy.
  3. Stir in the salt, beaten eggs, and melted butter.
  4. Add half the flour (2 cups) and mix with the dough hook attachment until evenly combined. Add the remaining flour and mix for another 6-8 minutes until the dough is smooth and no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl.
  5. Form a ball of dough and place in a large, clean bowl coated with a small amount of oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and rest for an hour in your microwave or oven until it has doubled in size.

Filling and Baking the Kolaches

  1. After an hour, punch the dough down and divide into 12 pieces weighing about 75 grams each. Place the dough pieces on a half sheet pan.
  2. Working one piece at a time, press the dough flat and into a circle slightly larger than your palm. Add 1 oz of chopped brisket and 1 piece of cheddar in the center of the dough. Fold opposite sides over, pinching together, followed by the other opposite sides. Repeat with opposite corners to fully seal and place sealed side down on the sheet pan.
  3. Once all 12 kolaches have been filled, cover the sheet pan with plastic wrap and rest for 45 additional minutes to rise once more.
  4. After the kolaches finish their second proof, preheat your oven to 375ºF. Mix the egg and milk together to brush on top of the kolaches. Bake for 14-16 minutes until cooked through and golden. (I like to take mine all the way to golden brown.)
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 Kolache
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 355Total Fat: 15gCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 16g

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