The Czech Republic

Why they came

The Czechs came because of the Hapsburgs. The Hapsburgs wanted power over the Czechs so they went to war. The Hapsburgs won the war and forced all Czechs to be catholic. Another reason is because of so much wars a lot of people lost their homes.

Where they settled and what time

The first Czechs immigrated in 1848. By the late 1850s more than 10,000 were living in the U.S. Most Czechs settled in Chicago, St. Louis, Cleveland, New York, and Milwaukee. Most of the Czechs settled in Chicago because it was very easy to get to and had railroad transportation to the western U.S.

Some foods they ate

The jobs they had

The Czechs had jobs such as button making, musicians, teachers, craftsmen, shop keepers, butchers, and carpenters.

Traditions

The Czechs had traditions like Christmas trees and stockings at Christmas time. During celebrations they had lots of different types of food. They also had bands and different music.

Facts about me

My family eats lots of different Czech foods such as koloches, dumplings, and cream puffs. We also put out Christmas trees and stockings for Christmas. At party's we still dance waltzes and polkas too.

Recipe

2 packages dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons) or 3 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 ½ tsp salt

½ cup sugar
2 beaten eggs

¾ cup lard, melted, plus extra for coating dough
5 to 6 cups flour

Directions

Using a large bowl, dissolve yeast and milk. Add sugar and salt, let set until bubbles form (about 10 minutes). This is called “proofing” the yeast, and is required for the dry yeast but not for the instant yeast, although I often do it anyway with recipes like this. It helps to activate the yeast, warming it nicely so you get alight, fluffy dough.

With wooden spoon add lard or poultry fat, eggs and 1 cup flour. Using lard or other saturated fat will result in a more tender dough and better shelf life.

Add rest of flour slowly, beating after each addition, to form a soft dough. You want it to be a bit sticky.Cover with towel. Let raise in a warm place until double in size.

Punch down dough and cut into golf ball sized pieces. Grease your hands before working with the dough, as it will be sticky. Palm roll the dough into balls.

Place balls on well greased pan or pan lined with parchment paper and brush balls with melted oil. Let raise until dough is light (double height). Preheat oven to 375F.

Press centers with fingers to form a depression, then fill depression with fruit fillings. Use pie fillings such as: blueberry, peach, apple, raspberry, prune, applesauce, poppy seed, lemon and apricot. Fill them about level, not too full or they will run all over.

Bake at 375F until light golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake! Remove from pan to cool on a wire rack. Makes around six dozen.