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Central Market celebrates 20 years with event, new cookbook

Addie Broyles

It’s been more than two decades since some progressive-minded folks at H-E-B realized that Americans’ love of gourmet and specialty foods and ingredients was only going to continue to grow. They put into motion a grocery store called Central Market that first opened on North Lamar Boulevard in 1994 and now has nine locations around the state.

The chain-within-a-chain is celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, starting with a sold-out cooking class for “Central Market 20th Anniversary Cookbook,” a new cookbook featuring recipes from Central Market staffers and fans across the state, as well as chefs who have taught at the cooking school. The book costs $20 and is available at all Central Markets.

At 6 p.m. on Sept. 25, the North Lamar store will host a celebration featuring live music from Asleep at the Wheel and food from Austin chefs Iliana de la Vega and Daniel Olivella, as well as world-renowned chef Francis Mallmann of Argentina. Mallmann, who has a new book, “Mallmann on Fire,” coming out this fall, will be demonstrating some of his signature open-fire cooking techniques.

Tickets ($40, will benefit the Sustainable Food Center.


In today’s food section, I wrote a story about what it’s like judging the Kolache Bake Show in Caldwell, which returns for the 30th year this weekend. One of the other big kolache contests in the state is Westfest in West, which is a contest that Vance Ely with the Central Market Cooking School has judged for a number of years now. His love of kolaches goes back to before he started teaching at the culinary school, and in fact, kolaches were the subject of his first hands-on cooking class in 2002.

He shared this recipe in the “Central Market 20th Anniversary Cookbook.” In it, he writes: “My philosophy on kolaches is ‘Take two — one for each hand!’”

For the dough:

2 1/4 oz. packages dry yeast

1/2 cup warm (105 degrees) water

2 cups warm (105 degrees) milk

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup evaporated milk

7 to 8 cups bread flour

6 egg yolks

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/3 cup shortening, melted

2 tsp. salt

Extra butter and oil, for coating

For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 egg yolk

1/4 cup sugar

A little bit of lemon zest or a squirt of a lemon slice

1/2 tsp. vanilla

For the crumb topping:

1/3 cup sugar

2 1/2 Tbsp. flour

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

4 tsp. melted butter

For the dough: Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add warm milk, sugar, evaporated milk, and about 4 cups of the bread flour. Mix thoroughly until smooth, cover, and let rest for 1 to 2 hours in warm place.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed, combine egg yolks, butter, shortening and salt. Add the yeast and flour mixture and blend. Gradually add 3 1/2 to 4 cups more flour and mix it till smooth. Cover and let double.

For the filling: Place all ingredients in a bowl; mix until smooth. Roll out dough to 1/3-inch thickness and cut into 3-inch by 3-inch squares. Place cream cheese filling in center and enclose. Brush lightly with butter or oil.

Add all crumb topping ingredients together, mix until crumbled, and sprinkle over brushed kolaches. Bake until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.

— From Vance Ely, “Central Market 20th Anniversary Cookbook” ($20)