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A traditional New Year’s Eve celebration in the Netherlands simply isn’t complete without oliebollen – deliciously filling doughnut-like treats made from batter and commonly served with a generous dusting of icing sugar. Whilst the Dutch tend to purchase their oliebollen freshly baked from the many oliebollen stands that proliferate the country towards the end of the year, those living abroad can still enjoy this typical Dutch delicacy at New Year by making them at home.
The basic recipe for oliebollen
Fortunately, preparing Dutch oliebollen is easier than you might think – indeed, these days there are a number of handy, ready-made oliebollen mixes on the market, such as Koopmans Oliebollen mix, which allows you to bake around 20 delicious oliebollen in next to no time. Simply place the contents of the oliebollen mix into a mixing bowl, add 500 ml of lukewarm water and stir thoroughly into a smooth batter. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and leave the batter to rise at room temperature for approximately 45 minutes. Next heat a little sunflower oil in a frying pan and, once hot enough, scoop a little of the oliebollen mixture onto a wooden spoon and gently slide into the oil. Repeat this process until you have approximately 5 oliebollen, and fry until a lovely, golden brown. Finally remove the oliebollen from the pan, drain on kitchen paper and place into a bowl. Serve warm or cold with a liberal sprinkling of icing sugar.
Tip: If you’re too late to order your Koopmans Oliebollen mix online, then you can always make it yourself using 50 grams of flour, 40 grams of sugar, 750 ml milk, 40 grams of fresh yeast, 50 grams of butter, 2 egg yolks and a pinch of salt. Mix these ingredients together and leave to rise at room temperature for approximately 1 hours and thirty minutes before frying as before.
Old-fashioned Dutch oliebollen
To make genuine, old-fashioned Dutch oliebollen, add 125 grams of currants, 125 grams of sultanas and 25 grams of candied peel (or chopped apple) to your basic batter before leaving to rise. Prepare the oliebollen as previously described.
Oliebollen with beer
To give your Dutch oliebollen a surprisingly tasty twist, try adding a small amount of your favourite beer to the batter mix. So, instead of 500 ml of water, stir in 150 ml of a strongly flavoured beer, such as Hertog Jan Karakter or Westmalle Tripel, in addition to 350 ml of lukewarm water.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then why not visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants abroad?