The Dutch like to say that "Whatever you want, Amsterdam has it." When it comes to donuts they ain't lyin. How to make Dutch Donuts - Oliebollen.
Oliebollen, also known as Dutch donuts, are a traditional deep-fried pastry with origins in the Netherlands. Often enjoyed during holidays and special occasions, these delicious treats are the perfect combination of a crispy exterior and a fluffy, tender interior. In this article, we will guide you step by step in making oliebollen from scratch, so you can enjoy this delightful Dutch donut in the comfort of your own home.
For the oliebollen, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups (500ml) warm milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (7g) active dry yeast
- 4 cups (480g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon (3g) salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
- 1 cup (150g) raisins
- 1 cup (130g) chopped apple (optional)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice (optional)
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
Prepare the yeast mixture: In a small bowl, combine the warm milk (approximately 110°F or 45°C) with the active dry yeast. Allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes frothy. This indicates that the yeast is active and ready to use.
Mix the dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Stir the mixture well to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients: Pour the yeast mixture into the large mixing bowl containing the dry ingredients. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix everything together until you achieve a smooth, thick batter. You can use a wooden spoon or an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment for this step.
Add the raisins and chopped apples (optional): If you are using raisins and/or chopped apples in your oliebollen, mix them into the batter. If using apples, toss them with lemon juice first to prevent browning. Fold the ingredients gently into the batter until they are evenly distributed.
Allow the dough to rise: Cover the mixing bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and set it in a warm, draft-free location. Allow the dough to rise for approximately 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Heat the oil for frying: Pour vegetable oil into a deep frying pan or a deep fryer, making sure there is enough oil to submerge the oliebollen completely. Heat the oil to 350°F (175°C) – you can use a candy or deep-frying thermometer to ensure the oil reaches the correct temperature.
Fry the oliebollen: Once the oil has reached the desired temperature, carefully drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons. Fry the oliebollen in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook each side for 2-3 minutes, or until they turn golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the oliebollen from the oil, allowing any excess oil to drain off.
Drain and cool the oliebollen: Place the cooked oliebollen on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any remaining oil. Allow them to cool slightly before serving.
Dust with powdered sugar: Just before serving, dust the oliebollen generously with powdered sugar. Enjoy these delightful Dutch donuts fresh and warm, ideally accompanied by a hot beverage like coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
Variations and Tips
Oliebollen with a twist: You can customize your oliebollen by adding different fillings or flavors. Try incorporating chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruits like cranberries or apricots into the batter for a unique taste.
Make them savory: If you prefer a savory treat, replace the sugar and vanilla extract with herbs and spices like chopped chives, grated cheese, or a pinch of cayenne pepper. You can also add diced ham, bacon, or cooked sausage to the batter for a heartier bite.
Experiment with shapes: Although oliebollen are traditionally round, you can get creative with the shape. Use a piping bag to create long, thin strips or form small balls to make bite-sized treats. Just be aware that the cooking time may vary depending on the size and shape of your oliebollen.
Perfect the frying process: To achieve a perfectly crispy and golden exterior, ensure your oil temperature remains consistent. If the oil is too hot, the oliebollen may cook too quickly on the outside while remaining raw on the inside. Conversely, if the oil is not hot enough, the oliebollen will absorb too much oil and become greasy.
Storage and reheating: Although oliebollen are best enjoyed fresh, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. To reheat, place them on a baking sheet and warm in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for 5-10 minutes or until heated through. Avoid using a microwave, as this may cause the oliebollen to become soggy.
Oliebollen are a delightful Dutch treat that can be enjoyed at any time of year. With their tender, fluffy interior and crispy, golden exterior, they are the perfect indulgence for those with a sweet tooth or anyone looking for a comforting homemade snack. By following the steps outlined in this article and experimenting with different flavors and variations, you can create your own delicious oliebollen to share with family and friends.