I have a week off and today I went into town to run a few errands and a bit of socialising. I found out this week the yearly funfair is in town and that means I could get what I needed to write this post.
Around this time of year until early January you can buy them at mobile stalls that go from fair to fair.
What I am talking about?
A typical traditional Dutch and Belgian food. You can compare it a bit to a donut or dumpling but it is different. I believe in the UK you can get them as Dutch douhnuts.
They are a variety of dumpling of dough dropped in a deep fryer with hot oil. Traditionally they are eaten at New Years Eve and like said at funfairs. They originate from the beginning of year counting. The Teutons would offer them to the Gods at the end of December to satisfy them and in particular Goddess Perchta and other evil spirits. In the Middle Ages it became more of a greasy cookie to celebrate the end of fasting time. In the late Middle Ages they were handed out to the poor people at New Years Eve. It became a real tradition to make and eat Oliebollen in the 19th century with New Years Eve and that is still the tradition today.
Oliebollen dough is made from flour, eggs, yeast, salt, milk, baking powder and raisins, sultanas, currants and some zest or succade. You serve them still warmed with iced sugar.
If you would like to make them here is the traditional recipe for them. It is really fun to make.
- 150 gram currants
- 200 gram raisins
- 200 gram apples
Put the currants and raisins in some water about three days before you want to make Oliebollen.
For the dough you need:
- 1 kilo flour
- 1 litre milk (room temperature)
- 80 gram yeast
- 80 gram really soft butter
- 3 tbsp fine sugar
- juice of three lemons
- 3 eggs
- pinch of salt
You also need a big bowl or bucket, an ice cream scoop, colander with paper kitchen towels and deep fryer with new oil.
1. Put the yeast in the milk
2. Cut the apples in the size of the currants and raisins and put some lemonjuice over them so they don't turn brown.
3. Take the big bowl or bucket and put the flour in. Make a pit in the middle and put in the really soft butter and eggs.
4. Add the sugar
Stir until the dough is nice and smooth
5. Add the currants, raisins and apples and the rest of the lemon juice
6. Add the salt
Put a clean tea towel over the big bowl or bucket and put it in a quiet warm place to let the dough raise for 30 minutes. If you have the heating on, that is the perfect place.
Now comes the challenge...baking Oliebollen!
- Heat the deep fryer to 170-175C
- Have a bowl with paper kitchen towel next to the pan to put the oliebollen in when you take them out of the deep fryer
- Wet the ice cream scoop with water
- Scoop some dough in the spoon and drop it in the deep fryer
Make sure you don't put in too many scoops. They need to have room to 'swim'
Now keep watching it because after a few minutes when the dough is cooked on that side the oliebol will turn by itself. The ones that don't just give them a little push with a fork.
You will see they get nice golden brown all round and then it is time to take them out.
Let the grease leak off in the colander with paper towels.
Serve them still a bit warm with iced sugar. And there is NO WAY to eat them elegantly:-))) but that is half the fun of eating them!