Nothing’s better than warm oliebollen, or Dutch doughnuts, thanks to their crisp nooks and crannies and their pillowy centers hidden beneath a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
These traditional Dutch doughnuts are no ordinary pastries. Crisp on the outside with a cakelike interior that’s decidedly not too sweet, these orbs of deep-fried perfection are sorta reminiscent of beignets and are entirely deserving of a name that just sorta begs you to roll it around in your mouth. Just like the roly-poly pastries they describe.–Angie Zoobkoff
What Is An Oliebollen?!
We were a little confused about what exactly an oliebollen is, aside from something we want more of in our life. And then one of our recipe testers, Dan Kraan, shared some of his experience with them…
“Growing up in a Dutch family and in a Dutch church, oliebollen was a staple over the Yule season, especially so over New Year’s. The New Year’s morning church service saw bowls of these, waiting in the coffee hall for post-sermon coffee and conversation. Now, I must say that I have rarely seen these deep-fried nuggets without currants or raisins in them. That addition makes this sugar-dusted fritter even more magical during a season when imaginations and festivities run higher than the rest of the year. BTW, if you use apple chunks or rings instead of currants or raisins, you’ll get appelflappen.
“Believe me when I say that there are about as many recipes for oliebollen as there are for hushpuppies! Self-rising flour will work well to make then and is often called for in many recipes instead of yeast. In addition to the use of self-rising flour, these recipes often use ginger ale or beer as a liquid of choice, instead of milk. The results of this combination are a tad denser, but still a treat!
“If you look at “Dutchies” in your local doughnut shop, you’ll see what is considered the modernized version of this treat. Even the apple fritter can be construed as a stylized version of oliebollen.”
Oliebollen | Dutch Doughnuts
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H, 45 M
- 4 to 5 dozen (2-inch | 5-cm) fritters
- 2 cups lukewarm milk, plus more as needed
- 1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4-ounce)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- 1. In a small bowl, combine the lukewarm milk with the yeast and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- 2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift the flour with the salt. Make a well in the center and crack the egg into it. Add the yeast mixture and beat with an electric hand mixer, adding more milk if needed to make a thick batter the consistency of a cake batter. Cover the batter and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 to 2 hours.
- 3. In a large sauté pan or deep-fry pan set over medium-high heat, warm the oil to 350°F (180°C). Using 2 oil-slicked teaspoons, make balls of batter no larger than 2 inches (5-cm) in diameter, sorta like a large golf ball, and let them slide into the hot oil. Depending on their size, you can fry 4 to 8 at a time. Cook until golden outside and cooked through inside, flipping halfway through cooking, about 6 minutes, depending on the size. Drain on paper towels.
- 4. Serve warm, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.