Oliebollen (pronounced oh-lee-boh-len) are a Dutch delicacy often enjoyed during the month of December – traditionally served in the Netherlands on new year’s eve and day. Nowadays, you can get them the whole year through. Oliebollen (is Dutch for oil balls) are made of dough and sometimes contain raisins and apple, then deep fried and served with powdered sugar.
Today, I was asked to teach members of the Dutch Club in Philadelphia how to make oliebollen during an online oliebollen party. We had a nice bunch of proud oliebollen bakers.
When you fry, open your windows and set your exhaust fan on full blast if you don’t want to have your house smell for a whole week. I made so many oliebollen today, that i treated some of my friends – curbside delivery.
Here is a recipe to make your own.
2 cups milk and split in 1.8 cups & 4 tbsp milk, set aside
7.6 oz. all purpose flour
1.75 oz. yeast (Fleishmann’s Yeast Fresh Active)
175 oz. butter unsalted
0.35 oz salt
1 jonagold apple – small dice – about 7 oz.
10 oz. raisins
2.5 oz. currents
sunflower or vegetable oil for frying
Take bowl and mixer to knead the dough
Start with putting 1.8 cups of milk in the microwave. 1 min – body temperature – most comfortable for yeast
Put yeast in bowl
Add 1.8 cups milk – body temp.
Make a smooth dough.
When it sets well, then add the remaining milk. The dough must shine. Mix for about 10 minutes. Due to gluten formation the dough will release from the inside of the bowl
Melt butter – not too hot
Carefully add butter
Finally, add the salt and continue mixing for 5 min. Note: f you put salt in too early, the yeast will be badly affected
Fold in the currents, raisins and apple with a spatula.
For the batter to rise, it should be put in a warm, moist environment. So we put it in the oven. We heat the oven at 150F for 1-2 minutes. Not too hot as dough will be spoiled. Not hot enough means the dough will not rice.
Wet a kitchen towel and squeeze out the water and cover the bowl
Keep oven at 90F for half an hour for dough to rise. Take dough out of the oven and remove kitchen towel. When it is done you will see the batter hit the inside of the kitchen towel.
Fold dough with a spatula a couple of times.
Add Sunflower oil in snack pan / deep fryer at 350F use a thermometer or better yet an electric fryer and set temp.
Use a small ice cream spoon. Dip in oil first for easy release of dough into frying pan. Fry about 6 oliebollen at a time for about 3 minutes. Turn them over after 1.5 minutes. Take them out with a slotted spoon or spider and drain on a paper towel covered dish.
Note for temperature of oil:
If oil is too hot – seared outside – undercooked inside
If oil is too cold – means oliebol will be too greasy
Add powdered confectioners sugar at the last minute … if it still has a little heat, the icing sugar will melt.
Recipe inspired by Mr. Holtman.
Another culinary tradition in my family is pisang goreng (Indonesian for banana beignets). This can be eaten throughout the year. Just like oliebollen, you deep fry them until nice golden brown and crispy. You serve with some powdered sugar or melted palm sugar (Gulah Jawa) over the pisang goreng. A variation of these banana beignets is ‘satay pisang goreng tjoklat‘ Skwered banana beignets covered with melted chocolate and grated cheese. Yes, grated cheese – culinary shock that will turn into a tasty ‘I-wish-I-had-this-before’ surprise.