I should’ve known better than thinking I could still read and put up reviews during the holidays. I finished ONE book (okay, and about 600 pages of Patrick Rothfuss, but still), which I’m not going to review until after the holiday madness this week. It would be a rush job and I really don’t like to rush book reviews because it reduces the quality.
Anyhowso! Then I figured I should post a recipe instead, but I also didn’t have time to bake anything the entire time because my family feeds me well. That being said, every year on the 31st of December for as long as I know, my dad retreats into his tool shed and makes us THE Dutch baking treat for New Year’s Eve: oliebollen, loosely translated into oil balls/bulbs.
You’re probably thinking, eew, did she say OIL balls?! I did. If I have to describe the taste of them to a newbie, I’d probably go for churros with raisins in them. But better, of course, and less…doughy?
Either way, I’ve had Canadians and Americans over at my house who loved them, so I thought this would be an EXCELLENT recipe to share with you guys! I didn’t make any of it myself this time, but instead went to the professionals: my dad and his little helper (a.k.a.my nephew who turns 20 on the first of January!). Here’s THEIR recipe, a modest photo shoot and my unbiased opinion on how it all tastes!
- 1 egg
- 500 ml (2 1/4 cups) milk
- 500g (4 cups) flour
- 1 packet of dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- Oil suitable for deep frying (we used sunflower oil)
- Powdered sugar
For the filling:
- 100g (5/8 cup) raisins
- 50g (1/3 cup) currants
- Deep fryer
- Cookie scoop
Step 1: Make sure milk and eggs are at room temperature. Keep 1 tbsp of flour separately. For the base dough, put the rest of the flour in a bowl and stir in the yeast, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Beat the egg in a separate bowl/glass.
Step 2: Make a little dimple in the middle of the flour pile and pour beaten egg in there. While stirring with a wooden spoon or with an electric mixer, pour the milk into the mixture. Keep stirring or beating until you get a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave the batter in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 1 hour, until doubled in volume.
Step 3: Mix raisins, currants, and 1 tbsp of flour. Stir mixture into the batter and let it rise (see above).
Step 4: Heat the oil in a deep fryer at 175°C (350 F). Dip the cookie scoop in hot water and scoop up a scoop of batter. Let the ball of batter slide into the hot oil by squeezing the cookie scoop above it. Deep fry 4-5 oliebollen at a time for approximately 5 minutes until golden brown. Turn the oliebollen halfway through the baking time, if they haven’t done it by themselves yet. Take the balls with a skimmer from the oil and let them drain in a colander covered with paper towels. Let the cooking oil get back to proper temperature first before you bake the next series of oliebollen.
Step 5: Place the oliebollen on a serving dish and sprinkle generously with icing sugar.
Step 6: Taste them. I ate 8 of them within the past hour. Nuff said.
Oliebollen aren’t called ‘oil balls’ for nothing. Fry them in cooking oil rather than in fat, and certainly not in solid fat. When the oliebollen cool off, the cooking oil solidifies as a thin layer around the balls. That gives an icky greasy taste in your mouth, especially with cold oliebollen. Cooking oil remains liquid and that makes for tasty balls (*snorts*) at any serving temperature.
You can make oliebollen a few days before eating them easily. Just put them in the refrigerator or freezer. When you’re going to serve them, you can put them in an ovenproof dish, which you can loosely cover with aluminum foil, and then warm them in a preheated oven of 175 ° C (350 F) Cooled oliebollen need about 10-15 min. to get warm and tasty again. Frozen oliebollen need about 5 minutes longer than that.