I had two of my best friends over for a home made brunch the other day. The whole thing was build around one of them wanting to learn to bake bread, and the other two of us wanting to help her – so we decided to give her a reason to give it a try. She baked the bread – and as I had talked to the other friend about oliebollen, a Dutch New Year’s treat, I decided I wanted to make some of those. I had never done it before, only seen my mom do it, but I remember how fascinating it was to watch the doughnut-like balls frying in hot oil – even turning by themselves when done on one side!

“Oliebollen” means “oil buns”, roughly translated. In fact they are just deep fried buns, kind of like doughnuts, crispy on the outside when fresh and squishy inside. They have a filling of fruits (raisins, ginger, apple and citrus peel) and nuts, and are utterly delicious with some powdered sugar.

The result of my efforts was very much perfect if I may say so myself – and I must admit I had oliebollen during the whole day (every time I felt just the tiniest bit hungry), and even had them for dinner as well.

I bet you want the recipe? Here it comes:

Enough for a large portion (about 30 pcs)

  • 30g yeast
  • 4½ dl luke warm milk
  • 1 tea spoon sugar
  • 500g plain flour
  • 1 tea spoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 80g raisins, or better, 40g raisins and 40g currants
  • 45g nuts, chopped
  • 20g finely chopped ginger
  • grated rind of one lemon
  • 1 sour apple cut to small pieces; can be sprinkled with lemon juice if you haven’t got an apple that is sour enough
  • 1-2 liters of a neutral oil, for deep frying
  • powdered sugar

Dissolve the yeast and the sugar in the luke warm milk, and let it rest in a warm place until it has little bubbles at the surface. Mix the flour and the salt, add the milk/yeast mixture and beat it until smooth. Beat in the egg. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, cover the bowl with a wet cloth and leave it to rise for about one hour in a warm place.

When the dough has risen to double size, it is time to fry. Heat the oil to about 160 degrees celcius. Make balls of the dough using two table spoons, and carefully let them slip into the hot oil. Fry the buns for about 8 minutes, or until they are light brown.

Dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy!