Thursday, December 31, 2009


New Years eve brings more Dutch traditions. I think I've mentioned before that New Years Eve is a big deal in Holland. Everybody celebrates it in a big way. Parties, Fireworks, and also clubbing all night are common place. I've tried to carry on these tradition, except maybe the clubbing part. This house has been very condusive to great parties. Living out in the country means we can build huge bonfires, set off fireworks, and make as much noise as we want. What a blessing.

Tonights party planning and prep is in full swing. Oliebollen are a traditional Dutch New Year's eve treat. They are kind of like a scone with raisins and apples. They can also be made without the raisins, but I prefer to have them included. Last night I put the raisins in water to soak. As soon as I got up this morning, I started chopping apples, warming milk, sifting flour. But it's not all idealic. I didn't add enought liquid to the flour right from the start, so the dough got too thick, which made the additional milk spill right out of the side of my mixer. I sure hope people will eat my oliebollen a lot more than previous years, because it seems I am usually the only one.
Hosting a party also brings the obligation (in my mind) to clean my whole house. Luckily I've got 3 good helpers these days!
If you plan on doing any substantial amount of baking, you should really invest in a good food scale. One that can measure both pounds and grams. Most Dutch recipes use gram measurement, which are much more acurate than cups/volume measurements.

Oliebollen Recipe (makes about 48)

1 kg all purpose flour (1000 grams)
1 liter milk (1000 ml)
4 granny smith apples
250 gram White raisins
250 gram regular Raisins
2 tsp Salt
24 gram Instant Yeast
2 tsp Sugar
4 Eggs
Vegetable oil and 1 cup shortening for frying

The night before you plan to make oliebollen, wash the raisins. Then let them soak in water overnight.
It's important that all of your recipes are at room temperature.

  • Peel and chop apples into small pieces
  • Drain the raisins, and blot them dry with a paper towel.
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl (I use the mixing bowl of my Bosch)
  • In a seperate bowl, slightly whisk the eggs, so the yolk and eggwhite are mixed together.
  • If you don't have instant yeast, combine yeast, sugar, and 1/2 cup of lukewarm milk, and let it sit for about 10 minutes (this will activate the yeast)
  • Warm up the milk until lukewarm.
  • Make sure your eggs are room temperature
  • Add Yeast, eggs, and half of the milk to your flour. Mix well, until all lumps are gone
  • Slowly add remaining milk. Mix until well blended.
  • Carefully fold in raisins and apples.
  • Cover the dough with a damp rag, in a warm environment (I heat up my oven to 100, and let it rise in there). Until double in size -- about 2 hours

About 15 minutes before you are ready to start frying, you can heat up your vegetable oil. The oil needs to be about 350 degrees Fahrenheit (or 180 Celcius). The way to know if it's hot enough, is to drop a piece of bread into it. It's ready when it turns brown quickly. If it's too hot, the outside will get brown too fast, and the inside won't cook. If it's not hot enough, the oliebol will soak up way too much oil.

Use an ice cream scoop (or 2 regular spoons) and drop balls of dough into the oil. Make sure you don't put too many in at the same time, because they need room to "swim". Fry them until brown and done on one side, then flip. If it's ready to be flipped, it should be very easy to flip, and sometimes it flips itself. After they're done, place on a paper towel, to blot off extra fat. Serve warm, covered with powdered sugar.


Nancy Sabina said...

I'm really going to miss being at your house on New Year's Eve. I've been there for the big party the last two years! ...Maybe this year it'll be warm enough that you can really enjoy the fireworks without freezing your toosh off!

Maddy S said...

Thanks for the recipe. They look so good. Does the name mean anything? It sound like oil balls.:)Happy New Year! I am glad you get to throw a party Dutch/European style. I miss being in Romania for the holidays and even though we've had big parties here people get tired at 1am and go home. Anyway, have a great new year.

Wendy said...


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