In Dark Rye and Honey Cake, acclaimed food writer and historian Regula Ysewijn shares recipes and culinary history from her Belgian homeland. Her recipe for Oliebollen (Dutch Doughnuts), is one of our favorites – who can resist a warm sugar-coated doughnut! Try this delicious recipe, you won’t be disappointed.
Ingredients (makes 12)
200 g (7 oz) strong (bread flour
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
5 g (⅛ oz) salt
7 g (¼ oz) instant dry yeast
200 ml (7 fl oz) full-fat milk, at room temperature
80 ml (2½ fl oz) water
1 tablespoon melted butter or oil
2 litres (70 fl oz) oil or lard, for frying
Icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting
- Use a deep-fryer or a deep heavy-based saucepan.
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer. Pour in the milk, the water and the melted butter or oil, and whisk until your batter is smooth. It should be wet and scoopable, but it shouldn’t pour from a spoon like pancake dough. Cover the bowl and set the batter aside to rest for 45 minutes.
- Heat the oil to 180°C (350°F) in a deep-fryer or deep heavy-based saucepan. The oil is the correct temperature when a cube of bread is added and turns golden brown in 60 seconds.
- Use an ice-cream scoop to make nice scoops of the batter and let them slide into the hot oil. Fry for 5–6 minutes on each side or until golden brown: use your visual cue and don’t leave the fryer unattended.
- Transfer to a tray lined with paper towel while you cook the remainder, then pop them on a serving tray – or, if you want to go traditional, put them into a paper bag or paper cone – and dust generously with icing sugar. Eat them hot and with your hands: licking your fingers is essential.
- Variation: Mix caster sugar (I have a stick of vanilla in my jar of sugar) with a little cinnamon and use that instead of icing sugar to dust the Oliebollen. This is not traditional at all but very nice indeed!