A snowy day to start off 2009. For me I’m not sure it could have been much better. On second thought…it could have, I could have woken up to wonderful scents of crisp bacon frying, gooey cinnamon buns, oozing cheesy eggs and a delicious creamy latte. But I’m content.
Remembering the last year I realize how wonderful it’s been and how happy I am to be where I am. And to start off the year right we begin with oliebollen. Oliebollen translated literally means oil balls, which makes these suckers donuts, dutch donuts. Yum. Traditionally these are made by the mothers and grandmothers of our families but this year I’m old enough to learn.
They are actually a very simple treat to make as far as yeast treats go, they required only half an hour for proofing and maybe the equivalent for frying. Deliciously simple and a blank canvas for flavour this tradition is a diet breaker. To me these are the donuts of all donuts, the super donut if you will, light, and full of dough-y goodness. Like any donut these are highly addictive and too easy to eat, just know that you’ve been warned.
It should be noted, our family always eats oliebollen with raisins and apples dipped in powdered sugar (the word saturated is probably more accurate.) I suppose you could introduce nuts, currants, citrus zest, or spices, just be careful not to make your batter to heavy. To test if the oil is hot enough without a thermometer, which no dutch lady I know owns, my mother taught me to drop in a little piece of bread. If it floats and begins to sizzle the oil is hot enough. I prefer using a thermometer personally, but that’s probably because I’m a little careless when it comes to looking after hot liquids. p.s. this recipe makes about 30 medium-ish donuts that only keep for a day so make sure you have a handful of mouths near by.
2 tbsp. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water
sprinkle of sugar
3 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. raisins
1 apple chopped
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs beaten
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. lukewarm milk
Combine yeast, water and sugar foam for ten minutes.
Stir raisins, salt, apple and flour in a large metal bowl. Add risen yeast, eggs, sugar and lukewarm milk and mix by hand until smooth. Let rise covered by a damp towel in a warm place for 1/2 to 3/4 hour or until approximately double in size.
With two spoons shape batter into balls and drop into deep hot fat at 375ºf. Cook until golden brown, turning if needed. Drain on paper towels. Roll in icing sugar.