Monday, December 20, 2010

Oliebollen - Traditional Dutch New Year's Eve Donuts

Oliebollen - Dutch donuts
With my Dutch-American parents in town this week, we're working our way through our favorite Dutch holiday foods.  Since they won't be here for New Year's Eve, we're scheduling oliebollen for this afternoon. 

Oliebollen mix. 
I suppose these can be made from scratch but my mother has led me to believe that Dutch people, who make these at home, use a mix.  I suggested using cranberries to give it an American twist but that idea was quickly shot down.  Stick with the "real" thing - use raisins or current.

Mom buys the mix mail order Van Der Veen in Grand Rapids Michigan.

From Wikipedia...
An oliebol (plural oliebollen is a traditional Dutch food. Oliebollen (literally oil balls) are traditionally eaten on New Year's Eve and at funfairs. They are also called smoutebollen (literally lard balls) in Belgium. Sometimes it is referenced in English as Dutch donut.
Oliebollen are a variety of dumpling made by using two spoons to scoop a certain amount of dough and dropping the dough into a deep fryer filled with hot oil. In this way, a sphere-shaped oliebol emerges.
The dough is made from flour, eggs, yeast, some salt, milk, baking powder and usually sultanas, currants, raisins and sometimes apple pieces and zest or succade. In some family recipes beer is added to the dough.  The dough needs time to rise for at least an hour. Oliebollen are usually served with powdered sugar.
They are said to have been first eaten by Germanic tribes in the Netherlands during the Yule, the period between December 26 and January 6. The Germanic goddess Perchta, together with evil spirits, would fly through the mid-winter sky. To appease these spirits, food was offered, much of which contained deep-fried dough. It was said Perchta would try to cut open the bellies of all she came across, but because of the fat in the oliebollen, her sword would slide off the body of whoever ate them.
A very similar type of doughnut can be found in Belgium and France. Croustillons are deep fried dough balls served hot and liberally sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are usually served in a paper cone with a little plastic fork to eat them with. They are typically found at fairgrounds in Belgium and in Lille, France.
According to my parents, oliebollen are served to friends and family as they came to visit.  Each time the oliebollen are served, they are given a fresh sprinkling of powdered sugar.  By the second day, they are old dried out oil balls, coated with a thick layer of sugar!

We followed the recipe on the box.

Adding raisins

Ready to rise in a quite place for an hour

Getting organized

Heating the oil

After rising an hour


First two out of the fryer

First two with powdered sugar

On a roll

Autopsy shot

Afternoon Coffee
The mix stated 25 oliebollen and we managed 21.  We won't have too many left over by tomorrow.

Happy Early New Years


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