‘Oliebollen’ are a traditional Dutch food/snack that are baked for new years eve , which you are likely to eat, if you are living in the Netherlands. There are always people baking them and they are a share food, people who bake them hardly ever do this just for themselves.
There are many stories about the history of this tradition. The one that I like is: in the middle ages they were given to the poor people, so it would protect them better from the cold of the winter. As they are full of fat and calories. Well, at least the first part of it anyway.
Since we are living in Melbourne now, we had to bake them ourselves this year. We could have bought the mix for the dough during the Sinterklaas feest at the Abel Tasman club, but we found out that it is actually not that complicated to make yourself.
1 kg flour
2 sachets dried yeast
300 gram raisins
1 large bottle of beer (add extra for the cook as desired)
a teaspoon sugar
a bit of cinnamon
Add some icing sugar after they are fried.
The taste and the alcohol from the beer go out of the dough when you fry it. It is possible to use milk or water instead of beer, but the beer makes a really good dough.
You mix the ingredients together and slowly add the beer until you get a fairly thick dough. Leave it in a warm place to rise for about one hour.
We actually make 2 versions: one without the raisins and apples and one with them. But you can also add other stuff, like succade, banana or pineapple.
This is what it looks like:
Then you deep fry them in vegetable oil (170 degrees). Use two spoons to let the dough slide into the oil.
If you want to test the temperature put a little piece of bread in. If it starts to bubble and get lightly brown the oil is warm enough.
You leave them in for about six minutes until they are lightly brown. They will turn around themselves. Sometimes they need a bit of help. We had one that looked like a little pig which was constantly twisting.
Once the ‘oliebollen ‘are done you add icing sugar.
Now, that does not sound too hard, does it? Although you can eat them cold as well, they taste best when they are warm. If you do not eat them immediately, you can easily heat them up in the oven again. Enjoy!