Dutch donuts aka oliebollen are the Dutch version of donuts (or actually, donuts come from oliebollen!). The literal translation of an oliebol is an oil ball, and we Dutchies eat them around New Year’s. Eating oliebollen is a Dutch New Year’s tradition!
During the fall months, you can see the first oliebollen stands in the Netherlands, but it’s a lot more fun to make them yourself.
And it’s quite easy and super tasty too. With this Dutch donuts (oliebollen) recipe you will spoil everyone during New Year’s.
Or why wait until New Year’s Eve? We sometimes bake Dutch donuts during the summer, simply because we like it so much! And with just a few simple oliebollen ingredients!
With this (vegan) Dutch oliebollen recipe you can also make delicious apple beignets. Read on to learn how!
Best Oliebollen Recipe
How do you make oliebollen? Making oliebollen yourself is not difficult. Though it will take you at least 1.5 hours, as the batter has to rise for 1 hour. The baking itself does not take long.
You only need a few ingredients for this oliebollen recipe: flour, water, yeast, sugar, salt, and sunflower oil or peanut oil for frying.
Optionally you can add dark beer to the recipe for an extra-light batter. Make sure the water and optionally the beer are at room temperature. You can also optionally add raisins/currants or apple pieces.
And of course you need powdered sugar when serving them! What is a Dutch donut without powdered sugar?!
When all the ingredients are mixed in a bowl, it’s time to let the Dutch doughnuts batter rise. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the batter rise for about 1 hour in a warm place.
If you let the batter rise longer, it will become fluffier, sometimes too light. So don’t let the batter rise for much longer than 1 hour. The oliebollen must be fried immediately after the batter has risen.
Let the batter rise in a warm place in the house. The batter rises 10% faster with each warmer degree!
Tip: use a large bowl, as the Dutch donuts batter will rise about twice as big.
If the batter doesn’t rise, we have a trick for you! Heat the oven to 120 °F (50 °C). When the oven is heated to this temperature, turn the oven off and place the bowl of batter (still covered) in the oven.
Dutch Donuts With Currants
When we make oliebollen, we divide the batter into 2 parts. 1 part for oliebollen without currants and 1 part for with currants/raisins. I like them better with raisins, but my partner likes them better without.
For the tastiest raisins/currants, well the currants or raisins in a bowl of water (or in rum, for rum raisin donuts!). Then pat them dry with kitchen paper.
After the batter is made, divide it into 2 bowls and you can mix the raisins/currants in 1 bowl.
Oliebollen Recipe With Beer
Oliebollen with beer are very tasty! Beer makes the batter lighter and gives the oliebollen extra flavor. They say once you have made oliebollen with beer you don’t want anything else!
Buy a dark beer to add to the batter. Replace half of the water with beer. Make sure your beer is at room temperature!
Alcohol evaporates from 170 °F (78 ºC), so there is only a little alcohol in the final Dutch doughnuts.
Also delicious: make apple fritters with oliebollen batter!
It is important that the oliebollen are nice and light on the inside and that the outside is crispy. It is also important that the oliebol is not too oily.
If the oil is not hot enough, the batter will absorb a lot of oil. That’s not good. But if the oil is too warm, the oliebol will brown too quickly, but it is not yet cooked on the inside. The temperature of the oil is therefore very important.
We don’t have a deep fryer, so we fry the oliebollen in a pan on the stove. But if you have a deep fryer, that is also possible. A deep fryer can be more convenient, since you can indicate the temperature.
It is most convenient to use an ice cream scoop for the oliebollen. This way you get nice round oliebollen. Clean the scoop with water and dry thoroughly after a series of oliebollen.
Do not put too many oliebollen in the pan at the same time. The oliebollen should turn over by themselves.
They don’t turn around on their own? Then the batter is probably too light. Scoop the batter yourself in that case.
Your oil should be 356 °F (180 °C). Heating oil yourself in a pan is slightly more difficult than in a deep fryer because it is more difficult to regulate the temperature.
Use a kitchen thermometer or a piece of bread to estimate the temperature. At 356 °F (180 °C), a piece of bread is crispy, golden brown within 15 seconds, and does not absorb too much fat.
If the oil cools down quickly during frying, fry fewer donuts in the pan at a time. Then she cools oil less quickly.
Do not use olive oil or frying fat to fry your oliebollen. You can, however, use sunflower oil, peanut oil, or salad oil. We always use sunflower oil as this oil has the most neutral taste. You need about 1-2 liter / 4-8 cups of oil per pan.
Are oliebollen vegan? In most cases, yes! Did you know that traditional oliebollen are vegan oliebollen? Most donut stalls sell vegan donuts (always ask!), But beware: bakers often use milk and butter in donuts, so they are not vegan.
This oliebollen recipe is also vegan. Do you want to make oliebollen batter with beer? Make sure that the beer you use is also vegan.
How to Store Oliebollen
Eating fresh oliebollen is, of course, the best, but you can store oliebollen a little longer. Let the oliebollen cool down and then put them in an airtight container.
How long can you keep oliebollen? For a maximum of 2 days. Keep them out of the fridge.
Freezing oliebollen is also possible. Frozen oliebollen can stay in the freezer for about 2 months. Let them thaw first if you want to reheat them.
You can easily heat up oliebollen in the oven. Preheat the oven to 390 °F (200 °C) and heat the oliebollen for about 7 minutes. You can also heat the oliebollen in the microwave for 20 seconds. In the oven, they get a bit more crispy!
Enjoy this Dutch donuts (oliebollen) recipe!
- 4 cups flour (500 grams)
- 2 cups of lukewarm water (500 milliliters) (or replace half with dark beer*)
- 2 packets of instant yeast (4 teaspoons)
- 2-4 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
- pinch of salt (and possibly cinnamon)
- raisins/currants or apple pieces (optional)
- powdered sugar
- 4-8 cups sunflower oil or peanut oil (for frying) (1-2 liters)
- For the tastiest raisins/currants, put the currants or raisins in a bowl of water (or in rum, for rum raisin donuts!). Then pat them dry with kitchen paper.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Instant yeast does NOT need to be dissolved first, you can continue immediately!
- Add the water and mix until the batter is smooth.
- Finally add the raisins/currants/apple pieces through the batter.
- Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and let the batter rise for at least 1 hour, in a warm place.
- Heat the oil in a wok pan (or turn on your deep fryer). Your oil should be 356 °F (180 °C). Use a kitchen thermometer for this, or use a piece of bread to estimate the temperature. At 356 °F (180 °C), a piece of bread is crispy and golden brown within 15 seconds.
- Take two spoons (or an ice cream scoop) and scoop the batter back and forth - so that a kind of ball is formed (note: the batter is too thin to really make a ball).
- Fry the oliebollen in 5-8 minutes until golden brown and crispy (depending on the size). Flip them halfway through (if they don't turn themselves). Do not fry too many oliebollen at the same time in the pan, as this will disrupt the baking process.
- Serve the oliebollen with lots of icing sugar, enjoy!
* beer makes your batter lighter. Use a beer at room temperature, with a high fermentation (dark beer). Alcohol evaporates from 170 °F (78 °C), so there is little alcohol in the actual oliebollen.
You can also use this batter for apple beignets (also called apple turnovers)! Peel the apple, core it with an apple corer and slice it so that you get rings.
Pat the apple rings dry with kitchen paper. Put the apple rings through a cinnamon sugar mix and then through the batter. The batter is somewhat elastic, so it can fall off the apple rings quickly.
You can also do this with pineapple slices!
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