These donuts, Dutch Oliebollen, are the delicious last challenge in the Daring Kitchen community. Donuts are a traditional treat for New Year’s Eve in the Netherlands and I think, donuts are a great treat anytime.

The week since Christmas Eve has flown by and now we arrive at the end of 2016. I’m sad to say that this post also marks the end of Daring Kitchen, a wonderful online group of which I have been a part of since 2009.

It is because of the Daring Kitchen that I started this blog in the first place. And it is because of the Daring Kitchen that I even thought to attempt puff pastry, croissants and macarons, just to name a few. And it is because of the Daring Kitchen that my interest has been spurred in the the amazing baking traditions of many countries around the world, like the Esterhazy cake, Armenian nazook and speculaas. Within this amazing group I have found wonderful blogging friends and we developed a great baking camaraderie. So, today I bid a sad farewell to the Daring Kitchen.

This last challenge was hosted by the lovely Francijn Brouwer from the blog “Koken in de Brouwerij”. Francijn is from the Netherlands and this is the third time she has opened her kitchen and shown us her country’s wonderful baking traditions. Oliebollen are a traditional treat for New Year’s Eve in The Netherlands and there are mobile kitchen everywhere during winter selling these delicious Dutch donuts. The traditional oliebollen are made with apple and raisins. I also made a plain version which were injected with Nutella after frying. Thanks to Francijn, these donuts were a hit with my family!

Oblibollen – recipe courtesy of Francijn of “Koken in de Brouwerij”

300g / 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
200g / 1 1/2 cup plus 5 tsp all-purpose flour
10g / 3 tsp instant yeast
10g / 1 1/2 tsp salt
25g / 2 Tbsp caster sugar (white or light brown)
3g / 1/2 tsp cinnamon
150ml / 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp brown beer (room temperature)
175ml / 3/4 cup water (room temperature)
175ml / 3/4 cup milk (room temperature)
50g / 3 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted but not hot)
1 small egg
200g (7 oz, or 1 1/3 cups) raisins (without clumps)
1 small apple or half a big apple (a firm variety)

Directions:

1. In a large mixing bowl mix flours and yeast with a whisk.
2. Add salt, sugar and cinnamon, and mix again.
3. Add beer, water and milk (mind the room temperature), the melted butter, and the egg.
4. Attach the paddle to your mixer (or the dough hook, if you don’t have one) and mix the ingredients thoroughly. Go on until the dough becomes elastic, a few minutes.
5. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
6. In the meantime cut the apple in small cubes, as big as peas or beans.
7. Add raisins and apple to the dough, and mix well with a spatula.
8. Put a wet towel over the bowl, and let the dough rise for an hour, until is has nearly doubled in size.

9. In the meantime, put the oil in your deep fryer. Heat it to 180°C / 355°F.
10. Get ready for cooking: place a tray on the counter and cover it with two layers of paper towels. Have something ready to place your scoops on, to not cover your counter with grease. And have a timer handy, to track frying time.
11. Once the dough has doubled in size and the oil is hot, dip your ice scoop in the oil to avoid sticking, and fill it with dough, leveling it against the side of the bowl. Take care to include a reasonable amount of filling.
12. Release the doughball carefully into the oil, by sticking the scoop into the oil and pulling the lever. For now, don’t add more oliebollen. Start the timer.
13. Observe the behavior of the oliebol. It will start floating around, and after some time, it will turn over automatically. That way, in the ideal situation, it will brown on both sides. If the oliebol doesn’t turn over, help it when the frying time is halfway over, using a fork.
14. After five minutes of frying, take it out of the oil and put it on the tray with paper towel. Wait a minute, and then cut it through the middle with a sharp knife. Look at the center. Do you see raw dough? Then you should have cooked it longer. Do you see a bread-like texture? Then it is done, and you could even try to shorten the cooking time.
15. If you are satisfied with the texture? Then start again, but now with a few oliebollen at once. Are you not satisfied? Try again with a longer or shorter frying time.

16. Keep frying until there is no dough left, and make sure the oliebollen are all the same size, otherwise they will need different cooking times. Don’t forget to start the timer with each batch, and remember that the ones you put in first, should be taken out first.
17. Oliebollen are best when you eat them while they are still hot and crunchy. Sprinkle them with powdered sugar and enjoy! They are still great at room temperature, but next day you will miss the crunchiness. This is how to reheat them: preheat the oven to 150-160°C / 300-320°F / Gas Mark 3, and heat the oliebollen for 5 minutes.

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