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A Dutch New Year's celebration just wouldn't be complete without oliebollen, the aptly-name “oily balls” that are the heavenly match of a cake doughnut and apple-raisin fritters.
Since marrying into a Dutch-Canadian family, I've come to love the New Years tradition, but as with most baked goods in my kitchen, I set out on a mission to come up with a healthier sourdough version that makes the grains more digestible and uses more nourishing fats.
Enjoy – and Happy New Year!
Sourdough Oliebollen: Dutch New Year's Doughnuts
- 1 ½ cups sourdough starter
- ¼ cup unrefined cane sugar
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- ⅓ cup melted butter, cooled but still liquid
- juice from half a lemon
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 apple, peeled and finely chopped (optional)
- 1 cup raisins
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- 6-8 cups tallow, lard, or your favorite frying oil
- The night before you want to make your sourdough oliebollen (or at least 6 hours), mix the starter, sugar, flour, milk, butter, and lemon juice in a large non-reactive bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 6-18 hours.
- When you're ready to fry your oliebollen, heat enough fat to completely submerge the oliebollen to 360° F. (Yes, this is slightly lower than you typically fry doughnuts, but this is a more tender dough than some and you also want them to remain as soft as possible on the outside without becoming crunchy nor soaking up huge amounts of oil.)
- Meanwhile, stir the egg, salt, baking soda, apple, and raisins into the sourdough sponge.
- When the fat is hot, dip a teaspoon into the fat to keep the dough from sticking to the spoon, then drop the dough into the fat by heaping teaspoons. Let fry until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes, then flip the bollen over until the rest of the doughnut is brown, another 2 minutes or so.
- Drain and enjoy dipped or dusted with homemade powdered sugar.