Saturday, May 1, 2010

Krentenbollen for Queen's Day!

Hip hip hurray, it's Queen's Day! In Holland, every April 30th we celebrate old queen Juliana's birthday, with lots of flea markets, orange pastries and, for those so inclined, lots of beer. I haven't celebrated this yearly holiday for over 10 years and only remember it because it's also my brother Lucas's birthday.

But I did want to do something festive and Dutch and even if it wasn't an orange pastry, I did want it to have at least an orange tint to it. Lien from Notitie van Lien baked wonderful krentenbollen, or raisin buns, for BBD#28 last month and I was dying to try them.

I remember eating krentenbollen as a child. I was not particularly fond of them at the time, but would eat them anyway: my love for all things bread would always win. The raisins made the bread feel moist and gooey and every now and then you'd hit a bitter, burnt raisin. My mom would pack one with butter for school or we'd get them on Sundays as a special treat for breakfast.

After I moved away from Holland, it was never a food that I craved but it's so typically Dutch that I feel the need to bake them for this Queen's Day. And now that I bake them myself, I am happy to say that I have come to love these sweet, savory rolls. They are delicious with just a smear of butter, or with a nice sharp cheese.

So put on your tiaras, wear something orange and let's bake!

Krentenbollen
3.5 cups flour (or 500 gram)
1 tsp salt
3 tsp dry instant yeast
1 cup milk, luke warm
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 cups of dark raisins
1 cup of currants*
1/4 cup of chopped dried apple

1 medium egg, whisked (to glaze)

Mix the flour with the salt, and sprinkle the yeast on the warm milk. While you wait for the yeast to proof, zest the orange and the lemone. Now add the milk to the flour and stir it to get a straggly dough. Keep stirring and add in the egg, the sugar, butter and zests until it has come together. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

Punch down the dough, and knead the mixture to a supple dough (in machine or by hand). If you knead by hand you can knead in the filling immediately. If you knead with the machine, first make a supple dough, then work in the filling by hand, so the raisins/currants won't break up.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let stand in a warm spot for 45 minutes.

Divide the dough in 12-18 equal pieces, shape into rolls and flatten them a bit. Place on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment, cover with greased plastic and let rise again for 1 - 1,5 hours.

In the meantime preheat the oven to 400°F.

Brush the rolls with the beaten egg and bake them for about 15 minutes (depending on the amount/size you made them) until light golden and done. Let them cool on a wire rack. .

(adapted from "Kleine broodjes van ver & dichtbij"- I. Berentschot)



* if you can't find currants, just alternate golden raisins with red raisins. I soaked my raisins in warm water before adding them to the dough. You may want to adjust your water/flour ratio if you do or don't.