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!

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.


  1. Great looking rolls you made Nicole!!
    I soaked my raisins too the last time I baked them (about a week ago). A very wet Queensday here in the Netherlands unfortunately, but we love the day off anyway ;)
    Cool you even 'translated' the metric to cups, did you ever get used to that?

  2. To tell you the truth, I usually "eyeball" the amount but when I make a recipe for the first time, I do weigh out the flour in grams and then scoop out the flour into my mixing bowl so I can write the amount down in cups. A bit anal, I know, but I hate recipes that are not accurate, even if I don't always follow them! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for a great recipe! Did you bake anything orange for Q'Day?

    1. i am the same lol
      i hate it especialy with baking recipes when the measurements are not accurate :)
      really want to try to make these!
      thanks for all your wonderful recipes!!

  3. nah, was far too busy making posts meet their deadline at the end of the month. I used too, but to have to post ready on time, meant that we ate 'orange stuff' a few days before, which is quite silly, so I don't force myself into that anymore.

  4. Oh Nicole, I am thrilled to have been told about your blog:) I'm an Aussie with a mother born in The Netherlands, who hasn't ever done any Dutch baking. I ache to find recipes from my heritage and here you are!! I am going to poor over your blog, thanks SO much!! Will be following and learning eagerly:D

    PS, to see you describe Holland's baking traditions as 'rich' excites me - I had no idea!

  5. Thank you for the recipe! I used to live in the NL for some time and I loved these buns! both sweet and savoury :) I would definitely make them as a christmas treat. Happy holidays!

  6. Great receipe. I have made these twice now.
    One issue, the salt should be mentioned in the preparation description. I add the salt when the remainder of the flour is added.

  7. Making these for the first time for my Dutch hubby! I did notice the dough difficult to knead because so many raisins and currants kept popping out! Was difficult to knead until supple. I am allowing the dough to rest now and will proceed with the recipe and hope for the best! From what I read in the other comments we won't be disappointed! (Also I didn't have dried apples so left them out)

  8. During a trip to Curacao i discovered these great Currant Buns and wanted to recreate them.

    Made them yesterday and they are terrific!

    Do you have any recommendation sfo rather fillings that couldn’t b eased with this dough? Eg sweet cheese filling; nuts, cinnamon and raisins etc?

    Thank you,
    Howard Hoffman

    1. Hello Howard,
      Thank you for the compliment! I think you are asking me for a possible filling for this kind of dough. If you want to keep Dutch flavor profiles, you could try sweet almond paste as a filling, or apple and walnut chunks tossed with cinnamon and sugar. If you want to go the global route, you could always use the dough to make American style cinnamon rolls, with a cream cheese frosting. The sweet raisin dough also goes well with aged, savory cheeses: baking a cube of aged Gouda cheese in the middle, or working small chunks of aged cheeses like feta in the dough, would also make for an interesting change. Let us know what you end up experimenting with!


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