Showing posts with label Berliner Bollen (German Jam Donuts). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Berliner Bollen (German Jam Donuts). Show all posts

Berliner Bollen

There is nothing new about Berliner bollen, these Berlin doughnuts, as their recipe has been circulating around the northern parts of Germany since the 16th century, but there is something intriguing about them: any and all countries that fry these delicious, jam-filled treats call them Berliner doughnuts, except for the people of Berlin, who call them Krapfen or Pfannkuchen (literally pancakes). That in itself is confusing as we know pancakes to be very different to what we're looking at here. And so does the rest of Germany, who call pancakes pancakes, except for the Berlin people who call them Eierkuchen, egg cakes. And of course in the Netherlands, we know egg cakes to be eierkoeken, which is a totally different thing altogether. I guess it pays to know what certain foods are called locally when you have your heart set on something specific! 

Berliner bollen are traditionally eaten for New Year's Eve, as well as at Carnival. They eventually made their way to the US and can be found under the name Bismarcks, especially in the Midwest. As for fillings, they can be found with any kind of jam filling: cherry, raspberry, strawberry, apricot...But they can also be split in half and filled with pastry cream, or whipped cream and fresh fruit. Speaking of fillings, for April Fools, sometimes the Germans randomly fill several bollen with mustard and place them among the jam-filled ones. "Rare jongens, die Germanen", would Obelix have said! 

Now, you may ask, why am I reading about German food on a Dutch recipe website?  Well, because as is a neighboring country, Berliner bollen are a staple at any good Dutch bakery and definitely a favorite memory of my childhood in Limburg. Ours were always filled with apricot jam which, because of its tartness, has a nice way of cutting through the sugar and grease of the dough itself. And it's perhaps of our proximity to Germany, we also celebrated New Year's with Berliner bollen, next to the oliebollen and appelbeignets. So in case you've got some extra time on your hands, and you're firing up the fryer anyway, why not make a couple of these as well? You probably have all the ingredients at hand already, it's an easy recipe and it provides another variety to the table. 

Berliner Bollen

2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup (125 ml) warm milk

1.5 tsp dry yeast 

2 eggs

4 Tbsp (50 grams) butter, room temperature

2/3 cup (150 grams) sugar

3/4 cup (200 grams approx.) jam 

Optional: piping bag with pointed pastry tip

In a bowl, mix the flour with the sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, proof the yeast with the warm milk for a few minutes, until the yeast gets frothy. Stir in the milk and the eggs with the flour, give it a good stir until the dough comes together, and then knead in the room temperature butter. Knead for a good two to three minutes, until you have a soft dough. Form into a ball, and let it rest, covered until doubled in size. 

When doubled in size, divide the dough into ten 2 oz pieces (approx. 60 grams each) and roll them into balls. Cover again and let rise until doubled in size. When they're ready, heat up the deep fryer to 330F/170C and carefully lower the dough balls into the oil. Fry them on both sides for about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden and remove from the oil. Let drain on paper towels. 

When they've cooled down a little bit, pour the sugar in a bowl, and roll the Berliners through the sugar. Fill a piping bag with jam, and fill each doughnut with jam. If the jam is too thick to make it through the pastry tip, thin it with a little bit of water. Alternatively, you can cut the doughnut in half, and spread the jam in between the two halves.