Oliebollen and beer

Dutch tradition: Oliebollen and beerOliebollen and beer pairings by Arvid Bergström

You may have heard about this appetising Dutch tradition - the delicious “Oliebollen”. Oliebollen, literally translated as oil balls, are sweet deep fried dough balls. Oliebollen are part of the Dutch New Year’s celebration and are available almost anywhere during wintertime.

There are all kinds of oliebollen: you can buy ‘natural’ ones and eat them with some powdered sugar on top, or get them with raisins inside. But here at Beerwulf, we decided we’d take it a little further with oliebollen and beer pairings.

Oliebollen and beer are the perfect warming combination during wintertime. The taste of the oliebollen can be cut through nicely with cold beer, or intensified by an equally strong flavoured beer. The main ingredients of beer and oliebollen are very similar: water, yeast and grains. So if you plan on making these delicious oliebollen yourself, don’t hesitate to add some beer into your oliebol-batter!

How to make oliebollen? 

Requirements:
Large bowl, three small bowls, mixer and spoons.

Ingredients:

  • 10 grams dry yeast
  • 10 grams cane sugar
  • 750 grams wheat flour
  • 15 grams salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 25 grams melted butter
  • 750 grams lukewarm beer, water or milk (= 75cl)

Together this is about 1660 grams. If you use 30 grams of the mixture per oliebol then you get 55 oliebollen. Let’s count this as 50, so you can pre-test some oliebollen during the preparation. Or use 25 grams of the mixture per oliebol, then you’ll end up with 60 oliebollen.

Remove the beer from the fridge one hour in advance. You can also put it in a bowl with lukewarm water to bring it to room temperature.

Put the yeast in a bowl. Add 25 grams of 750 grams (a splash) of lukewarm milk, water or beer to the bowl to activate the yeast. Add the 10 grams of cane sugar. Let it rest until you see the yeast bubble. Mix the wheat flour and salt in a different bowl and add the rest of the liquid in one go. Add the eggs and the melted butter and mix. Add both mixtures together after five minutes. Put the batter away for an hour, preferably in a warm place (25-30 degrees), so the dough can rise.


If an oliebol is placed in hot oil, the outside will sear. Actually the dough gets coated in the frying oil. The moisture can no longer escape from the oliebol, so it becomes very hot inside. It steams the oliebollen until done. 

An important rule is frying at the right temperature. Oil that’s too hot will burn the crust before the oliebol is cooked inside. If the oil is not hot enough, however, a crust will not form quickly enough, and the oliebol will suck up all the oil. You will literally get an oil ball. 180 - 185 degrees Celsius is ideal for frying oliebollen.

1. Make sure your batter has no lumps. Stir the batter well, but calmly.

2. Dry the raisins and other fillings and then sprinkle with wheat flour, herbs or spices. This ensures a better bond with the batter.

3. Work with clean vegetable oil. Animal frying oil solidifies during cooling. That gives white-spattered bulbs.

4. Use an ice-cream scoop or two spoons to form the oliebollen. Rinse them with cold water and then dry the spoons well. If any water falls into the hot oil then the oil will splash, so look out to avoid getting burned.

5. Do not bake too many oliebollen at the same time. The oil temperature will drop too quickly. And make sure they do not touch each other and have enough space to be flipped or turned around. Once they’re done, drain the oliebollen on kitchen paper.

 

Oliebollen recipes and beer pairings

Classic oliebol

Try this different take on the classic oliebol, with sweet candied orange peel, apples, raisins and cinnamon. It’s paired with Affligem Blond.

Use the basic recipe for the batter. Choose milk for this recipe. Do not make these oliebollen too big: 30 grams per ball is ideal. With 750 grams of flour you will end up with about 50 oliebollen.

Additional requirements:

  • 100 grams of candied orange peel (or other candied fruit)
  • 2 apples
  • 75 grams of raisins
  • juice of half a lime
  • 7 grams of cinnamon

Cut the apple into small cubes, about the same size as the candied orange peel. Wash the raisins in water or in beer. Cut a lime in half and sprinkle the apple with the juice of half a lime. Sprinkle the apple with cinnamon. Add everything to the dough and mix. 

Pair with: Affligem Blond

This golden beer has a fair amount of carbon dioxide, and aromas of banana, citrus and vanilla. The smell reminds me of freshly baked bread and has strong similarities with the smell of freshly baked oliebollen with apple. This blonde beer has a relatively high alcohol percentage, which fits well with the greasiness of the oliebol. The beer is fruity, so it fits well with the sweet apple and the sourness from the candied citron peel.

Serving suggestion: powdered sugar

Good morning oliebol! 

This one’s a sweet oliebol with coffee and vanilla flavours. Paired with Vandestreek Dark Roast.

Use the basic recipe for the batter. Choose the Dark Roast beer to go with the recipe. Don’t make these oliebollen too big, though: 25 grams per oliebol is ideal. With 750 grams of flour you will end up with about 60 oliebollen.

Additional requirements:

  • 15 grams of instant coffee or 50 ml of freshly brewed coffee
  • 2 vanilla pods

Cut open the vanilla pods and gather the vanilla seeds on your chef's knife. Add the seeds together with the instant coffee and stir into the mixture. If you use fresh coffee, add 50 grams of extra flour to the mixture. Mix it and let the dough rise for another 15 minutes, then you can start frying the oliebollen. Place them in a bowl full of kitchen towel after frying, then decorate them with powdered sugar.

Pair with: Vandestreek Dark Roast

The Dark Roast is a dark coloured beer. The roasted malts give this beer its body, while it’s the Kenyan coffee that gives it just the right fruity taste. The combination is delicious, especially with the flavours of this intense coffee stout.

Serving suggestion: powdered sugar

Iberian oliebol 

A savoury oliebol with gorgonzola cheese and chorizo slices. Paired with Frontaal Billiard.

Use the basic recipe for the batter, using milk, and again around 25 grams per oliebol. With 750 grams of flour you will end up with about 50 oliebollen. First make the oliebollen and then fill them after.

Additional requirements:

  • 125 grams of Gorgonzola
  •  80 grams of chorizo slices

Cut open the oliebollen and spread a little blue cheese on both halves. Place a slice of chorizo on each half. You can now choose whether you put them back together or serve half. Place them in a bowl of kitchen towel after frying and use some chopped sage as a garnish.

Pair with: Frontaal Billiard

Frontaal Billiard The Billard is a dark beer with a full, strong aroma. You should be able to smell a little coffee, chocolate and the roasted scents of the malt. Blue cheese is intense, as is chorizo. And if you drink an intense beer like this next to it, you’ll get a perfect mix. The saltiness of the cheese masks a bit the bitter taste of this Russian Imperial Stout, which in turn allows you to taste the sweetness of the cheese a lot better. The spiciness in the chorizo is slightly enhanced by the bitters from the beer. In this combination, there’s a lot happening. Especially if you also add some sage!

 

Cinderella and the pumpkin carriage

This is a savoury oliebol with pumpkin and chinese spices. Paired with Bronckhorster IJsselbock.

Use the basic recipe for the batter. Choose beer for this recipe, the Bronckhorster IJsselbock. With 750 grams of flour you will end up with about 60 oliebollen.

Additional requirements:

  • 120 grams of pumpkin
  • 10 grams of five spice powder (Chinese spice mixture)

Cut the pumpkin into small cubes and add them with the five spice powder into the batter. Mix and let the dough rise for another 15 minutes, then you can start frying the oliebollen. Place them in a bowl of kitchen towel after frying and use some cane sugar to decorate the oliebollen.

Pair with: Bronckhorster IJsselbock

IJsselbock BronckhorsterThis autumn bock at 7% ABV is full-bodied, soft and warming. The spice of this beer matches very well with the sweet vegetable taste of the pumpkin in the oliebol. The five spice powder fits well with the sweetness of this autumn beer.

Serving suggestion: cane sugar

Affligem Blond

-10%

Blond Beer | 6,8% | 30 cl

€ 1,69 € 1,52

vandeStreek Dark Roast

Porter & Stout | 7,8% | 33 cl

€ 2,75
Temporarily sold out

Frontaal Billiard

Porter & Stout | 10,1% | 33 cl

€ 3,49
Temporarily sold out

Bronckhorster Ijsselbock

-10%

Bock Beer | 7,0% | 33 cl

€ 3,19 € 2,87
Temporarily sold out