Krentenbollen (Homenade Raisin Buns)
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In the Netherlands, these buns are known as Krentenbollen. The beauty of them is that they are not too sweet. The Dutch often use them to make cheese sandwiches.....filling them with slices of aged Gouda.
And, of course, all bread comes with its own story.
Originally, krentenbollen were not made for the tea table. They started life as leedbollen or 'sorrow rolls'. They were always to be found at the funeral feasts of non-Catholic families, much in the same way as plajke cake (slices of cake) are found today in the Netherlands.
Catholic families, on the other hand, traditionally preferred gingerbread (rouwpeperkoek) and cookies.
The Dutch even have a saying, "Het level is net een krentenbol, met ef en toe een hard stukje" (Life is like a currant bun, every once in a while, there's a hard bit)
This recipe makes a dozen raisin buns
For the yeast mix
2 teaspoons of instant yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar
60 mls of warm water
For the dough
520 gms of Plain / All-purpose flour (you made need more to create a proper dough)
50 gms of white sugar
50 gms of brown / dark sugar
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
300 mls warm water
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg (beaten)
60 mls canola or olive oil
250 gms raisins
Prepare the yeast mix
Add the yeast to the water and the sugar. Stir and place in a warm, dark place for 15 minutes. By then it should be frothy and foamy.
Prepare the dough
If you're mixing by hand or using a stand mixer, add the salt, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, egg, oil and water. Then add the flour and finally, the yeast mix. Mix by hand and then incorporate the raisins.
Turn the mix out onto a floured board and knead until you have a silky and pliable dough. (There are 'Help' videos and articles in the 'Useful Web and YouTube links' on the left hand side of this page).
Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover.
Leave for an hour somewhere warm until the dough has doubled in size.
Divide the dough up into 12 equal portions. (weigh the whole dough and then divide by 12).
Form each portion into a ball and roll around until smooth and even. There's a really good YouTube video demonstrating this technique here:
Place the rolls spaced out on a baking sheet.
Cover and place somewhere warm for about 30 - 45 minutes until they have doubled in size.
(You can glaze them with extra egg wash prior to baking, if you so wish)
Preheat the oven to 210⁰C.
Bake for 15 minutes until browned and baked.
Cool on a wire rack.
The buns freeze very well.