As much as I rag on Holland, and oh how I rag on it, the truth is, I would never have been bothered doing all that hideous visa stuff other people do, so would probably be living somewhere is Australia right now. Phew, close call….
Without Holland, however indirectly, there would be no Frenchman, no world class university education, no exciting architectural projects and no Paris. And im fairly certain, wherever id be right now had I not moved to Holland, I would be consuming far less delicious french wine, but thats a much too scary thought to even contemplate….
Other heavy hitters during this season include gluhwein (while the french may produce the best wine, they can’t warm is up right to save themselves), erwtensoep, a dutch take on pea and ham soup with mini hotdogs cut up into it (ahhh yum!), and of course Patat Frites met (with mayo).
The next day I took the train back to Paris, and with Oliebollen fresh on my lips, tongue, coat lapels and the scrunched up napkin hidden at the bottom of my handbag (i’m too good to litter but too lazy to walk to the bin)… the next day I set about creating a similar donut (New Years was over you see, cant be eating oliebollen when its no longer nouvel an!), and found a brilliant recipe in one of my christmas presents all the way from New Zealand, the fantastic Little and Friday.
Little and Friday Cinnamon Donuts
3tsp dried yeast
6 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup caster sugar (sucre en poudre)
140g unsalted butter
Heat milk until lukewarm, but not too hot to the touch. Remove from heat and sprinkle over the yeast. Stir until disolved.
Place all dried ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using an electric beater with a dough hook (if youre lucky enough to have one), mix at low speed. Since I am still sans kitchenaid, I mixed this by hand until totally combined.
Add the eggs and milky-yeast to the dry ingredients and mix until a sticky dough forms. This is VERY sticky. (again I did this between a wooden spoon and my hands, but continue to use your electric beater and dough hook if you have one!)
Increase the speed and mix for 10mins. For the old fashioned way, knead by hand for 10-15mins. I sprinkled more flour on the dough periodically at this stage to allow hand kneading to be managable.
Cut the butter into around 1cm cubes, and add slowly, kneading after each few additions, until all butter is used up and combined into the dough.
Cover bowl with a teatowel and leave to rise in a warm place until double the size. If you live in a cold parisien apartment like me, put the heater on full in the smallest room in the house and place your dough to rise there!
After risen tip dough onto floured bench, and roll to around 2-3cm thick. (in the originaly recipe they call for 4cm thick but once fried my donuts were a ridiculous height, so maybe test on first before settling on a thickness)
Cut out approx 8cm diameter rounds (I used a small souffle ramekin), then a smaller centre hole (I used the wide end of an icing decoarting tip, around 2cm diameter).
Leave them to prove again for 10-15 minutes. You will know it’s ready when a dry skin forms on the dough.
Fill a large saucepan with 2cm deep frying oil, and heat to around 180 dg celcius.
Drop around 3 donuts into the oil ( depending on the size of the pan, you dont want the donuts to touch) and cook around 2 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on the temperature of the oil, turning heat down or up depending on how quickly the donuts are browning.
Take donuts out of the oil and toss straight away in a mixture of 2cups caster sugar and 3 tablespoons cinnamon.
Eat with several cups of good coffee, preferably a flatwhite if you have one on hand. Meanwhile I have to stick with a cappuccino as I havnt yet figured out how to make a flatwhite on the espresso machine I got for my birthday. So complex!