Monday, October 01, 2007

Cinnamon buns inside and out Part 2: Zeeuwse bolus

What Bolus? I won't expect you to pronounce the first, but when you say "bogus" with an "l" you're close enough!

Inside out refers to cinnamon and sugar on the outside of the buns. When we were allowed some playing time doing the September challenge, this old fashioned Dutch bun came to mind. I found that although in Holland this particular bun is baked in the South-Western islands province called "Zeeland" (gee...that sounds like we have a grand country!), the origins might go back as far as the 16th century stemming from the Portuguese "bolo" and made their way to Holland by means of Portuguese Jewish bakers.

Base for the buns is a fairly regular sweet bread dough, like the one we made for the cinnamon buns. In fact I made twice the amount of dough and made half of it into these bolus-buns. What you will be looking for is a handsome ball of dough, just slightly slack, somewhat softer than you would want for a regular bread because this dough needs to be rolled into long ropes.

Recipe in a nutshell: knead white bread dough, roll out in ropes through sugar mixture, form and bake.

Dough recipe:

500 gr ap flour
1.1/4 ts salt
1.1/2 ts yeast
300 gr water or 320 gr milk (I like milk!)
75 gr butter
zest of one lemon or - prepared lemon-sugar zest
or - lemon extract, 1 tsp
for rolling: 250 gr dark brown sugar and 2 tbs cinnamon, mixed*

(*the Dutch basterd suiker.... I know I contains inverted sugar syrup, is very moist to the touch and has a slight molasses-like flavour, substitute with traditional brown sugar or maybe muscovado sugar).
Make a straight forward dough, combine ingredients, knead, either by hand or stand mixer! Again, we are looking for a slightly slacker white bread dough, malleable and windowpane test-proof). You might want to play with the liquid here, but I think the 300 water / 320 milk should do the trick for you as well.

The first rise is a fairly short one, approx. 45 minutes. It doesn't necessarily need to double, half way there is fine. Now, proceed to divide the dough in pieces of equal weight. I like to have pieces of 40 to 50 gram each which will give you around 14-16 pieces of dough. Form into little ball shapes, cover and let relax for 20 minutes or so. This short rest will literally relax your dough and makes it easier to roll into ropes.

We are going to roll ropes in stages (depending on how "willing" your dough is you'll need two or three stages).
First stage is roll into short ropes.
Second -and third stage: in comes the sugar-cinnamon mixture!

Cover your work surface with the sugar mixture and proceed to roll the ropes to a greater length, aiming for 30 to 40 cm (12-16 inches), rolling the ropes in the sugar mixture. This will give you not only longer ropes but also provides your ropes with the tell tale sign of stretch marks (we all know how that looks like....I do!). You might discover that the sugar hinders you to stretch the ropes to full lengths and it may help you to spray an area with oil first, sugar on top and then roll.

Next is to form the ropes into their final shapes. This time I made knots as shown here: Traditionally these "Zeeuwse bolus" is turban shaped, or if you wish a snail’s shell, I did one just to show you how it looks like (see pic next to the dough recipe). For obvious reasons (3 teenager boys in da house... I choose to make knots.)

The finished coils need another rise, on a lined baking sheet, about 60 minutes until visibly doubled/puffed. Here's another thing: this sugar I use is fairly moist and will attract even more you don't want to store them in the fridge while rising, try to keep them dry as possible; a tea-towel to cover preferred over plastic. See what I mean by moisture? (and stretch marks?)

Bake in a hot preheated oven (250C/475F) for 8 minutes. Timing is crucial here, you'll want them done but not crusty. Still soft but not know what I mean. :D. Traditionally eaten with coffee or tea, and spread with a knob of real butter (not on top but smeared on the flat under side) or dunked in a cup of cocoa. Either way, enjoy!

Still not enough of cinnamon and bread? Check out this recipe as well!


  1. Ohhh what a novel idea. They look great and very unusal. I will be trying this method next time :)

  2. WOW! Now thats a fancy little pastry! Mmm, all that cinnamon sugar. Looks fab!

  3. I love them! They remind me a bit of churros ... but that's just the cinnamon/sugar on the outside. :)

  4. Those are so totally cute I can't stand it!

  5. I love the shape of these!! They seem like they would be a lot of fun to make.

  6. Wow! Your rolls were rolled so nicely and tightly! And I adore those turban-like boluses!

  7. These look amazing, but strike me as being quite messy to eat. ;)

  8. such a clever idea!! i love it...they're almost like churros or cinna sugar pretzels

  9. David & Princess: Never thought to compare them with churros, but I can see why

    Deborah & Jenny: quite so, messy to make and eat!

    Katie, Slush, Maria, Jenn: I think they are cute too.

  10. I love them! I wish so much I could be in your kitchen again!
    What is really neat to me about this one is you giving people "permission" to use different doughs. Experiment. The playful always comes out in your writing!
    Can't get over that the knots come out so perfect!
    Oh to have 3 teenage boys to be eating the goods.

  11. Good use of leftovers Karen! You're so funny, you rule breaker, you!

  12. I love them! They look so that double knot shape :) I'll remember this for next time...thnks for sharing your recipe!

  13. From the department of the rhetorical, why does every photograph of cinnamon buns urge me back into the kitchen to try another version? These are beautiful... I love the literal and figurative twist!

  14. Great post! That sugar reminds me of the French "cassonade" amount of brow sugar will equal it.
    Lovely shapes!

  15. Not only are your DB cinnamon buns lovely, but these are AMAZING! Nicely done!

  16. You know, after three days of cinnamon buns, I'm still just as enthralled with them...these look great, and I'm sitting here wishing I still had some left to nibble on at my house! :-) I love the photo of the cinnamon bun against the black and white cloth....very nice contrast. :-)

  17. Inside out...very clever!

  18. I just love 'bolussen', nice to see them in a different shape. When you wrote you made this not in the original shape because you have boys... I saw that result of that before my eye. Which is not hard because I have to kids that
    'peuter' at everything, especially food.

  19. They look really nice. I like the idea of dunking them in a cup of hot cocoa.

  20. I love the inside out idea.

    I just read your profile and I also have a hard time with the SAHM title from time to time but I know that I would have a harder time with the working mom title

  21. Great idea! These are lovely. And you get to lick the cinnamon and sugar from your fingers--fun!

  22. I love all of your bread posts!

  23. How cute. I never thought of this idea before. They look so moist and sweet and absolutely delicious!

  24. These are far prettier than traditional cinnamon buns. Bet they are super cinnamonny, too.

  25. These are just gorgeous! So delicate. I desperately want a mouthful right now!

  26. Jammer jammer jammer dat je tefenwoordig alleen nog maar in het Engels schrijft. Mijn engels is niet best dus kost een recept lezen erg veel tijd en komt het er vaak niet van om het te maken. Maarrrrrrrrr hier maak ik echt een uitzondering voor , morgen zijn ze aan de beurt.

  27. Hoi Anoniem; vind ik nog steeds een lastige keuze...maar ik heb het idee dat er niet zoveel nederlandse lezers zijn, heb wel gedacht om de recepten zowel in het engels als nederlands te doen, misschien is dat een idee?

  28. Tanna & Mrs Cupcake: yes experiment is what it's about, I'm a rule breaker by nature, how can I expect other people to follow my rules? (That's no you kiddo's!)

    Tartelette: I think you are right, cassonade seems close!

    Shayne: thnks, I'm with you.

    To all: I appreciate your reading and commenting a lot! So very sweet! and you wouldn't believe it but I'm already tinkering with the idea to bake a new batch tomorrow...

  29. Je zou mij er inderdaad een heel groot plezier meedoen. En zou het ook niet zo zijn dat als je in het Nederlands schrijft je ook meer Nederlandse lezers trekt. Het blog van Lien en van Arden wordt toch ook druk bezocht?

    Ik snap heel goed dat het voor jou weer een heleboel extra werk geeft maar ik denk dat het vvor veel mensen heel leuk is om ook jou blog te lezen juist omdat jij zoveel internationale contacten hebt en aan allerlei leuke dingen wereldwijd meedoet.

    Moet toch ook wel een ongelofelijke kick geven dat je stukjes overal ter wereld gelezen worden. En dus ook in een klein dorpje op de Veluwe.

  30. Hoi!
    Lekker zeg die bolussen! Ze doen me er alleen wel aan herinneren dat ik de hond nog moet uitlaten hahaha. Maar ik weet hoe heerlijk ze smaken dus die ga ik ook eens proberen!

    Ik lees regelmatig je blog, kwam er via de log van Arden. Had alleen nog geen reactie achter gelaten. Ik ben namelijk een nieuwkomer in de foodblogs, vandaar.


  31. Dankjewel! Ik woon in de VS, en omdat je dit in het engels hebt geplaatst kunnen mijn vriendinnen hier dit maken. Hoef ik het eindelijk eens niet zelf uit te leggen.

    Geweldig, Ik mis de bolussen erg.

    Omaha, Nebraska

  32. Wat leuk om dit te horen Annette! Ik hoop dat je binnenkort van de bolussen kunt genieten.

  33. This is great... Living in the UK, I had a hard time explaining to my husband what a 'bolus' is... Now I can make them myself... You have no idea how long I've been looking for a recipe... And I saw you had a recipe for Fries Suikerbrood... Thank you so much... I am originally from Brabant, but travelled a lot of the Dutch countryside and always enjoyed the local dishes and treats... As an avid baker I already made plenty of 'Bossche Bollen', but I really missed 'Zeeuwse Bolussen' so again, thank you for your post...

  34. Hi Anonymous! Thanks for commenting. Glad to hear this is what you were looking for, hope you will find some time to try so your husband can enjoy the Dutch treats!

  35. I baked these today - and they are magnificent.

    Have eaten far too many. Hot out of the oven!

    Rolling them was tricky - but got there in the end and they all turned out looking lovely.


  36. Haha hot out of the oven is best! Thanks Simon, I'm glad you enjoyed them.

  37. They look wonderful, I have to try these.


Thanks for visiting! I really appreciate and enjoy reading all your comments! If you have any questions feel free to email me.