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Oliebollen (Traditional Dutch Donut)

Oliebollen is a traditional Dutch donut, and arguably, the best donut out there. For many reasons. One, because it's Dutch, and who doesn't love Dutch culture? It's also a good luck tradition. The Dutch eat these donuts on New Years Eve and they bring good luck into the new year. I can attest to this, as it's my son's namesake. I'll let you figure it out.

I do love this donut so for many reasons, but I felt deep down we could bring it back to even more traditional standards and give the recipe a bit of a historic vibe. What would they have cooked with 100+ years ago? So I went into my 100% Organic Whole Wheat Einkorn Flour stash, pulled out my thyme honey, and got lucky that I had a jug of unsweetened organic almond milk that was accidentally sent to me from a lost Instacart driver. (Glad you took a wrong turn, Instacart driver. I love the product! Whoever ordered it has great taste).

After a call to my friends at Seylou Bakery in Washington, DC, the head baker, Charbel, a friend of mine, walked me through how to get yeast to rise with honey--not cane sugar. He actually taught me this trick when to make our family challah on shabbat and I've been using it since. He says it's more traditional to use honey than cane sugar. The first time I tried it this way, I crossed my fingers and hoped the yeast would rise--and it did. Since then, I've never looked back. When it comes to ingredients, I always swap for the more traditional "ancient" way of preparing food...and yet, I'm also modern. I don't know how that works and it must be either very confusing for you all or, if I'm lucky, have some semblance of harmony.

Truth be told, this was my first attempt at making my beloved Oliebollen donut with more traditional ingredients. I wasn't so much worried it wouldn't turn out, because I'm confident that anything fried in this house will get eaten without too much discrimination. But dang! I was pleased to see (an smell) these yeasty homemade donuts sizzle and crisp just like the Oliebollen from the street carts in Amsterdam.

I recommend you serve these warm, but I stayed up late making these so I could get the recipe out to you all. And my hack to warm and crisp them up in the morning? I'm going to toss them in the Instapot air fryer with no added oils for a couple minutes and they'll be as good as new. Hit 'em with some cinnamon and honey (we're out of maple sugar) and a hot cup of black coffee. Now we're talking! 

Traditionally, the donuts are served in the evening in Holland. The street carts line the streets and every person eats them. No one ever declares they are gluten-free (unless they have an allergy or celiac) or watching their waist to forgo this important and delicious cultural tradition. In our house this year, my spidey sense is telling me these donuts will be served for breakfast and after dinner. With the ingredients swapped into a more heart healthy recipe (hey, it's still a donut!), it will keep us feeling good all day long. And "guilt" is so American! Let your hair down people. Live a little.

Happy New Year to you and yours. May all your hopes and dreams for the next year come true. All my love.

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