Zeeuwse Bolus (Dutch Cinnamon Rolls)

Zeeland Bolus - deliciously ugly.
Zeeland Bolus – deliciously ugly.

Okay, so cinnamon scrolls are pretty popular with my household, so what better treat to bake this afternoon than the Dutch version – Zeeuwse Bolus.

These sweet treats are reputedly of Jewish origin and a local to the Dutch province of Zeeland in The Netherlands.  They are sweet, tasty and definitely ugly in appearance – but I wont hold that against them, I am not that superficial!

I read in my research that the name for these treats stems from the Latin word for ball, which has since been adapted in the common vernacular to refer to ‘poo’ simply because of the way these sweet treats look.  Having now baked them, I cannot beg to differ… that is exactly what they look like, but don’t let that deter you.  They taste absolutely delicious!

Ingredients (makes about 20):

For the dough:

  • 500 grams all purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried active yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk
  • 75 g unsalted butter (melted)

For dusting/rolling:

  • 400 grams dark brown sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of ground cinnamon

How to do it:

Everything in...
Everything in…

1. Place all the dry ingredients, including the yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attached.  Gently warm the milk in the microwave or in a pan on the stove top until lukewarm, and melt the butter.  Add these to the dry ingredients along with the lightly beaten egg and mix on low speed for about 6 minutes.



Dough should come together, but still be a bit sticky..
Dough should come together, but still be a bit sticky..

2. When ready, the dough will be rather wet, but will have come together and away from the sides of the bowl.  Stop the mixer and tip the dough out onto a lightly floured bench top.  Work into a ball and place the dough back into an oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl with gladwrap or a tea towel and place in a warm stop for about an hour or so to rise (until doubled in size.)



Mmm yum! The more cinnamon the better!
Mmm yum! The more cinnamon the better!

3. While you are waiting for your dough to rise, prepare your sugar and cinnamon mix by weighing out your ingredients and mixing together in a bowl.




Roll the balls of dough in the sugary sweetness...
Roll the balls of dough in the sugary sweetness…

4. Then when your dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down and then break off chunks of dough (about 60gms in weight) and roll into ball shapes.  Roll these balls through the sugar and cinnamon mixture and place on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment.

Note: do not tip your dough out onto a floured workbench to do this – you want the dough to be sticky or else it wont stick to the sugar mixture!


Ready to rise again!
Ready to rise again!

5. Leave the balls to prove for about an hour.





Rolling, rolling, rolling...
Rolling, rolling, rolling…

6. When puffed, take each ball and roll it out in to a 10-15 cm rope.  Then roll it through some sugar mix that you have sprinkled on the bench to get a good thorough coating.



Getting the picture...?
Getting the picture…?

When coated, twist the ope up and tie off in a rough spiral/knot shape and put back on the baking sheet to prove for another hour or so (or until nicely puffed.)



Mmmm, deliciously ugly!
Mmmm, deliciously ugly!

8. When they are about ready to cook – preheat your oven to 220 degrees celsius and bake your Zeeland Bolus on the middle rack for about 8 – 10 minutes.  Enjoy warm and share with your kids – they’ll love them!

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