Dutch Currant Buns

These buns are very popular in the Netherlands and easy to make at home.
by Ena Scheerstra

Dutch Currant Buns

Currant buns (krentenbollen) are available almost anywhere in the Netherlands, everyone knows them and almost everybody loves them. They are soft buns/rolls made from enriched yeast dough and filled with currants and raisins. They perfectly fit into Dutch practicality: you can take currant buns with you, they are not messy to eat on the go, they don’t need anything on them (although some people do eat them with butter or Dutch cheese) and they are sweet but not too sweet (which would make them unhealthy and thus not suitable for breakfast and lunch).

Nowadays currant buns are almost always made with a mixture of raisins and currants, which technically makes them raisin-currant buns. This is also what they print on the back of the bags of currant buns you buy in the supermarket, but everyone just keeps calling them currant bun (krentenboll). Supermarket buns are not that tasty, as with all the supermarket bread, because they use all kinds of things to make the buns cheap and have a longer shelf life. Bakery buns can be very tasty, often, they are made with real butter and all, but tend to be quite expensive, and the thing I really don’t like: they are very big. That is why I made my homemade buns nice and small, the perfect snack size. I was very pleased to find out that making them is very easy, and they freeze very well (though I haven’t tried it yet myself) so you can make a big batch and freeze them. And they taste like store-bought buns, but better. They have more flavor, are a little bit denser (which improves the texture and makes them a bit more substantial) and have a delicious crust. So go and make these! They are perfect as easy take-with-you snacks, but are luxurious enough to serve at the weekend breakfast!

4.5 from 6 reviews
Dutch Currant Buns
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
These sweet buns are perfect as a snack, but also delicious for breakfast or lunch, and luxurious enough for a weekend brunch!
Author:
Recipe Type: Baking
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 250 ml milk
  • 500 g flour (strong white flour works best)
  • 75 g sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7g sachet yeast
  • 50 g butter, soft but not molten
  • 1 egg
  • 75 g raisins
  • 50 g currants
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Optional: zest of 1 lemon, 1 orange or a mixture of both
Instructions
  1. Warm the milk to hand temperature.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter and egg together in a bowl, then slowly add the warmed milk until it forms a soft, sticky dough.
  3. Tip the dough out of the bowl onto a surface, kneed for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sultanas, currants, cinnamon and zest (when you use it), then kneed for another 5 minutes.
  5. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for approximately one hour, or until doubled in size.
  6. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, and roll each piece into a smooth ball. Use your hand as a cage, pressing down the dough a little. In this way, the raisins and currants on the surface of the dough get covered by a thin layer of dough, which prevents burning.
  7. Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving enough space so that the buns just touch when they rise and expand. Set aside to prove for another hour.
  8. Heat the oven to 220C.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven. Cover with aluminum foil when they brown too fast.
  10. Leave to cool slightly before trying one. Serve warm or at room temp.
Notes
Serve plain, with butter (and sugar), or with Dutch cheese. Prep and cooking time is without the 2x 1 hour proofing time.

Ena Scheerstra

Ena Scheerstra has a lifelong love for food and cooking, starting to collect cookbooks at age 10. She spends most of her free time on cooking and everything food related. She is a strong believer of honest food, produced sustainable and sourced locally, and cultures her own vegetables on her balcony and in her small allotment. Her blog is very internationally orientated, reflecting the variety of food she cooks, but on Honest Cooking she is focusing on showing the world the wonders of Dutch food.

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20 Comments
  1. I have been looking for this recipe ever since I moved to Canada. I want to make it coming week. One question: do I pre soak or wash the currants or will they swell during the raising of the dough?
    Thanks, Margreet

  2. They don’t need to be soaked, because they will plump up while the dough is rising and baking. But if you like very juicy fruit, you can pre-soak them. I usually give the fruit a quick rinse to remove any residue on the outside, but make sure to dry them otherwise they will make the dough too sticky, and they will sink to the bottom.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing ,my first time cooking with yeast and they turned out amazing! I now want to cook more bread recipes! I am inspired now! I’ve always been too scared before in case it goes wrong but this was so straight forward and simple! My husband ate three straight off!! They have now been hidden from him! :)
    Thank you

      1. Dutch Currant Buns

        Serves: 12
        Ingredients
        • 1 cup plus 2 TBL milk
        • 2 cups plus 2 TBL flour (strong white flour works best)
        • 5 TBL plus 1 tsp sugar
        • 1 tsp salt
        • 1 ½ tsp sachet yeast
        • 3 ½ TBL butter, soft but not molten
        • 1 egg
        • ½ cup raisins
        • 1/3 cup currants
        • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
        • Optional: zest of 1 lemon, 1 orange or a mixture of both
        Instructions
        1. Warm the milk to hand temperature.
        2. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter and egg together in a bowl, then slowly add the warmed milk until it forms a soft, sticky dough.
        3. Tip the dough out of the bowl onto a surface, kneed for about 5 minutes.
        4. Add the sultanas, currants, cinnamon and zest (when you use it), then kneed for another 5 minutes.
        5. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for approximately one hour, or until doubled in size.
        6. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, and roll each piece into a smooth ball. Use your hand as a cage, pressing down the dough a little. In this way, the raisins and currants on the surface of the dough get covered by a thin layer of dough, which prevents burning.
        7. Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving enough space so that the buns just touch when they rise and expand. Set aside to prove for another hour.
        8. Heat the oven to 425F.
        9. Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven. Cover with aluminum foil when they brown too fast.
        10. Leave to cool slightly before trying one. Serve warm or at room temp.
        Notes
        Serve plain, with butter (and sugar), or with Dutch cheese. Prep and cooking time is without the 2x 1 hour proofing time.

        1. Be careful with the weight to volume conversions.. while 500 g flour is 17.6 ounces, this does not convert to just over 2 cups, as a fluid ounce measure would (8 ounces per cup). 500 g of flour comes to slightly over 4 cups, because flour is much less dense than water. I’m going for a sticky dough, much like a house roll, and not being so exact with the flour as I try these. Smells divine so far!

  4. do you have to dissolve the yeast first? or can you just add it to the ingredients as is from the packet?
    Thank you!

  5. Made these with my kids this afternoon and they were delicious. We’ll certainly be making them again and maybe experimenting with different types of fruit. Dried apple should work well. Many thanks.

  6. I’ve just made these Dutch currant buns and it was the most successful yeast recipe that I’ve ever tried.
    Since I moved to Belgium I’ve really missed krentenbollen.

    I have one question: why is the cinnamon added after the first kneading and not with the other dry ingredients?

  7. Made then for the first time and the family enjoyed them so have to make them again ,had some for breakfast toasted with jam they where fabulous .

  8. I’ve been searching for a very simple current bun. I live and work in NW China but have lived in Australia for many years. Before that I travelled the world and spent 3 years in the south of Holland and before that 6 years in Germany. Good old-fashioned cooking is what I am after.

    Do you have a website where I can download some of your recipes?

    Kind regards,

    Henry Perfect

  9. Made these and they tasted great. However the temperature setting is too high at 220. 200 is much better and they only need about 15 mins. Thanks

    1. I agree, 220 seemed too high so I did my last batch at 200 – luckily kept a close eye as they only needed 15 mins and were still a little too browned on top for me so will be trying 190 next time. Excellent recipe though – everyone whose tried them loves them!

  10. I made these this afternoon using chopped dates instead of currants etc. I wanted a simple bun recipe as I was making them for a children’s service at church tomorrow (Loaves and fishes) and I did one and a half times the recipe and have made 40 mini buns. They look really good and we have tasted one and they are delicious. I will definitely make these again, and I am sure the children will enjoy eating these tomorrow.

  11. Great recipe and easy to follow. It brings back memories of my primary school days as every Wednesday we would get buns!
    I baked at 200c for 20 minutes and covered the buns with aluminium foil after 10 minutes to stop them getting too brown.

  12. Flavour very fine. Buns did not rise sufficiently, and the dough is so sticky is near impossible to roll into balls. Made these twice, same problem each time. Followed recipe to a T. What am I doing wrong? Have not commented before.

  13. I am finally getting to trying this recipe today! So far the recipe seems good. The dough was incredibly sticky and I didnt wet the currents or the raisins so I am not sure whats up. I did however notice that it seemed to get less sticky after the total 10 minutes of kneading. The dough got WAY less sticky upon rising for one hour and it looks as well as smells lovely, silky. Keeping it to rise until the edges just touched each other is a perfect discription! I have read the comments and decided to lower the temperature a bit so I have it at 200degrees Celsius and its currently smelling amazing in the oven. Thanks for the recipe!

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