These buns are very popular in the Netherlands and easy to make at home.
by Ena Scheerstra
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!Print
Dutch Currant Buns
These sweet buns are perfect as a snack, but also delicious for breakfast or lunch, and luxurious enough for a weekend brunch!
- Author: Ena Scheerstra
- Prep Time: 45 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 12 1x
- 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
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Optional: zest of 1 lemon, 1 orange or a mixture of both
- Warm the milk to hand temperature.
- 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.
- Tip the dough out of the bowl onto a surface, kneed for about 5 minutes.
- Add the sultanas, currants, cinnamon and zest (when you use it), then kneed for another 5 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Heat the oven to 220C.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven. Cover with aluminum foil when they brown too fast.
- Leave to cool slightly before trying one. Serve warm or at room temp.
Serve plain, with butter (and sugar), or with Dutch cheese.
Prep and cooking time is without the 2x 1 hour proofing time.
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.
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?
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.
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! :)
Could I get the recipe converted to non-metric measurement?
Yes please! Americans need all the help we can get ;)
Dutch Currant Buns
• 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
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.
Serve plain, with butter (and sugar), or with Dutch cheese. Prep and cooking time is without the 2x 1 hour proofing time.
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!
do you have to dissolve the yeast first? or can you just add it to the ingredients as is from the packet?
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.
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?
Leave them to rise in warm place?
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 .
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?
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
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!
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.
Are you supposed to use SRF or Plain Flour??
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.
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.
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!
I made 12 making them.about 90g each. I. halved the salt and think I will cut the sugar down a bit as they were sweet enough to eat on their own but my.husbanf typically puts butter and jam on yeast products. I set the oven at 400 and they took about 20 mins to come out cooked and fluffy soft. A good recipe although like someone else I see no reason why the cinnamon couldn’t go in with the dry ingredients and the zest with the liquids both which would better mix them. Putting the cinnamon with the wet dough meant a lot of pummeling to get it distributed. Perhaps the originator of the recipe could comment but thanks for posting.
I would love this recipe converted to imperial!
I made these today and they were my first attempt at currant buns although I usually make my own bread. I followed the recipe exactly but found difficulty in combining the fruit and grated orange into the dough. It was really hard so I put it it my magimix and I sung the dough hook i kneaded it for a few minutes.
At the next step I admit it took a little time to get the 12 rounds equal size but they rose ok. I timed the oven for 25 mi utes but by 18 they were burnt on top. I thought that I could cut them in half and eat the bottom half but they were horrible. Just rubbery! What did I do wrong?
Can i used sr/flour.
My buns didn’t rise well at all. I am assuming it is because there is an additional (unmentioned) step about dissolving the yeast before adding it?
I missed Amsterdam today and all krentenbollen that I ate there, so I decided to make them at home. Everything went well, even though I didn’t measure exact amount of ingredients and I trusted on my own senses, except this part that the buns even after being well cooked, they are sticking to the tooth. Anybody can tell me where is the problem? I mean they are tasty, pretty and lovely, but I want to reach that perfect krentenbol!!!
I found the quantities spot on, though like some others, I found these baked best no higher than 200. Seems to me that flour type is important for the texture and properly to support the rise: my dough was initially very sticky but after ten minutes of kneading, a rest, some stretching, and another rest (!) it was silky and strong. Took AGES to rise – about 2.5 hours, but I think the key is to be patient with that – if they’re not properly risen when the go in the oven they will come out dense and chewy.
To answer a lot of questions in the comments:
– No, do not use self-rising flour. This is a yeast dough, not a soda bread. Use plain flour. The yeast will raise the dough.
– Yeast doughs take differing amounts of flour. It’s hard to give an absolutely exact measurement because flour weighs more or less depending on its moisture content, which depends on the weather, etc. That’s why some doughs might have been too sticky or too dry.
– Ovens are notoriously inaccurate. Get a thermometer to put in your oven. You’ll be surprised by how much the thermometer reading differs from the temperature you set on your oven. That might be why some buns were too dark.
– With modern dry yeast, there’s no need to dissolve it in liquid. It can be added directly to dry ingredients. If your dough doesn’t rise, it could be because your yeast is not fresh and is dead.
– Related to the last point, give the dough enough time during the first rise to double in volume. One hour is just an estimate. If your kitchen is warmer, it might take less than an hour; if it’s colder, it might take more than an hour—considerably more, perhaps 2 or even 3 hours. The initial rise is as important to the final texture of the buns as the second rise is. And the second rise might take longer or shorter than an hour too—again, proof until doubled in size. The type of yeast used can also affect rising time (active dry vs. quick rise or instant).
– Approximate imperial measurements of ingredients for US users (remember, yeast doughs don’t have to use precise measurements):
– 1 c. milk
– 4 c. flour (strong white flour works best)
– ¼ c. to ? c. sugar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 packet (2¼ tsp) dry yeast
– ¼ c. (half a stick) butter, soft but not melted
– 1 egg
– ½ c. raisins
– ? c. currants
– ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
– Optional: zest of 1 lemon, 1 orange or a mixture of both
The question marks in my ingredient list are meant to be 1/3.
And when I said yeast doughs don’t use precise measurements, I meant that you should use your own judgment. If you think the dough is too sticky while kneading it, add a little bit more flour (a tablespoon at a time). If you think it’s too dry, add a little more liquid (a teaspoon at a time). Give time to incorporate the new ingredient and reassess the texture. Remember that a sticky dough will get smoother and more elastic—and less sticky—as you knead it and the gluten develops.
Hi what does strong flour mean??? Thx
Bread Flour. ?
My 3.5 year old came home from nursery singing about currant buns in a baker’s shop. I googled, found out what they were, and decided if would be fun to make them at home, to match the song!
This recipe is perfect. I used my kitchenaid, and had no trouble at all. Beautiful.
To make them “?currant buns with a cherry on top”, I added icing made with cinnamon and vanilla bean paste, and topped with a glacé cherry. My little man was happy as a clam!
I used my bread maker to make the dough. This was an initially sticky dough that became silky and elastic with kneading without the need to add extra flour. I divided the dough into 14 portions as I prefer a smaller bun. The buns rose beautifully. My oven tends to be hot so I baked them at 200c for 15 mins, covering with foil at the halfway mark as they were browning quickly. The buns were soft and delicious and I will be making them again. Thank you for this lovely recipe.