Dutch Currant Buns (Krentenbollen)

While pretty much the rest of the world was baking Hot Cross Buns today, I applied myself to the task of baking currant buns. They’re not really that unlike Hot Cross Buns, just a wee less fancy – how Dutch. Although we do like our enriched breads when Easter comes around, I’m going to confirm a prejudice here and say that the Dutch are frugal. I’m Dutch so I’m allowed to! We religiously pack lunches for school and work, much to the desperation of foreigners, in particular foreign students. While packs of Germans and Spaniards are scouring university grounds looking for a decent (hot) meal in their lunch break, you’ll see Dutchies munching on the sandwiches they threw together the evening before. Stale bread with cheese. Yum. At least you’ll have that one addition to your lunchbox that still feels and tastes fresh, and that has survived the cold claws of the refridgerator: a currant bun (krentenbol) with butter. 

A krentenbol is to the Netherlands what the cinnamon bun is to Sweden. So, if you want to add a Dutch touch to your lunchbox, or to your Easter table for that matter, these are perfect. And to all you students out there, take note! Why not go Dutch in your lunchbreak, wherever you are (although I’m realizing that might have a different meaning from what I’m envisioning). We all know there are plenty better ways to spend your money than on those overpriced university meals. Let me know what you will do with the money saved with your packed lunches below!

Dutch Currant Buns (Krentenbollen) Recipe

Makes: 12 buns


450    grams strong white bread flour
zest of 1 (organic) orange
6       grams instant yeast
25      grams sugar
295    ml milk, lukewarm
30      grams unsalted butter, softened + extra for brushing
8       grams salt
150    grams raisins, soaked and patted dry*
150    grams currants, 
soaked and patted dry

*You could also use only raisins or only currants – or any proportion between the two, as long as you reach 300 grams.

1. Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl, except the salt, raisins and currants. Mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together to a dough. Knead until the dough passes the windowpane test, add the salt after the first 5 minutes of kneading. 

2. Push or roll the dough into a rectangle shape. Cover the rectangle with half of the raisins and currants, pushing them into the dough and leaving a margin along the edges. Fold one half of the rectangle just over the middle along the long side, do the same with the other half. Repeat this process. This is to ensure the currants and raisins are distributed equally over the dough. 

3. Shape the dough into a ball and drop into a lightly oiled bowl. Leave to proof for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. 

4. Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled working surface. Divide into 12 equal pieces (about 92 grams a piece, if you want to be precise). Roll each piece into a tight ball-shape. Cover and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare your baking tray(s) with baking parchment. Once rested, re-shape the buns to tighten them further and place on baking tray(s), spaced 5 cm apart. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to proof for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. While your buns are proving, preheat your oven to 200C/390F. 

5. Once your buns have doubled in size, bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until they are a good golden brown. Once baked, immediately brush the buns with softened butter. Leave to cool on a wire rack, or eat warm if preferred. Best served slathered with some (real) butter. 

Adapted from: Uit de Keuken van Arden (Dutch)


  1. Janine Oelrich says:

    Hallo Ramona, via baksels.net ben ik op jouw blog terechtgekomen. Leuke recepten. Ik heb inmiddels verschillende recepten gelezen (nog niet gemaakt, maar dat komt nog wel!) en ik zie dat je “plain flour”, “all purpose flour” en “strong white bread flour” gebruikt. Ik woon in Frankrijk en heb altijd moeite om dit naar de meelsoorten hier om te zetten. Kun je me: 1) zeggen wat het in het Nederlands precies is (bloem/meel/patent bloem enz) en 2) heb je een idee wat het in het frans is (T45/T55/T65 enz)?
    Dank je wel voor je reaktie, groeten Janine

    • Ramona - A Dutchie Baking says:

      Hoi Janine! Wat leuk dat mijn blog je bevalt 🙂

      Goeie vraag! Ik zie dat ik een aantal “systemen” door elkaar heb gehaald, zo is all-purpose Amerikaans en plain flour Brits. Beetje slordig, ik zal dat in de komende dagen even “glad strijken”.

      Maar om op je vraag terug te komen, ik gebruik twee soorten bloem/meel. De tarwebloem van de AH en van de molen. De tarwebloem van de AH zou je in Frankrijk T55 noemen, maar als je bros gebak hebt (bvb speculaas) of cake wilt bakken dan zou ik voor T45 gaan. De bloem van de molen is T65. Wanneer ik het over plain flour heb, heb ik het over T55, maar als dat dus in een recept staat voor een cake (bijvoorbeeld) dan kun je er dus ook voor kiezen om T45 te gebruiken.

      Op de blog “Koken op Locatie” staat een erg handig overzicht van de verschillende bloem/meel systemen, daar staat bijvoorbeeld ook Duitsland en Italië bij. Je vindt de post hier: http://kokenoplocatie.blogspot.nl/p/brood-vaktermen.html

      Ik hoop dat ik je vraag heb kunnen beantwoorden, vraag anders gerust verder!

  2. maria says:

    Could you please let me know where I can find strong bread flour in the Nethelands? I have been trying to find it but I can’t. Would patent bloem work for bread? Or tarwebloem? Thank you very much!

    • Ramona | A Dutchie Baking says:

      Hi Maria! In the Netherlands, you can find strong bread flour at mill shops and online at De Zuidmolen and Broodbakshop. Tarwebloem and patentbloem are usually the same thing and don’t have enough protein content to build up a good gluten structure. These flours are better for cakes and cookies (although I would always recommend “zeeuwse bloem” for the latter!). Let me know if you need any more info 🙂

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