Friday, April 15, 2011

Dutch Easter cinnamon rolls recipe: Suikerhaantjes (Zeeuwse bolus)

On Palm Sunday the children decorate a palm stick with different objects all with a meaning and go on a parade:
- the palm stick represent Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday),
- the bread in the form of a rooster represents the bread what Jesus shared during the Last Supper (Maundy Thursday),
- the rooster form of the bread represents the rooster crowded three times after Petrus said he didn't know Jesus (Good Friday)
- the eggs represent the new life (Easter Sunday)

*Update: Kim from viltalakim posted a cute tutorial on her blog about how to make a Palm Sunday Cross.

Traditionally the bread rooster is made of plain bread dough, but every region has it's own variation, where I live in the middle of The Netherlands they use a very, very sweet sugary, cinnamon flavored "sticky" pastry to make the suikerhaantjes ("sugar roosters).

The recipe is a variation of an old Dutch (originally Jewish) pastry, the zeeuwse bolus.

It's loaded with calories, definitely not an everyday pastry, but it's really worth to try. Oh, and if you really want to enjoy it you will eat it with fresh butter.

You will need for the dough (makes 14 rolls)

500 g + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp dried yeast
75 g butter (room temperature)
1 egg
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
zest of 1 lemon
juice of a half lemon
320 ml milk

and for rolling:
about 200 g sugar (I used cane sugar, but if you want to get it very authentic, so really, really sticky use muscovado sugar or the Dutch "basterd suiker")
2 tbsp cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients and kneed it with your hands or with a stand mixer, till you get a smooth dough. Cover the bowl and let it rise for about 45 minutes. Put it on a well floured surface and divide it in 14 equal pieces. Put the sugar and the cinnamon on a large plat or if you don't mind the mess on your work surface, form a little ball from each with you hands and roll the balls in the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Let it rest again for about 10 minutes.

Now comes the fun part, make from each ball an about 20 cm long and 1 finger thick rope, roll the ropes in the sugar mixture and give them a shape you want.
I was aiming for a rooster, but I ended up with an S form, it seemed much easier :) If you want you can also make the classic cinnamon roll shape.
Put the on a baking tray covered with baking sheets, bare in mind that they will grow, so don't put them to close to each other and let them rest for another 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 220°C and bake them for 10 minutes. Let them cool off on a tray.

You can keep them for two days in an airtight container, the second day they will be even stickier and so more authentic :)

Enjoy! :)


  1. jeetje, wat ziet dat er lekker uit! heel anders dan die kleverige boel die ze verkopen bij de bakker als een 'zeewse bolus' ;)

  2. Those look delicious... love stuff with cinnamon.
    It does not looks so complicated to make, thanks for sharing the pretty photos too.

    I love Christian Easter, is a special period to remember in our hearts :)

  3. Lovely post! I´lll link it to mine :)



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