Johanna Van Oudenaren’s Olie Bollen

Johanna grew up in Holland, where she got to know Drikus (later Harry) Van Oudenaren, while they were both being treated for pleurisy. After Harry migrated to Bobcaygeon to work for Cecil Pogue, Johanna travelled to Canada and married her old friend. While Harry would become “Mr. Bobcaygeon,” the couple learned English, and raised their upstanding family to fit in with their new community. But they brought what they loved from Holland with them, including Oli Ballen. These homemade donuts (like Dutchies to Canadians) were a traditional New Years’ treat.

To learn more about Harry and Johanna see:


  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 package (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large tart apple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Oil for frying
  • Icing sugar for dusting


  • Put the warm milk in a large bowl and sprinkle in the yeast and a pinch of sugar.
  • Let stand a few minutes until it is foamy.
  • Add remaining sugar, water, half the flour, the butter, egg, and salt.
  • Stir until thoroughly mixed and sticky.
  • Add remaining flour, keeping 1/2 cup to the end in case it is needed.
  • Stir until the dough comes together.
  • Knead for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic, it should be tacky, not sticky.
  • Add more flour if needed.
  • Shape dough into a ball, place it in a greased bowl and cover with a tea towel.
  • Allow dough to rise for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size.
  • Work in the raisins and apple, folding the dough over them to incorporate them.
  • Pour 1 1/2 inches of oil into a wide, heavy sauce pan, heating it until it is hot, not smoking (about 350 F). The dough should sizzle with bubbles in the oil when it is ready.
  • Use a teaspoon to pick up a ball of dough, and use another spoon to drop it into the oil.
  • Cook for about a minute, until the ball is golden on the bottom, then flip, cooking until golden on the opposite side.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove from the oil and place on paper towel lined cookie sheet to cool.
  • Dust with icing sugar while warm.

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