1800s Oly Koek recipe | Sleepy Hollow

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  • 1 cup mixed dried fruit (raisins and citrus)
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/8 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 (7g) packet active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 67 cups vegetable oil (for frying)


The night before

  1. In a measuring cup, cover mixed dried fruit with brandy to soak. Cover with a tea towel at room temperature.

The day of

  1. In a large mixing bowl, pour in warm water, sprinkle yeast with a pinch of granulated sugar, stir, and cover in a warm spot.
  2. Warm milk and butter in large measuring cup in microwave for 1 minute, 50% power.
  3. Use fork to mix in eggs, remaining sugar, and nutmeg into the milk and butter.
  4. Stir into yeast.
  5. Sift flour into the wet mixture a cup at a time, mixing until you reach the consistency of a soft dough.
  6. Cover with tea towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for an hour.
  7. After one hour, drain the fruits from the brandy. Tear off an egg-sized piece of dough, create a well in the middle with your fingers, fill with a teaspoon of fruits and close dough back up, pinching shut.
  8. Create all the balls first before frying.
  9. In a 5 /2 quart heavy Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil to 338-347F/170-175C. Use a sugar thermometer. If oil goes over 356F/ 180C, the dough on the outside with cook too fast, leaving the inside uncooked. Remove pot from heat and allow temperature to lower before placing back on and continuing. 
  10. Deep fry a few dough balls at a time until golden before removing with a wooden or metal ladle with slots or holes. Do not use plastic when removing dough from oil.
  11. Olykoeks can be served hot or cold. Dust with icing sugar to serve.