Witte Bolletjes: Soft, Pillowy Dutch Rolls

Cuisine Dutch
Course Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Snack
Servings 16 Buns
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
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When I was a kid, whenever my family would go on a day trip, mom and dad would pack several bolletjes, which we would eat throughout the day. Now, living in the US, I crave these zachte bolletjes with hagelslag, speculaas, chocolade pasta, or something hearty when my wife and I go away for a day!

In this post we're diving into a beloved Dutch classic, Witte Bolletjes. Learn to make these soft, pillowy rolls that are perfect for any occasion, whether it's breakfast on the go or a delightful snack during a road trip. Even now, when my parents pick us up from the airport, they bring these delicious breads with them, so we can eat them during the car ride from the airport to home!

Ingredients

Dough

  • 575 g All-Purpose flour
  • 335 g Whole milk
  • 10 g Instant yeast
  • 50 g Unsalted butter At room temperature
  • 20 g Superfine sugar (caster sugar / witte basterdsuiker)

Other: The Finishing Touches

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 tbsp Whole milk
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted butter

NUTRITION

Nutrition Facts
Witte Bolletjes: Soft, Pillowy Dutch Rolls
Amount per Serving
Calories
167
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Trans Fat
 
0.1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.3
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
17
mg
6
%
Sodium
 
18
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
82
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
30
g
10
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
Vitamin A
 
94
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
0.004
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
35
mg
4
%
Iron
 
2
mg
11
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimer

Nutrition Facts provided are a calculated estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Instructions

Preparing the Milk and Yeast Mixture

  • Warm up your milk over low heat until it reaches 44ºC (110F).
  • Add the sugar to the warm milk, stir until dissolved, and then add the yeast, and stir around gently.
  • Set it aside to activate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Prepare the Butter

  • Since you are going to incorporate the butter in four stages, divide the butter for the dough into four equal pieces.

Make the Dough

  • The milk should have a small layer of foam on top at this point.In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, combine the flour and salt. Mix them together, and then slowly pour in the milk, sugar, and yeast mixture.
  • Add the butter to the mixer, one piece at a time, and let the machine knead the dough until the butter is incorporated, before adding the next piece.You should scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times while mixing.
  • It is possible that the dough is not coming together in the stand mixer: not all the flour may be incorporated, or some pieces of dough in the bowl are significantly dryer than others. If that’s the case, add a tablespoon of milk, and continue to knead. This should be enough for the dough to come together.
  • Once the dough comes together, let the mixer knead it for 10 minutes.

Divide and Shape the Dough

  • Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, aiming for about 61g (2.2oz) each. You need to use a scale, to make sure all the rolls are of equal size.
  • To shape each piece, cup it in your hand and gently stretch and fold it into the center, rotating the dough as you go. Repeat this motion 6 to 8 times to create tension in the dough.
  • Place the ball of dough onto the counter with the seam-side facing down.Gently cup your hand over the dough to hold it in place.Using circular motions, move your hand around the dough, gently tucking and pulling the edges underneath.Continue this motion until the dough forms a smooth, round ball with a bit of tension on the surface.Ensure that the dough maintains contact with your hand throughout the shaping process.Once the dough is nicely rounded and feels slightly taut, it’s ready.
  • Place each shaped ball on the prepared cookie sheets, seam-side down.Put 8 balls on each cookie sheet, with enough space in between each ball.

First Rise

  • Cover the cookie sheets with damp towels and let the dough balls rise in a warm spot for 40 minutes.

Reshape the Dough

  • Gently flatten each dough ball on the counter, smooth side down with the heel of your hand.
  • Reshape it: cup it in your hand and gently stretch and fold it into the center, rotating the dough as you go. Repeat this motion 6 to 8 times to create tension in the dough.Place the ball of dough onto the counter with the seam-side facing down.Gently cup your hand over the dough to hold it in place.Using circular motions, move your hand around the dough, gently tucking and pulling the edges underneath.Continue this motion until the dough forms a smooth, round ball with a bit of tension on the surface.Ensure that the dough maintains contact with your hand throughout the shaping process.Once the dough is nicely rounded and feels slightly taut, it’s ready.
  • Place each shaped ball back on the cookie sheets, seam-side down.Put 8 balls on each cookie sheet, with enough space in between each ball.
  • In a bowl, beat the egg with a tablespoon of milk and a pinch of salt.
  • Brush each dough ball with this mixture, making sure the top is completely covered with a thin layer of egg wash.
  • Put one cookie sheet with dough balls in your fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Put the cookie sheet with dough balls in a warm spot, and let it rise for 75 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, put the cookie sheet from the fridge into the warm spot, and let it rise for 75 minutes.
  • Make sure you preheat your oven to 230ºC (450F) in non-convection mode, early enough, so the oven is ready for baking when the dough has finished its second rise.You want to make sure they go into the oven right away, so they don’t over proof.

Baking the Rolls

  • Bake the first cookie sheet in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown and have an internal temperature of at least 95ºC (203F).
  • While the rolls are baking, melt the butter
  • Brush the rolls with melted butter immediately after taking them out of the oven, and let them cool on a rack.
  • When the second batch of rolls is done proofing, repeat the baking steps for them, and brush them with butter when done.

Recipe How-To Video

Private Notes

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2 thoughts on “Witte Bolletjes: Soft, Pillowy Dutch Rolls”

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you Toine, that was what I was missing. to a kroket is a witte bolletje or kadetje a very nice combination. Thank you so much for all your effort! The recipes are great!

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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