The Netherlands! Whooohooo! This is awesome! The Netherlands is my home country! I might have been born and raised in Belgium, but my parents are Dutch and I have a Dutch nationality. I have been living here for 11 years now. And as much as I love traveling for me this will always be my home. I really want you guys to get to know our food and culture. Because damn I’m proud of my country, i will make a dish from every province, so bear with me guys.
This week we will start with Friesland! The most Northern province of my tiny country, they even have their own language, culture, and traditions. The most known for is De Elfstedentocht! The Elfstedentocht is a long-distance (almost 200km), leading past all eleven historical cities of the province. It is held both as a speed skating competition (with 300 contestants) and a leisure tour (with 16,000 skaters)ice-skating event. The tour is held at most once a year, only when the natural ice along the entire course is at least 15 centimeters. It hasn’t happened since 1997 because the weather conditions haven’t been sufficient since then (Fuck you climate change). But when the ice is suitable, the tour is announced and starts within 48 hours! The Icemasters as we call them will say on National television “It giet oan!” Which means “We have a go! The Elfstedentocht goes on!) I assure you when this happens the entire country will go wild! Ice skating is kind of our thing… Look at ALL the Olympic Medals we won in speedskating.
Things you didn’t know about Friesland:
- Apart from the Elfstedentocht on ice skates in summer there is the same route as rowing competition
- Our most famous Dutch model Doutzen Kroes is from Friesland.
- Friesland is officialy called Fryslân since 1994 but everyone in the Netherlands outside of the province still calles it Friesland.
- Most of the Wadden islands also belong to the province of Friesland: Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland and Schiermonnikoog. The fifth one Texel belong to the province of North Holland.
- The Frysian horses are the only true Dutch horsebreed and are one of the oldest horsebreeds in Europe. The horses were exclusively used for high ranking army officers in battle. They are known to be strong and loyal, and nowadays used a lot for dressage. Jumping is not really their cup of tea. Regulations say they have to be all black, and their names have to Frysian like: Lobke, Wisse, Hidde, Wieske.
The Frysian specialty I chose is amazing, and one of my favorites when it comes to baking. Frisian sugar bread. We eat it with a nice layer of butter as a treat for Sunday breakfast or Christmas. instead of pastry for teatime. Traditionally it was given to mothers who had just given birth to a baby girl. When they had a baby boy they are given a cake with raisins.
If you have any leftovers which is not likely… But if you do, please make French Toast( or as we call them in Dutch wentelteefjes!). There does not exist a more perfect bread in the world then Suikerbrood to make French Toast. Just image the sugary bread coated in a crispy layer. That is the stuff of dreams! At least my dreams I have fooddreams sometimes.
- 350 gr flour
- 150 gr milk (roomtemp)
- 30 gr light brown castersugar
- 25 gr butter (roomtemp)
- 7 gr instant yeast
- 7 gr salt
- 3 tbsp gingersyrup
- 1 egg
- 175 gr sugar pearls
- 1 tbsp chinese fivespice
- 20 gr butter (melted)
- Sunflower oil
- 25 gr sugar pearls
- 1 egg (whisked)
- little bit of melted butter
- Add all the ingredients for the dough to you mixing bowl and knead the dough for 15 minutes with a KitchenAid. If you are kneading by hand, it takes 20 minutes.
- Pour a little bit of sunflower oil in a clean bowl and make a ball of your dough. Turn the doughball around so all sides are oily.
- Cover your bowl in plastic wrap, and let it rise for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
- In the meanwhile, mix your ingredients for the filling.
- When the dough is has finished rising. Roll it out with a rolling pin to give a rectangular shape as regular as possible.
- Brush of pour over your filling. and divide evenly over the dough. Roll up you rectangle.
- Make your bread baking mold ready by spraying it with of bakingspray. And add bakingpaper to the sides of your mold.
- Add the dough to you to you bread baking mold, brush over some melted butter, and the remaining pearlsugar. Brush with a bit of whisked egg to make the sugar stick and make the crust nice and shiny.
- Cover in plastic wrap and let it rise for another hour.
- Preheat your oven to 200C
- Bake your sugarbread for 30 minutes until nice and golden.
- Let it rest for 5 minutes but then get it out of your bread bakingmold, and let it cool on a rack. So the sugar does’t cool down to much because then the sugar hardens and it will be hard to get out of the mold.
- Enjoy with a nice fat slab of butter!