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  • 4 ounces of crystallized ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup and 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 11 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons butter, divided, room temperature
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    • Yields
    • 12 buns
    • Serves
    • 12

Gemberbolus are a sticky treat found in bakeries in the Netherlands. A bolus or jikkemine is a sweet pastry from the Dutch province of Zeeland. These pastries were brought to Amsterdam by the Jewish immigrants sometime between 1600-1650, and have remained a favorite sticky treat for 400 years. Think cinnamon bun with a powerful ginger flavor and you will be close.

    • Prep Time
    • 30 min
    • Cook Time
    • 15-20 min
    • Total Time
    • 1 hr
  • Bring the 1 1/2 cups of water and the ginger to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for ten minutes. Set aside to cool. In the meantime, warm up the milk to 110F, add the yeast and let it proof. Mix it in with the flour and the salt, and add one tablespoon of sugar, and two teaspoons cinnamon. Mix well, add the egg and two tablespoons of butter, and knead the dough until it's soft and pillowy.
  • Oil a bowl, add the dough, cover and let it rise. In the meantime, drain the ginger but save the water. Add the ginger, 2 tablespoons of soaking water and 2 tablespoons sugar to a blender, and purée the mixture. Stir in a teaspoon vanilla.
  • Take four tablespoons of water, 4 tablespoons of sugar, 3 ounces of soaking water and 4 tablespoons butter and put it on the stove in a small saucepan. Bring it slowly to a boil, then let it simmer for ten minutes until you have a buttery syrup. Set aside to cool. The syrup will thicken as it cools.
  • Punch down the dough, and divide into 12 equal parts.
  • Mix four tablespoons sugar with one teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle a teaspoon on your countertop. Roll each piece of dough into a small ball, then roll it out into a rectangle on top of the sugar. Put a line of ginger purée in the middle of the dough, lengthwise, and fold the dough over to the top. Fold one more time, pinch the seams and carefully roll the dough in the sugar. Now take one side of the dough and roll it, roly-poly wise, onto itself. Tuck in the end piece. Do this with all the pieces of dough.
  • Turn on the oven to 350F. Brush the inside of the aluminum cups (or a muffin pan) with the syrup, and place each gemberbolus in a cup. You can put a little bit of ginger purée in the middle, if you wish. Cover the rolls and let them rest for about fifteen minutes while the oven heats up.
  • Before you place the rolls in the oven, pour a tablespoon of syrup over each bolus. Place your cups or muffin pan on a baking sheet, and bake the bolusses in about fifteen minutes. They don't need to be golden brown, just cooked in the middle. (Temp 190F, they're done).
  • Brush the rolls with more syrup when they come out of the oven, and let them cool. Eat warm, cold or heated up.

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