Dutch Jewish ginger buns (gember bolus)

6 servings
15 min
25 min
Very Easy






for sprinkling:


  • Put the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a rolling boil, simmer for 4 minutes and remove from the heat. Put the filling ingredients (including 20g of the syrup you have made) into a food processor and whizz until you have a paste.
  • Oil 16 muffin cases and put them on 2 large baking trays. Measure all of the dough ingredients into a large bowl. Mix together thoroughly with a spoon until they come together into a sticky dough, then keep mixing some more.
  • Prepare a clean worksurface, and oil it so that it has a film of oil on it to prevent the dough sticking to it. Transfer the sticky dough onto the worksurface. Form the dough into a loose ball, place your fingers under it at each end and gently stretch it out.
  • Then do the same from the sides so that your dough is a rough rectangle. Now fold the sides and ends back in, turn the dough over, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  • This is what is known as the "stretch and fold" procedure, which is a great way of working gently with sticky dough. Here is a video of it being used on a really wet dough.
  • Repeat this procedure 3 more times, allowing to rest for 15 minutes after each stretch and fold.After the final rest, lightly flour a clean, dry worksurface and turn your dough out onto it.
  • Working very lightly, just turn your ball of dough in the flour to stop it from sticking. (Don't knead it or stick your fingers into it.)With a knife, divide your dough into 16 equal pieces (half [2], then half [4], then half [8] then half [16]).
  • Very lightly turn each of the pieces in the flour, then press out to form a rough circle. Put a teaspoon of the filling mixture in the centre of each circle (photo 1 below), and form the circle into a ball, crimping it closed with your fingers (phot 2 below).
  • Place each of the balls into one of your prepared muffin cases, and when the tray is full cover it with clingfilm.Turn your oven on to 180oC, and leave the filled balls to rise for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the clingfilm from the risen balls, glaze each ball with 1 to 2 dessertspoons of syrup, then sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of brown sugar over each of them (photo 3 below).
  • Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove the trays from the oven and transfer the buns in their cases to a plate before they have time to cool. Otherwise the syrup will harden and cement your buns to the baking tray.
  • Pour a little more syrup over the buns before serving (either hot from the oven or later, if you can wait.).


Dutch Jewish ginger buns (gember bolus), photo 1
Dutch Jewish ginger buns (gember bolus), photo 2
Dutch Jewish ginger buns (gember bolus), photo 3


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