Sûkerbôle or suikerbrood is a traditional bread from the northern province of Friesland. Other provinces such as Limburg and Brabant have a similar recipe for sugary bread loaves but the Frisian version stands aside because of its much higher sugar content, sometimes up to 40%!
Traditionally, the sûkerbôle was presented to a new mother to celebrate the arrival of a baby-girl. The sweetness of the bread and the possibly curative powers of cinnamon and ginger were thought to strengthen the young mother and get her ready for her new tasks.
The sugar used for this recipe is called pearl sugar and is hard to find in a regular store. Crushed up sugar cubes are a good substitute: add half a cup of cubes to a towel, fold it and give it a couple of good whacks with a rolling pin. Handfold these lumps in the dough after the first rise.
Suikerbrood is too sweet to eat for breakfast, but goes well with a cup of coffee as an afternoon treat.
- 7 grams (0.25 oz) active dry yeast
- 200 ml (6.7 fl oz) milk
- 325 gram (11.5 oz) flour
- 20 gram (0.7 oz) white sugar
- 5 gram (0.2 oz) salt
- 50 gram (1.8 oz) butter
- 200 gram (7 oz) pearl sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Optional: 1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger
Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk . Sift the flour with the sugar and the salt, and use the milk and yeast to start a soft dough. Knead in the butter, and the ginger if used. Cover and rest the dough for twenty minutes in a warm spot.
Quickly knead in the sugar and the cinnamon, and let it rest another five minutes. Punch the dough down, shape it to a loaf (or make several mini loaves). Generously butter a loaf pan, put the bread in it seam down and cover to rise, until double its size.
Preheat the oven to 170C (350F). Bake the bread golden in approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for five minutes before removing the bread. Let it cool on a rack.