February 12th, 2015

Berliner Ballen with Sweet Starter

Berliner Ballen

I told you already in the last years, that I do not like carnival so much. What I like is baking and eating “Berliner Ballen”, the yam filled german doughnut which is served traditionally during the carnival days. And so I created a new recipe with a lot egg yolks for a very soft crumb and sweet starter for a good flavour and oven spring.

While frying the Berliner I learned a lesson I – in theory – already knew: A glass lid is not as effective in shielding the heat in the pot as a black enameled metal lid. For the first batch I used the glass lid so I was able to observe the doughnuts while frying. But the oven spring was not as good as it should be. So for the next batch I took the metall lid that belongs to my frying pot. And now the oven spring was perfect. The Berliner got the white “collar” – a part of the dough which is lifted out of the hot fat due to the oven spring and which is a sign for a well made Berliner Ballen.

Another important point is keeping the temperature of the fat below 160°C. This means that you need a thermometer for the perfect berliner but I can tell you it is worth the trouble! For filling the Berliner you can either use a pastry bag with a Bismarck pastry tip or you use the trick with 10ml syringe and a piece of a drinking straw.

After frying, filling and dusting all the Berliner I could finally sink my teeth in one and I was very happy then. The crumb was perfect soft and fluffy and the flavour was great due to the sweet starter. This is the right way to calm my nerves in the next days when clowns with drums will disturb my sleep…

Berliner Ballen with Sweet Starter

yields 19 Berliner

Sweet Starter Berliner


  • Sweet Starter
  • 250 g flour Type 550
  • 100g Milk
  • 10g fresh yeast
  • 100g egg yolk (from 5 eggs size L)
  • 5g Salt
  • some lemon peel
  • 75g sugar
  • 75g Butter

for frying

  • 1kg frying fat

for finishing

  • 200g raspberry yam (without seeds)
  • powered sugar for dusting

Mix the ingredients of the sweet starter and let it rise for about 3 hours at 30°C.

Knead all ingredients except sugar and butter for 10 min at slow speed. . Now add the sugar in two increments and knead 1 min after add each portion of sugar. At last add the butter all at once. Knead to full gluten development.

Let the dough rise for 1.5 hours.

Knock the air out of the dough and dvide the dough into pieces of 65g and shape them into balls.  Press them down a little a little bit and place them on a well floured couch.

Proof for 45 min without cover. They have to develop a skin to prevent soaking with oil when frying.

Heat the oil to 150° – 160°C and fry each Berliner for 2-3 min, two times each side in a closed pot. If you get a white collar, submerse the Berliner after turning it for the second time, so that the collar will bake a little bit, too.

Let the Berliner cool down, then fill them with raspberry jam and dust with powdered sugar.

Tip: If you want to use a biga instead of a sweet starter, mix 250 g flour Type 550, 125g water and 2g of fresh yeast. Let the biga ferment in the fridge for at least 16 hours.

4 Responses t_on Berliner Ballen with Sweet Starter

  1. Susanne February 3rd, 2018

    Hallo Stefanie, ich habe ein Mäuschen Rezept von meiner Oma, dass es bei uns traditionell immer an Fasching gibt…das ist ein Hefeteig, den mal mit einem Löffel Absicht und dann im Öl absackt und hinterher in einer Zucker und Zimt Mischung wälzt.
    Der Hefeanteil ist natürlich ziemlich hoch, wenn sie frisch sind schmecken sie ganz hervoragedn, aber schon kurz später mag ich sie schon nicht mehr so gerne…
    Darf ich dir das Rezept mal schicken, vielleicht hast du ja eine Idee, wie ich das Rezept optimieren könnte. Das wäre echt toll!
    Liebe Grpse und ein schönes Wochenende
    Ich schieb jetzt gleich mal die Dreikornies in den Ofen!

  2. Helga Leiner-Büker January 4th, 2018

    Hallo Stefanie, ich würde die Berliner gerne als Ofenberliner backen. Ist dies möglich und was ist zu beachten. Mit welcher Temperatur müsste ich backen?
    Vielen Dank liebe Grüße und alles Gute für das neue Jahr Helga

    1. Stefanie January 4th, 2018

      @Helga: Ich würde die Berliner bei 180°C für etwa 15-20 min backen. Und nach dem Backen noch warm mit etwas zerlassener Butter bestreichen und in etwas feinsten Zucker wälzen.


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