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Duivekater Recipe (Traditional Dutch Sweet Festive Bread)


Duivekater Recipe (Traditional Dutch Sweet Festive Bread)


Photo © Kosmos Uitgevers
Duivekater is a sweet white festive bread that was traditionally enjoyed in the Zaanstreek area of the North Holland province. It can still be found at a few tourist shops and culinary museums in the Zaanstreek, but it's mostly a forgotten delicacy nowadays. However, if you'd like to add this beautiful bread to your holiday table, why not bake it yourself? It may look complicated to make, but you don't have to be a great artist to achieve stunning results. A few simple cuts with a sharp knife on the the surface of the bread is all it takes. The bread tastes excellent when served fresh, but connoisseurs insist that it should be put away to 'ripen' for a day on the shelf.

This recipe has been translated and adapted from the original Dutch in Het Nederlands Bakboek and published on the Dutch Food site with the kind permission of the publisher.

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 1 bread


  • 3⅔ cup (500 g) white bread flour (see Tips)
  • 2 scant tsp instant yeast
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ lemon (preferably organic), zest only
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ⅞ cup (7 fl oz/200 ml) milk, lukewarm
  • ⅓ cup(75 g) butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Some beaten egg, for brushing
  • ----
  • Best quality butter
  • ----
  • A stand mixer
  • A spatula
  • A floured surface or a silicone baking mat
  • A rolling pin
  • A sharp chef's knife
  • A baking sheet


Place the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, lemon zest and spices in the large bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Add the milk, butter and egg and mix the wet ingredients into the dry with a spatula. Knead the dough until it becomes nice and elastic. If you don't have a stand mixer, simply knead the dough on a floured surface or a silicone mat (see Tips). Once the dough has reached the right consistency, place it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and put it in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has almost doubled in volume.

Using your fist, punch the dough down (see Tips) and knead it smooth again. Place the dough on a floured surface or silicone mat. Roll it out into an oval with a length of about 10-inches (25 cm). Using a sharp knife, make a 4-inch (10 cm) cut all the way through the dough at the top and bottom of the oval. Place the dough on the baking sheet.

Take each of the four ends of the dough and gently roll between both hands to make them slightly longer. Roll the ends outward to form four curls - spiral curls usually give the tightest result. You may also curl them inwards if you're not set on the traditional tibial shape.

Cover the bread loosely with greased plastic wrap and let it stand in a warm, draft-free place until it has risen to almost twice its size.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.

Brush the risen dough with beaten egg, and using a very sharp knife, cut five parentheses shaped arcs - () - on both sides of the dough. Aim for a depth of about a quarter-inch (0.5 cm).

Bake for 30-35 minutes. To check if it is cooked, tap on the top and bottom of the bread with your knuckles. The bread should sound hollow. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack.

Serve duivekater bread in thin slices, spread with best quality butter.


  • This recipe requires regular bread flour made from (a blend of) hard wheat with a slightly granular feel. Bread flour has a high protein content, which helps to hold moisture and form the gluten that makes your dough elastic. Learn more about the different types of wheat flour. Do not use a packet of white bread mix or instant white bread here, as these mixes may contain additives such as yeast and salt.
  • Learn how to knead bread dough.
  • Learn how to punch down bread dough.
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    6. Duivekater Recipe - Recipe for Sweet Festive Dutch Bread - Recipes from Het Nederlands Bakboek

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