The Beignet is a classic Louisiana breakfast staple, but it’s not just for the patio of the norotirous Cafe du Monde, as a“What’s Cooking America” recipe details, homemade beignets are easy to prepare!
Beignets, the New Orleans specialty, are fried, raised pieces of yeast dough, usually around 2 inches in diameter, fried, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are most often enjoyed with cafe au lait, a strong dark roast coffee and chicory, served with equal part hot milk, with no other establishment serving better beignets and accompanying coffee than the original Cafe du Monde coffee stand, established in the New Orleans French Market in 1862 and still operating today.
Though, if you’re ready to enjoy fresh beignets in the comfort of your own home, no matter the location, than set aside approximately 45 minutes of preparation and cooking time, and grab the following ingredients:
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup sugar (granulated)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, room temperature and beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 4 cups flour (bread flour or all-purpose)
- 3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- Powdered sugar (confectioners’ sugar) for dusting
If you’re using a stand-up mixer with a dough hook, place your water, sugar, salt, egg, butter, evaporated milk, flour, and yeast in the bowl. Beat until smooth. Remove the beignet dough from bowl and turn out onto a lightly-oiled surface. Form dough into an oval, place in a lightly-greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled (3 to 4 hours) or overnight.
If you’re using a Food processor, place water, sugar, salt, egg, butter, evaporated milk, flour, and yeast in the bowl of the processor. Pulse just until smooth. Remove the beignet dough from bowl and turn out onto a lightly-oiled surface. Form dough into an oval, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled (3 to 4 hours) or overnight.
Remove the prepared beignet dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly-floured board to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into approximately 3-inch squares, triangles, or circles (your choice); set aside.
In a deep fryer or large pot, heat vegetable oil to 360 degrees F. Then, slide the beignet dough pieces into the hot oil (slowly!), and fry them for approximately 2 to 3 minutes or until they are puffed and golden brown on both sides. These beignets will rise to the surface of the oil as soon as they begin to puff.
While the beignets are still warm, sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar. An easy way to coat the hot beignets in powdered sugar is to place the powdered sugar an a clean bag. Add the beignets to the bag, hold bag close and shake to coat evenly.
Serve beignets while still warm. Grab yourself a steaming cup of Cafe au Lait or your favorite hot coffee and enjoy!
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