Tuesday, April 24, 2012

French Quarter Beignets


  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 7 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup butter flavor Crisco
  • Nonstick spray
  • Oil, for deep-frying (I used canola, which seemed fine)
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar


Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, beat the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together. Mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture.

In a separate bowl, measure out the bread flour. Add 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Add the confectioners' sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside.
Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 2-inch squares. I found that the 1/4" or so thickness was important for the puffing up of the pastry.  As time went on, they puffed up more gloriously. 

Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color. After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then toss them into the bag of confectioners' sugar. Hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly.

Remember that beignets at Cafe du Monde are served in multiples of three, so I fried multiples of three so as not to elicit some voodoo spell!  Makes about 2-3 dozen total.  I made 2 recipes of this and probably served about 150 of them, with one re-rolling. 

Made very successfully at Gillham Crawfish Fest 2012.  Thanks to Paula Dean for this recipe!

No comments: