New Orleans Beignets
Beignets are snowy pillows of sugar and dough that are claimed as Louisiana's state doughnut. Don't wait to try beignets in New Orleans, you can easily make these delights at home with this tried and true beignet recipe!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 4 + dozen
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 2 eggs , lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 7 cups bread flour
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- Nonstick spray
- Frying oil
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar
Combine the water, granulated sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl). Let set for 10 minutes to bloom.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt and evaporated milk. Add to the yeast mixture and stir on low with the paddle attachment (or wooden spoon) until incorporated. Stir in 3 cups of the flour then mix in the shortening on medium speed. With the mixer on low, add in the rest of the flour.
Change to the dough hook and knead the dough until smooth, adding more flour (up to 2-3 Tbs) if necessary. Alternatively, you can knead the dough on a floured surface by hand until smooth. Transfer the dough to a large bowl, lightly greased with nonstick spray. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for at least 2 hours.
**At this point (after the rise) you can either continue on or store the dough in the refrigerator overnight and complete the rest of the steps in the morning.**
Heat at least 1 inch of oil to between 350 to 380 degrees F in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.
As the oil is heating up, roll the dough out to a large 1/4-inch thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 2-inch squares (pizza cutter works great). Once the oil reaches between 350 to 380 degrees F, fry 3 to 5 squares at a time until lightly golden, just a few seconds on each side. Tip: Once the dough pops to the top of the oil and puffs a little, flip them every 2-3 seconds to keep from browning too much on either side, and becoming hard to work with. Make sure you keep the oil between 350 to 380 degrees by reheating it between batches if necessary.
Transfer fried doughnuts to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the oil for a few seconds. Place about 1 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar in a paper bag. While still warm, toss three to five doughnuts at a time into the sugar filled paper bag. Fold bag closed and shake to coat. Remove doughnuts from the bag and place on serving platter. Repeat with remaining dough and sugar.
Serve immediately. These are best the same day they are made.