Updated: Aug 17, 2020
It is impossible to visit the city of New Orleans and NOT stop by Cafe du Monde to have a beignet. Beignet pronounced "Ben-YAY," is a French-style doughnut made from deep-fried choux pastry. Although similar to traditional style doughnuts, beignets do have their differences. Aside from both being fried, the texture of beignets is both chewier and heartier, which is the result of bread flour. It is best to eat a beignet while it is still warm and lots of powdered sugar is a bonus. They are actually really easy to make...just need a bit of patience since it take about two hours for the dough to rise.
1 packet of active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups of warm water
1/2 cup of white sugar
1 tsp of salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup of evaporated milk
6 1/2 cups of bread flour
1/4 cup shortening, I recommend Crisco
1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar and yeast and stir. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Once you notice the yeast is getting foamy on top, it is ready.
Meanwhile, in a standalone mixer, combine the eggs, evaporated milk and salt and beat until combined.
With the mixer on low, add in the yeast mixture to the egg mixture.
Then add in 3 cups of the bread flour and mix on low.
Add the Crisco shortening in and continue to mix before adding the remaining 3 1/2 cups bread flour. It is important that you do not over mix.
Switch the paddle attachment out for your dough hook attachment for your standalone mixer. If you don’t have one, you will need to knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth.
Oil a large bowl and place to dough in bowl. Cover with a plastic wrap. To expedite the rise of the dough, place a kitchen towel in the dryer until warm, place the warm towel over the bowl. It will take about two hours for the dough to rise.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4″ thick. Then slice into 2″ squares with a pizza cutter.
Heat vegetable oil a fryer or in a Dutch oven until the temperature reaches 350 degrees. If you frying your beignets on the stove, use a candy thermometer to make sure your oil is at 350 degrees. If your oil is too hot, your beignets will burn.
Place the dough squares in the oil about three to four at a time. They should puff up immediately. Turn them after about two minutes to brown on the other side.
When you remove them, dust with a light layer of powdered sugar. I like mine completely covered in powdered sugar. Make sure you eat them while they are hot! They taste best warm. Enjoy!
**** Video tutorial is on my YouTube page Spilling the Sweet Tea and my IG page @spilling_the_sweet_tea***