Last week I was in New Orleans! While there, I ate a lot of beignets. I mean a LOT. Is five times in six days too much? Some might think so, but who doesn't like fried doughy goodness completely covered in powdered sugar?!
There are two well known places in New Orleans to get beignets, Cafe du Monde & Morning Call and we went to both. I wasn't there for the beignets alone, we planned the vacation primarily to go to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. And beignet's are just the beginning of the wonderful food down there. I'll have a few posts about my trip on Not Everything I Make is Pretty, next week.
With all the expertise I gathered tasting beignets I had to make my own. I have to admit, I nerded out trying to come up with the perfect recipe (wait 'til you see my spread sheet....). I have ideas on what to do next time (there will be a next time) but I'm so excited to share my first beignet attempt with the Breakfast Hub. Enjoy!
Images of Beignets from New Orleans.
1-1/2 Cups Lukewarm Water
1/2 Cup Sugar
2-1/2 tsp Yeast
2 Eggs, Slightly Beaten
1-1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cup Evaporated Milk
7 Cups Bread Flour*
1/4 Cup Butter
Oil, for Deep-Frying**
Confectioners' Sugar, for Dusting or Burying
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.
Add 3 cups of the Bread Flour to the Yeast mixture and stir to combine.
Add the Butter 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 and place in fridge to rise overnight.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface; roll to 1/4-inch thickness.
Cut into 2-inch squares with a pizza cutter. (3-inch is similar to the Beignets found in New Orleans but fewer will fit in the oil)
Pour oil to depth of 2 to 3 inches into a pot; heat to 350°-370° F, don't let it get below 350°.*
Fry dough, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Dust immediately with lots and lots of Confectioners Sugar.
- Thoughts for Next Time -
Other recipes used Whole Milk, Buttermilk, or some combination of the these. I used Evaporated Milk because it was most used I the recipes I researched, the Cafe du Monde Mix mentions both Milk & Buttermilk.
A recipe I found after I made this batch mentioned using more than just Bread Flour, the Cafe du Monde Mix uses some ratio of Wheat Flour and Barley Flour, another article mentioned the use of Rye Flour.
I used Vegetable Oil, Cafe du Monde uses Cottonseed Oil. I'm not sure where to get this, I'll be on the look out. ** On my second attempt I used Canola Oil and the flavor was much closer to the ones in NOLA. **
This recipe requires a Candy Thermometer to measure the temperature of the oil. They're not very expensive and they come in extremely handy.