let me introduce you to the beignets – these are like heavenly, soft, and sweet French donuts with a hint of vanilla. Picture this: golden brown, fluffy delights dusted with powdered sugar. In my article, I’m going to guide you through making the absolute best New Orleans style beignets that are simply irresistible.
Imagine sinking your teeth into these insanely delicious square donuts, they’re a total treat and pretty addictive. I mean, who can resist the magic of freshly fried, warm donuts paired with a steaming cup of coffee? The good news is, making these at home may sound a bit challenging, but trust me, it’s a breeze. I’ve got a step-by-step recipe that walks you through the whole process, complete with loads of handy tips to ensure you whip up the tastiest beignets, just like they do in New Orleans.
Now, before you dive into this delightful cooking adventure, here’s a crucial tip: grab yourself a candy thermometer. It’s a game-changer for frying these donuts perfectly – you’ll end up with a fluffy and airy center, surrounded by a golden and crispy outside. Trust me, it’s worth it!
What is Beignets?
A beignet is like a square piece of dough that gets deep-fried until it’s golden and then covered generously with powdered sugar. The best way to enjoy them is when they’re hot, especially when you pair them with a cup of coffee or café au lait!
Why You’ll Adore These Beignets
I promise you won’t look at store-bought donuts the same way once you’ve tried my homemade beignets. Making them is a breeze—no need for fancy ingredients or special skills. Thanks to a stand mixer, whipping up the yeasted dough is effortless.
These homemade delights are a perfect blend of golden brown perfection on the outside and a soft, pillowy interior, all topped with a generous dusting of powdered sugar. Trust me; the taste is pure joy.
Best Beignet Recipe
Trust me, once you’ve had a taste of my homemade beignets, store-bought donuts will never quite compare. There’s something magical about watching these fluffy treats dance in the hot fryer oil, promising a mouthwatering experience. These little delights are not just fluffy and airy; they’re incredibly tender, making every bite pure joy.
- Medium bowl
- Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
- Rolling Pin
- Sharp Knife or Pizza Cutter
- Greased Bowl
- Clean Damp Kitchen Towel or Plastic Wrap
- Deep Frying Pan or Dutch Oven
- Digital Cooking Thermometer or Candy Thermometer
- Large Baking Sheet
- As needed Active Dry Yeast (check expiration date)
- Water Lukewarm (98°F to 105°F / 36.5°C to 40.5°C)
- As needed Sugar
- 1 large Egg
- As needed All-Purpose Flour
- As needed Milk
- a pinch Salt
- Unsalted Butter Softened to room temperature
- Vegetable Oil For frying
- As needed Powdered Sugar (optional but recommended)
- Activate The YeastWhisk warm water, yeast, and sugar in a bowl. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast dissolves and starts to foam. If it doesn't bubble, the yeast is dead and won't work.
- Add The EggAfter activating the yeast, add the egg and milk to the bowl. Whisk until well combined. Room temperature egg and milk work best.
- Make The DoughStir flour and salt in a stand mixer. Add the yeast mixture and butter. Mix on low speed for about 5 minutes with the dough hook until the dough comes clean from the sides of the bowl.
- Let It RiseTransfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm, dark place for 1 to 2 hours until it doubles in size.
- Form The BeignetsRoll out the dough into a ¾-inch thick rectangle. Cut into strips, then squares.
- Heat The OilHeat 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F (177°C) in a deep frying pan. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature.
- Fry The BeignetsFry 5 to 6 squares at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet.
- Dust And ServeSprinkle powdered sugar on the beignets and serve immediately. Optional: add cinnamon or vanilla sugar for extra flavor. Enjoy!
Tips for Beignets Recipe:
- Use a deep fry or candy thermometer to ensure the right oil temperature for perfect fried dough. The recommended thermometer is affordable and reliable.
- When proofing the yeast mixture, ensure the water temperature is between 110 and 115 degrees (F). Too hot or too cold can affect yeast activation and dough rising.
- Beignets are best enjoyed fresh and hot. Serving them immediately is recommended, as they can become soggy and less appealing if they sit for too long.
- The recipe calls for bread flour, a high-gluten flour with added barley flour and vitamin C. Barley flour aids yeast activation, and vitamin C enhances gluten elasticity and gas retention during rising.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours, and the good news is, it can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance.
- Be prepared for a large batch of beignets with this recipe, making it perfect for sharing. Consider inviting friends over to help enjoy the abundance.
- Don’t skip the confectioner’s sugar! It adds sweetness and flavor. For easy coating, place beignets in a paper bag a few at a time with a generous amount of sugar and shake. Have paper towels nearby for potential mess.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What’s the Difference Between a Donut and A Beignet?
The difference lies in their texture, influenced by the ingredients in each. Both treats aim for a light and fluffy quality, but donuts tend to be denser compared to beignets. One key reason for this distinction is the dough. Unlike beignets, donuts don’t use choux pastry in their making.
Are Beignets Similar to Funnel Cakes?
No, not at all. Funnel cakes are crafted from pancake batter and then deep-fried. Unlike beignets, funnel cake batter doesn’t have yeast, and there’s no need for it to rise. If we’re comparing, beignets share more similarities with donuts than they do with funnel cakes.