International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Beignets

Beignets (American Southern powdered sugar fritters)

(American Southern powdered sugar fritters)

mage Creative Commons by chuckyeager

5
Average: 4.2 (10 votes)

Pillowy puffs of fried dough dusted with snowy powdered sugar, beignets (bane-YAY) are most famously served at the Café du Monde on the banks of the Mississippi River in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Beignets are best enjoyed for breakfast with a hot cup of chicory coffee.

Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients

  • Active dry yeast -- 1 (1/4-ounce) packet
  • Warm (about 110°F) water -- 3/4 cup
  • Flour -- 3 1/2 cups
  • Sugar -- 1/4 cup
  • Cream -- 1/2 cup
  • Egg, beaten -- 1
  • Butter, melted -- 2 tablespoons
  • Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Powdered sugar -- for sifting
  • Salt -- 1/2 teaspoon

Method

  1. Mix the yeast and warm water together in a small bowl and let rest for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. Sift together the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the yeast mixture, egg, cream, melted butter and salt.
  3. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients and bring the dough together. Add a little more flour is too wet or a little more cream if it is too dry.
  4. Remove the dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Remove the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap. Set in a warm corner until doubled in size, around 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Or put it in the refrigerator to rise overnight and finish the beignets for breakfast.
  6. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Punch the dough down to deflate it, and roll it out into a rough rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut the dough into 2-inch strips. Then cut the strips at an angle into diamond-shaped pieces of dough about 2 inches on each side. Set the dough pieces on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover lightly and set aside to rise again until doubled, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. Heat the oil in a deep pot or deep fryer to 360°F. Shake the flour off the dough pieces and, working in small batches, fry them in the hot oil, turning them until both sides are golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and repeat with all of the dough.
  8. Put some powdered sugar into a sieve and sprinkle it liberally over the beignets. Serve immediately with coffee.

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