A few weeks back, on Fat Tuesday to be exact. I was perusing a few of the blogs I check out regularly. I stopped by Living the Scream to see what Carly had been up to. She mentioned a food blog that somehow I hadn't heard of, Our Best Bites. I don't know how I'd missed that one. But when I flipped over, they were making Beignets for Fat Tuesday. I thought it was a sign.
I've never been to New Orleans. But I have had beignets. They are delicious. But who wouldn't love some fried dough heavily dusted with powdered sugar? So I decided to give them a try.
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 c. whole milk
1/4 c. + 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. table salt
3 1/2-4 c. all-purpose flour
1 scant tablespoon dry active yeast
1/2 c. warm (about 105 degrees) water
Peanut oil for frying-I just used vegetable oil
In a small saucepan, combine the milk, 1/4 c. sugar, vegetable oil, and salt. Heat over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove from heat.
While the milk is heating, combine the yeast and 1 Tbsp. of sugar with 1/2 c. water. Allow to stand for 10 minutes or until it’s very bubbly.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the heated milk and 2 c. flour. Mix, scraping the bowl occasionally, until smooth (about 2-3 minutes). Add the egg and mix until well-combined. Add the yeast mixture. Add enough flour to make a soft dough that slightly sticks to your finger.
At this point, you can either place the dough in a bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray and cover with a piece of sprayed plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough up to 1 day or you can roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. I have made these both ways and either way worked great. Either way, when you roll it out, roll it into a large rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Using a pizza wheel, cut the dough into about 3″x4″ rectangles. Slightly separate the dough pieces and cover with a clean cloth. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
When the dough has about 15 minutes left to go, heat 2-3 inches of peanut oil in a large skillet or saucepan to 325 degrees (just use a candy thermometer). This actually broke my candy thermometer. After that I just tested the oil by dropping one in at a time. If it didn't raise immediately to the surface, the oil wasn't ready. If it started to smoke it was too hot. When the oil is heated, fry the dough pieces for about 90 seconds-2 minutes per side or until they are golden. Carefully remove from the oil and allow to drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
Place some powdered sugar in a fine-mesh strainer and sprinkle the powdered sugar generously over the beignets. I put about 1 cup of powdered sugar into a lunch sack. Then I dropped them into the bag and gave them a good shake. It was less messy. Serve immediately. Makes about 24-30 beignets.
We loved these and I have added the recipe to my recipe box. Thanks Carly and thanks Our Best Bites!