Saturday, July 2, 2011

Beignets ~ Can’t Have Just One


Summertime brings to mind a few traditions. Going to the beach and enjoying walks on the boardwalk. It’s a time for carnivals and festivals. Funnel Cakes are usually sold at these venues. A spin on the funnel cake is a Beignet.

Fried dough that is near and dear to Louisiana is the Beignet. These square shaped yeast doughnuts are sprinkled generously with confectioner’s sugar. A cup of Café au Lait is a great compliment to these delicious pillows of goodness.

 “A beignet, (French for "fried dough") in the U.S. is a pastry made from deep-fried dough, much like a doughnut, and sprinkled with confectioner's sugar, or frostings. In the US, beignets are associated with the city of New Orleans where they are served at restaurants such as Café du Monde. They are also the official state doughnut of Louisiana.”

Want to see a video on how to make Beignets? See below.

You can see how Beignets are made and how to knead the dough.


Homemade Mardi Gras Beignets

Adapted by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (110-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4 oz)

2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk

6 1/2 cups flour (3 cups + 3 ½ cups)
1/4 cup shortening
Nonstick spray (I use PAM brand)

Cottonseed oil, for deep-frying (I use canola oil)
Confectioner’s sugar

Directions

1.      Wisk together water (110-115 degrees), sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 12 minutes to bloom.
2.      In another medium bowl, wisk the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together.
3.      Pour egg mixture into the yeast mixture and wisk together.
4.      Wisk 3 cups of the flour into the egg and yeast mixture.
5.      Add shortening and continue to stir with a wisk to break up most of the shortening pieces into the batter.
6.      Mix while adding the remaining 3 ½ cups flour. Dough will be sticky.
7.      Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Lightly flour your hands to make working with dough easier.
8.      Spray a large bowl lightly with nonstick spray.
9.      Put dough into the bowl. Then, turn dough, oiled side up, and cover with a towel.
10.  Let rise at room temperature for at least 2 hours. (Tip: Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Turn off oven.  Place the dough in the oven to proof.)
11.  Preheat oil in a deep frying pan to 370 degrees F. (Tip: Use the count test to determine if the oil is hot enough. Drop a test beignet into the oil; if the beignet rises to the top of the oil within eight seconds, the oil is ready.)
12.  Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into small squares.
13.  Use a pizza roller for straight lines, or cookie cutters for fun shapes.
14.  Deep-fry until they turn golden, flipping or basting to allow even cooking.
15.  After the beignets are fried, drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to a tray and cover generously with sprinkled powdered sugar.
16.  Serve warm.

Homemade Mardi Gras Beignets

Recipe Photo Tutorial ~

By Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen



Wisk together water (110-115 degrees), sugar, and yeast in a large bowl
and let sit for 12 minutes to bloom.




In another medium bowl, wisk the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together.



Pour egg mixture into the yeast mixture and wisk together.




Wisk 3 cups of the flour into the egg and yeast mixture.


Add shortening and continue to stir with a wisk to break up most of the shortening pieces into the batter.



Mix while adding the remaining 3 ½ cups flour. Dough will be sticky.




Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Lightly flour your hands to make working with dough easier.



Spray a large bowl lightly with nonstick spray.


Put dough into the bowl. Then, turn dough, oiled side up, and cover with a towel.
(I didn’t turn my dough, and it developed a skin after proofing.)


Let rise at room temperature for at least 2 hours.
(My Tip: Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Turn off oven. Place the dough in the oven to proof.)


Dough Proofing – See how it grows!

Start of Proofing
After 1 hour
After 2 hours


Preheat oil in a deep frying pan to 370 degrees F.
(Tip: Use the count test to determine if the oil is hot enough.
Drop a test beignet into the oil;
if the beignet rises to the top of the oil within eight seconds,
the oil is ready.)

(I use a Fry Daddy. It’s an electric deep fryer.)

Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into small squares.

Use a pizza roller for straight lines, or cookie cutters for fun shapes.

Deep-fry until they turn golden, flipping or basting to allow even cooking.




After the beignets are fried, drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to a tray and cover generously with sprinkled powdered sugar.

Serve warm.

Enjoy your July 4th Weekend!



Peace,

Carmen

Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul


7 comments:

Margot said...

I love your step-by-step photos and instructions. I wonder, though, if I could use butter instead of shortening. We have a lot of butter, you see.

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Hi Margot, yes, you can make beignets using butter. Here is a link for a recipe which you can use:
http://www.foodchannel.com/recipes/recipe/cafe-du-monde-style-beignets/

Carmen

dorothycunningham said...

Great blog...You have all the ingredience for a book here...Beautiful work!

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Dorothy, thanks for the kind words...

Carmen

marie the ©EpicureanPiranha said...

Your melon mojito recipe sounds so refreshing :-)

And these beignets look so good, Carmen! And I love your little fryer ~ I'll have to get one sometime :-)

Take care,

~ marie, the EpicureanPiranha

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Marie,

I don't fry often, but, when I do, my little Fry Daddy is so handy.

Carmen

Eliana said...

You seriously can't have just one of these! I'd be happy with about a dozen right now.

DO NOT USE MY PHOTOGRAPHY WITHOUT PERMISSION

ALL PHOTOGRAPHY (UNLESS INDICATED) IN THIS BLOG BELONGS TO CARMEN ORTIZ OF BAKING IS MY ZEN.

PLEASE DO NOT USE MY PHOTOGRAPHY WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.

Thank You.

~ Carmen Ortiz - blogger (Baking is my Zen)