Beignets

David Rosengarten

One of the best doughnut variations in America is the extremely light and airy deep-fried puff ball served throughout New Orleans: the famous "beignet" (ben-YAY), a French word for a sweet or savory fritter. This one’s sweet all the way, even dusted with confectioner’s sugar, and served as a breakfast treat with a strong cup of chicory-enhanced coffee. The best-known beignet in Louisiana is served at Café du Monde in New Orleans—but you can get pretty well-known in your circle by serving the following recipe.
 

~David Rosengarten

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup shortening (like Crisco)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus an extra pinch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water (about 90 degrees)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 ¼ to 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar for garnish
Directions

In a small saucepan, combine milk, shortening, granulated sugar and salt. Heat just until shortening melts and sugar and salt dissolve. Cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine yeast, warm water and pinch of sugar. Set aside until yeast bubbles, about 5 minutes.

To mixer bowl, add cooled milk-shortening mixture, egg and vanilla. Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, mix on low speed to combine. Add 1 cup of flour and mix on low speed to combine. Add 2 ¼ cups flour, switch to the dough hook and mix to combine. Knead on medium speed 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Add additional flour, one tablespoon at a time, if needed, to make the dough clean the sides of the bowl.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Heat 2″ of oil in a deep saucepan to 375 degrees. Punch dough down and divide into four pieces. On a floured surface, roll one piece out to a ¼” thickness. Cut dough into 2″ squares. Repeat with remaining dough pieces. Fry squares in batches, until golden brown, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Dust immediately with confectioner’s sugar.

Published on June 21, 2010
About the Author
Wine Enthusiast

Where Wine Lives. The World In Your Glass. Check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/WineEnthusiast.



SUBSCRIBE TO
NEWSLETTERS
The latest wine reviews, trends and recipes plus special offers on wine storage and accessories