Nothing beats homemade beignets! They’re soft, pillowy, fluffy and airy, not to mention totally scrumptious. Close your eyes, take a bite and enjoy!
One thing’s for sure, the hot weather will never stop me from cooking or baking in my kitchen. Especially when I have a craving and today’s craving was beignets. I know you can always get in your car and go buy some donuts, but nothing beats a good homemade donut. No matter how hot it is.
I have been making donuts for as long as I remember. In fact, this is probably one of the few sweet things my mom used to make, so I loved to be in the kitchen with her when she was making donuts. My job was to sprinkle powdered sugar all over them, the best job, if you ask me!
Beignet is a french word and it’s synonymous with the English “fritter” made from deep fried choux pastry. These fried fritters are sometimes also filled with fruit. But today, what we know as a beignet is mostly a square piece of dough, deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar. This is probably what people think of when hearing the word beignet. Beignets are also quite popular in New Orleans Creole cuisine, brought there by the French colonists back in the 18th century.
The recipe I’m using here is based on Paula Deen’s recipe. I remember I saw this on her show a long time ago so I used her recipe which I modified a bit. I used butter instead of shortening and I used milk instead of evaporated milk. I also cut her recipe in half, her original recipe calls for 7 cups of flour and that just seems like a lot of beignets to me. Even the 3 1/2 cups of flour made quite a few beignets. But if you’re planning on feeding a huge crowd go ahead and double the recipe because one thing’s for sure, these will disappear off the table in no time.
I love these little beignets because they are not sweet at all and if you want them sweeter just a lot more powdered sugar on them.
Before frying these beignets make sure your oil is hot, it needs to be 350 F degrees. Try one at first and check out the oil, the beignet should fry pretty quickly. Fry the beignets, about 5 or 6 at a time. Be careful, they fry quickly, so you have to stand by them and flip them when they’re done on one side. When they’re done, all you have to do is sprinkle them with powdered sugar and enjoy. They are truly delicious, light and fluffy.
Check out the video!
If you guys love this recipe, and most importantly make it yourselves, please let us know. Take a picture and tag it #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!
Nothing beats homemade beignets! They're soft, pillowy, fluffy and airy, not to mention totally scrumptious. Close your eyes, take a bite and enjoy!
- 3/4 cup water lukewarm
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 envelope)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter unsalted and softened
- powdered sugar for sprinkling optional
- vegetable oil for frying
In a small bowl combine the water, yeast and sugar. Whisk it all together a bit and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast dissolves and starts to froth up.
Once the yeast has dissolved, add the egg, milk and whisk.
To the bowl of your mixer combine the flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture and butter to the bowl. Using the dough hook, mix it well until well incorporated. You will know that the dough is done when it comes clean from the sides of the bowl.
Remove the dough from the mixer and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover it with a clean damp towel or plastic wrap and let it sit and double in size, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, in a warm place.
Roll out the dough in a long rectangle that's about 3/4 of an inch in thickness. Cut the dough in long strips then cut the strips to form squares.
Add about 3 inches of oil to a deep frying pan, I used a Dutch Oven. Before frying the beignets make sure the oil is hot, it needs to be 350 F degrees. Fry the beignets, about 5 or 6 at a time until golden brown on both sides. Make sure you turn them on both sides to fry them evenly.
Transfer the beignets to a large bowl lined with paper towels to drain some of the excess oil. Sprinkle beignets with powdered sugar and serve.
Always check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure it hasn't expired. All your yeast products whether it’s in a jar or a package should be stamped with a “Best if Used by” date. Always make sure you check this date, even when you purchase the yeast, who knows it could have been on the shelf past its expiry date.
To keep your yeast fresh and longer lasting, unopened yeast packages or jars should be stored in a cool or dry place such as your cupboard. However, you can also store your yeast in the fridge or freezer. If you do store it in the freezer and need to use yeast for your baking, make sure you take out the amount you need and let it sit at room temperature for at least half hour before using.
Once your yeast package or jar has been opened, you must refrigerate the yeast or freeze it in an airtight container.
One thing to remember about your yeast, is that it is a living organism and over time it will lose activity, even if you’ve never opened the jar or package. So if you don’t bake often, buy the smaller yeast packages rather than a big jar of yeast.
Make sure your water is not too hot or it could kill the yeast which will cause your dough not to rise at all. The ideal temperature for the water should be between 105 F degrees and 110 F for proofing. While 95 F degrees is the best temperature for yeast to multiply, that's not warm enough for proofing active dry yeast.
If after dissolving the yeast in the lukewarm water with the sugar, the yeast didn't start to froth up, do not continue with the donuts, your dough will not rise.
You could also use instant or rapid-rise yeast instead of the active dry yeast. If you do, you do not need to dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. It could be mixed right into the dough.
TIP: To speed up the dough rising process, heat your oven to 200 F degrees. Turn off the oven and place your dough as specified in step 4 in the oven with the door closed. This will ensure a warm environment for your dough and the dough will rise fairly quickly, assuming the yeast was good.
Recipe originally shared August 2011.