It may be time for a confession, I have never tasted a beignet. I’m a firm believer in that if a certain food is regional then that’s where your first taste should be, so that would be New Orleans for beignets.
Booo for me, I haven’t experienced NOLA yet but it sure is on my bucket list. The flavors of the south excite me and a recent trip to Nashville provided me with the best fried chicken on earth, for reals! The beignet was introduced by the french and some say they’re just like *gasp* doughnuts, though I have to disagree on this. The beignet is way more lighter and puffier than a doughnut which tends to be more dense. I loved how easy this yeasted dough was to work with, it’s a soft one so you have to work quickly and have extra flour on hand to prevent it sticking to your hands and the table.
The dough reminds me of a brioche dough, soft and wet with an eggy shine to it. I could’ve just made plain beignets but since thanksgiving is so close, I decided to add some pumpkin pie spice and I love how they turned out. Powdered sugar is the traditional way to dress them up and don’t skimp, In fact if you look at the ones served at the famous Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, they serve their beignets with a mountain-sized heap of powdered sugar. Serve them warm from the fryer with some really good coffee and you have one of my favorite breakfasts. I’ll definitely be making these again!
Take a look at some more beignets recipes!
Traditional Beignets– Dessert For Two
Apple Buttermilk Beignets– Joy The Baker
Tiramisu Beignets– Half Baked Harvest
Beignets with Raspberry Sauce– Country Cleaver
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 3 teaspoons quick rise yeast
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Canola oil for frying
- 4 cups powdered sugar
Heat the milk in a small pan until it starts to bubble.
Add the buttermilk and transfer the liquid to the bowl of a stand mixer.
Mix in the yeast and sugar, let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the flour, baking soda, salt and pie spice.
Mix on low speed until the dough comes together, it'll be quite wet and sticky. About 5 minutes.
Take the bowl off the machine and cover with a dry towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 1 hour.
Add about 2 inches deep of oil to a deep sided pan and heat to 375 degrees on a thermometer.
Dust your work surface with flour and dump the dough out onto the flour.
Add some more flour to the top of the dough and gently fold it into a ball shape.
Roll the dough out to a flat sheet about half an inch thick.
Use a pizza cutter or large chefs knife to cut out 1 1/2 inch squares, in a grid pattern.
Drop 3-4 squares of dough into the hot oil at a time and cook for about 2-3 minutes turning halfway through.
Drain the beignets on some paper towel.
Dust with lots of powdered sugar and serve warm and fresh.
Recipe slightly adapted from Epicurious.com (David Guas and Raquel Pelzel)