27 January, 2015

FRENCH BEIGNETS



Every time I visit my family there is a list of favourite recipes to make. Every couple days it seems we have a conversation starting with, "Remember those delicious. . ." and so we elaborate and scheme and run to the shop and toss up the kitchen then feast.

Here are French Beignets. We've made them time and time again, and they've never ever failed, though this time we all agreed they were at their best, and I credit that to the extra long rising time this batch had (ok, I just got busy and half forgot about them. No pretending to be fancy here).



We love the powdered sugar dusting that melts in your mouth over this incredibly puffy, yeasty dough, with the slightest hint of sweet. I don't see how you can go wrong.

The original recipe is French Quarter Beignets, and they're cut into small 1-inch squares. We have tried them all shapes and sizes and prefer ours in bitesize circles, about 1-inch in diameter. Try a variety and see what you like best!

French Beignets
makes about 3 dozen 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups all purpose flour or bread flour (both work well and yield very little difference)
1/4 cup butter or shortening
-
oil for frying
-
3 cups icing sugar for tossing


Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and allow to sit for at least ten minutes.

In another bowl beat eggs, salt, and evaporated milk.  Add yeast mixture into the egg mixture and combine. 

In separate bowl measure out flour. Add three cups of flour to yeast & egg mixture and stir to combine. Add shortening and continue to mix while adding remaining flour. 

Remove dough from bowl and place on floured work surface. Knead until smooth. 

Lightly grease a large bowl, place dough in bowl and cover. Allow to rise in a warm place for at least two hours*.

Preheat oil in a deep pan to 350ºF, or until the edges of a piece of dough dropped in bubble.

Roll dough about 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into squares or circles and begin frying, flipping constantly until beignets become a golden colour. 

After beignets are fried, place them on a paper towel for a few seconds, then toss in a paper bag with icing sugar and shake.

Best served warm, but equally delicious the next day at room temperature. 

*we allowed this batch to rise for about 6 hours

Adapted from this recipe right here.

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