Cheers to the first doughnuts of 2016! Jordyn and I decided to mix it up a bit, and try our hand at beignets! Now, these are made with a yeast dough, although it's also common to use choux pastry. I think that means that we'll have to make them again soon to see which we like better!
Now, the process for these beignets is quite a long one, so be prepared! The rising time is quite a bit longer than other doughnuts, but the pay-off is worth it. Beignets are also best served warm and fresh, although we did find that they froze well (place in freezer without dusting with icing sugar).
slightly adapted from: handle the heat
In a large bowl, combine the water, sugar, and yeast.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and cream. Then add to the yeast mixture.
Add half of the flour, and mix until combined - use a dough hook here, or a wooden spoon and some determination. Keep mixing, and add in the salt and butter. Gradually mix in the rest of the flour, and keep working the dough until it is smooth, and a bit tacky.
*If you don't have a dough hook, just flour your work surface and knead the dough by hand. It will take a while, around 10 minutes.
Place the dough into a creased bowl, and cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours. (Yes this is a long time! But it's worth it.)
Preheat oil in a deep-fryer, or in an electric frying pan to 360 degrees farenheit. Place the icing sugar in a large bowl or 9x13 baking dish for tossing the beignets.
Roll the dough out to about 1/4" thickness, and cut it into squares. Deep-fry each square until it's golden brown on both sides, flipping constantly while cooking it.
The beignets will float to the surface as they're frying, and if they don't, you might need more oil in your frying pan, or the oil might need to heat up a bit more.
Once the beignets come out of the frying pan, gently roll them on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels, and then roll them in the icing sugar while still warm.
***NEVER leave your oil unattended!! Not for one second.
*It's helpful to have 2 people frying and coating the beignets here, especially if you're frying several beignets at once.
Beignets are best served warm, or at least the same day.
You can freeze them if you'd like, and coat them in icing sugar once you bring them out of the freezer and just before you serve them.
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk*
1/4 cup cream*
3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
(Oil - for frying beignets)
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
*The milk and cream may be replaced with 1/2 cup of evaporated milk.
Now go on and make yourself some delicious parcels of fried dough people!