Beignets

Beignets are fluffy little clouds of goodness covered in powdered sugar. When I lived in Metairie, LA my office was right across the street from one of the Cafe Du Monde locations. There was no better reward than to enjoy a morning with a beignet or two and a cup of cafe au lait.

This recipe was passed down to me by a friend who grew up in Louisiana. This was my first attempt in over 40 years to make these fried delights; much to my surprise they turned out great and I’m not a baker. Next time, I will substitute condensed milk for the whole milk because the flavor is richer and perhaps add a bit more sugar.

I love my beignets warm, right out of the fryer. Sprinkle on the powdered sugar using a sugar sifter. If you don’t have a sugar sifter, then a fine mesh sieve will do.

Ingredients

  • 1 package dry yeast

  • 2 tablespoons warm water

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 3 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar applied after frying

Directions

  • Heat the milk in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the salt and nutmeg. Stir in the sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to about 110-degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, the liquid should feel hotter than body temperature but not hot enough to burn your wrist. Dissolve the yeast in 2 tablespoons of warm water and then add to the cooled milk mixture. Let proof. Foamy bubbles will emerge.
  • Once proofed, pour the yeast into a mixing bowl on a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook. Mix in the egg, oil and 1 cup of flour until a smooth dough is formed. Slowly add in the rest of the flour until just mixed but smooth.
  • Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Punch it down and then roll it out into an 18″ x 12″ x 2″ rectangle. Cut the dough into 32 squares and then let the squares rise for another hour.
  • Fry in vegetable oil in a deep fryer or dutch oven at 375-degrees F. until light brown.
  • Remove and drain on a baking rack. While still warm, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Eat immediately!