Do you ever have one of those weekends where you think, "I'm gonna be super productive and get my shit done before this next week!" And then fail to accomplish anything on your to-do list? Because that was me these past three days. All that grown up b.s. that you feel like you have to do (and actually have to do) like... clean out your car (with at least 6 old coffee cups), and pay your taxes. I wish those were optional.
The only thing that I completed from start to finish were these beautiful nuggets of fried joy. Why yes, they are beignets. And yes, that is two cups of powdered sugar dusted on top of them. Work and school and the flu may be getting the best of me, but I decided I had to get this recipe out before the day ended.
I was ultra inspired by Joy the Bakers new cookbook "Over Easy" that I just received in the mail. She lives in the French Quarter of New Orleans, so of course beignets were featured in her new brunch filled book. This recipe is tweaked from hers and I have to admit they are freaking amazing. I hope you guys give them a try!
1 package yeast
2 tablespoons of warm water
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon of salt
3 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup shortening (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
Corn oil, for frying
1. Place yeast, sugar, and warm water into a bowl. Water should be anywhere from 95-105 degrees. Whisk together and let sit for 12 minuets. After 12 min. the top should be a little foamy, which means your yeast is activated and ready to go!
2. Combine your egg, evaporated milk, and salt in a separate bowl. Mix well and pour into yeast mixture. Stir until well combined.
3. Add half of the flour into your mixture and stir together. Add shortening and work through the dough with spoon.
4. Once the shortening is dispersed throughout the dough add the rest of the flour.
5. When the dough begins to come together, place on a lightly floured surface and begin to knead the dough together. The dough will be a little tacky, that’s okay. Add a little more flour if you need too. (But don’t overdo it with the flour. It should be a little sticky to the touch.)
6. Form the dough into a ball, place in a greased bowl (I just used a little extra corn oil) and cover with a tea towel. Allow it to rise for 2 hours.
7. After 2 hours is up, take your dough out of the bowl. It should have doubled in size. Place on a lightly floured surface. Put a little flour on top and roll your dough to about 1/4-inch thickness.
8. Cut out dough in any shape you like. I did traditional squares. Place on a floured baking sheet and cover with a tea towel. Let rise for 15 min until slightly puffed up.
9. While your dough is rising for the second time, put your oil in a pan and heat until it reaches 370 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. Place another baking sheet, lined with paper towels to collect any excess grease somewhere accessible and near your pan.
11. Place beignet dough into the oil (be careful!) and use a heat proof spoon to scoop up the oil and spoon it on the side that is facing up. After a few times spooning the oil onto the dough, it will begin to puff up. Then, flip the dough over after about 30 seconds to a minuet, until it is golden brown. Repeat for both sides. Remove from pan and place on the baking sheet with paper towels.
12. Sift (A LOT) of powdered sugar on top of beignets when done frying and enjoy! (preferably with coffee)