New Orleans-Style Homemade Beignets
Beignets are very popular in New Orleans. They are usually served with a cup of hot coffee or tea for breakfast or dessert. They are buttery and puffy, plus they can be made from scratch without any hassle. Even if you are new to the world of baking, you should not have any problem making this treat at all!
What’s the History of Beignets?
Beignets date back to the time of Ancient Rome. But just so you know, frying food (that’s how beignets are cooked) started long before that. The term ‘beignet’ may refer to the French-style beignet, which became popular in the United States. This right here means ‘deep-fried’ choux pastry. The word may also refer to Berlin doughnuts, which are usually made with yeast pastry. These doughnuts do not have the traditional hole in the middle, and they have fruit or jam fillings.
In New Orleans, beignets are served fresh and hot. Thanks to the French colonists who came during the 18th century. Up to this day, a lot of people still rave about beignets – the New Orleans style, and that’s exactly what we are featuring today. 🙂
This recipe is the best guide to making the best New Orleans-Style Homemade Beignets, and that’s from scratch, too. Puffy…Buttery…Yummy…Best served with a cup of hot coffee or tea.
2 tbsp warm water
3 tbsp boiling water
3 tbsp whole milk
2 tsp vegetable shortening
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar (add a little bit more for yeast proofing)
1 large egg white
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour (add more for rolling)
2 c. canola oil (for frying)
1 c. powdered sugar
a pinch of salt
- Heat 2 tablespoons of water to 105 degrees Fahrenheit in a small bowl. Add the yeast and a little bit of sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Put the shortening, egg white, sugar, and milk in a small cup. Mix them well and then add 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Check the temperature. If it is anywhere from 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, add it to the foamy yeast mixture and stir well.
- Add flour and salt. Stir gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for about an hour.
- Using a deep pot, heat the canola oil to 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Divide the dough in half and roll it out on a floured surface, about 6 inches wide.
- Cut the dough into small squares using a pizza wheel.
- Once the oil is hot enough, drop about 3 squares of dough. Each side should turn golden brown in 1 to 2 minutes. Once the other side is good, flip the squares.
- Remove the fried squares from the oil and transfer them to a cooling rack lined with paper towels. Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all squares of dough are cooked.
- Cool the beignets for about 5 minutes and dunk them into the powdered sugar.
- Serve with extra powdered sugar on top if desired.
- The very first step is to see if the yeast is active. You would know it is once it starts foaming. If it does not, throw it away and start all over.
- You can use any neutral oil for frying.
Beignets cook really fast, so you better not walk away after dropping them into the hot oil.
A good beignet should have that ‘puff of air’ in the middle once it is fried. Do you know what the secret to this is? Do not add too much shortening when making the dough.
Enjoy your New Orleans-Style Homemade Beignets! 🙂