Learn how to make beignets with this awesome recipe. These deep-fried pastries are covered in powdered sugar and absolutely delicious – one is never enough! Make them for Mardi Gras, or for a special sweet treat any time of year!
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How To Make Beignets At Home!
I’ve been wanting to visit New Orleans for many years now, specifically to experience Mardi Gras. I’ve not quite got there yet… However the closest I have got is being at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter on Fat Tuesday 2019. Sadly, we had missed the Mardi Gras mini parade, but we did have lunch which included several scrummy beignets!
Mardi Gras, also called Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday, in English, refers to events of the Carnival celebrations, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season. – Wiki
Mardi Gras is also celebrated in other countries around the world, but NOLA is the place I think of when I hear the words Mardi Gras!
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What is a beignet?
While the name sounds very fancy (it is French after all), a beignet is simply a rectangular shaped doughnut, without a hole. They are not quite the same texture or flavour as a doughnut, but that is the best way to describe them to you if you have never eaten one before.
Beignets are light, soft, pillowy delights, and they taste their absolutely best when hot and freshly cooked. They are covered with lots of powdered sugar – just remember not to breathe out as you take a bite, because that sugar goes everywhere!
Just look at our box of beignets – you can barely see the middle one!
Beignets have a strong tie to Mardi Gras (which I know has passed us by for this year) but they can be enjoyed at any time. They are a popular breakfast treat, as well as being a yummy dessert, or sweet snack.
Should you ever find yourself in New Orleans, Louisianna, Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter is oldest and most iconic beignet shop. I kick myself now for not buying a box of their beignet mix which was available for sale at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort.
However, that’s where this recipe comes in! No box mixes required!
Because beignets are made using a yeast dough, you need to make time for rising – which is why this recipe has a long prep time. The end results will be worth it though!
For my fellow British readers: This beignet recipe is in American cup measurements, but you can buy measuring cups in the UK. I actually have several sets as I’m often found cooking American recipes. You’re likely to find them in the kitchen section of a large supermarket, or even in shops like Wilko or Lakeland. Or you can go the super easy route of online shopping and buying cup measures from Amazon.
- 1¼-ounce envelope active dry yeast
- ¾ cup warm water
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup whole milk
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 quarts vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- powdered sugar; for dusting
- Mix the yeast, water, and sugar in a mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Add the salt, lemon zest, cinnamon, egg, milk, and 1½ cups flour; mix on medium speed until combined.
- Add the butter; mix until incorporated.
- Add 1¾ cups flour, and mix until the dough comes together.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in the remaining ¼ cup flour by hand until the dough is smooth, about 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a lightly olive oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about one hour. Remove the dough from the bowl. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to ½-inch thickness.
- Cut out with a pizza cutter rectangles.
- Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a medium pot or deep fryer until it registers 350ºF on a deep-fry thermometer between a 2 and a 3 on the dial.
- Fry the beignets in batches, rolling them around constantly with a slotted spoon, until golden brown all over, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Transfer the beignets with the slotted spoon to a cooling rack that's set over a baking pan and dust with powdered sugar.
I hope you enjoy these beignets! Laissez les bon temps rouler!
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