How to Make Beignets – A Step-by-Step Guide to Delicious French Donuts
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Beignets
Before you begin making beignets, it’s important to gather all of the necessary ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 packet of active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
- 1 cup of evaporated milk
- 7 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup of vegetable shortening
- Vegetable oil for frying
Make sure you have all of the ingredients measured out and ready to use before you begin making the dough. This will make the process much smoother and ensure that your beignets turn out perfectly.
Preparing the Dough for Beignets
Once you have all of your ingredients ready, it’s time to start making the dough for your beignets.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lukewarm water, sugar, and yeast. Mix well and let sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture becomes frothy.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and add in the salt and evaporated milk. Mix well and set aside.
In another large mixing bowl, combine the flour and vegetable shortening. Mix well using your hands, making sure to break up any large clumps of shortening.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix well using a spatula or wooden spoon. Next, add in the egg mixture and continue to mix until a sticky dough forms.
Once the dough is fully mixed, transfer it to a clean, floured surface and knead it for 5-10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a damp towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Your beignet dough is now ready to be shaped and cut into the classic square shapes before frying.
Shaping and Cutting the Beignet Dough
Once your beignet dough has risen and is ready to use, it’s time to shape and cut it into the classic square shapes.
Lightly flour a clean surface and turn the risen dough out onto it.
Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.
Using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into 2-inch squares.
Transfer the cut squares to a floured baking sheet and cover them with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out.
Allow the beignet squares to rest for another 10-15 minutes before frying.
Shaping and cutting the beignet dough can be a messy process, so be sure to keep your work surface well-floured to prevent the dough from sticking.
Frying and Serving the Beignets
Now that your beignet dough has been shaped and cut into squares, it’s time to fry them up and serve them while they’re still warm and fluffy.
In a large, deep pot or Dutch oven, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 375°F.
Gently drop a few beignet squares into the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry the beignets for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown and puffy.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried beignets to a wire rack lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
Dust the warm beignets generously with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
Frying beignets can be a bit messy, so be sure to have plenty of paper towels and a wire rack handy to drain the excess oil from the fried dough squares. And remember, beignets are best enjoyed fresh and warm, so be sure to serve them right away!
Tips and Tricks for Perfect Beignets Every Time
Making beignets can take some practice to get just right. Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve perfect beignets every time:
Use lukewarm water when activating the yeast. If the water is too hot, it can kill the yeast and prevent the dough from rising properly.
Make sure the dough rises in a warm, draft-free place. If the dough is too cold, it won’t rise properly, but if it’s too warm, it can rise too quickly and become too sticky.
Don’t overwork the dough. Be gentle when kneading the dough and avoid overmixing it, as this can cause the beignets to become tough and chewy.
Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares. A dull knife can compress the dough and prevent it from rising properly in the hot oil.
Fry the beignets in small batches to prevent overcrowding the pot and lowering the oil temperature. This will help ensure that the beignets cook evenly and become puffy and golden brown.
By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create delicious, fluffy beignets every time you make them.