If you’ve never been to New Orleans, you can still get a taste of its cuisine with our recipe for New Orleans Beignets from scratch, the official state doughnut of Louisiana.
1 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, room temperature and beaten
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup evaporated milk
4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
Vegetable oil for deep frying*
Powdered (confectioner’s) sugar for dusting
* Use just enough vegetable oil to completely cover beignets while frying – approximately 2 inches deep in the pan.
Using a Stand-Up Mixer with a dough hook, place water, sugar, salt, egg, butter, evaporated milk, flour, and yeast in the bowl. Beat until smooth. Remove dough from bowl and turn out onto a lightly-oiled surface. Form dough into an oval, place in a lightly-greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled (3 to 4 hours) or overnight.
Remove the prepared dough from the refrigerator and roll out on a lightly-floured board to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into approximately 3-inch squares, triangles, or circles (your choice); set aside. In a deep fryer or large pot, heat vegetable oil to 360 degrees F.
Slide the dough pieces slowly into the hot oil (this is to avoid splattering) and fry the beignets (2 or 3 at a time) approximately 2 to 3 minutes or until they are puffed and golden brown on both sides; turning them in the oil with tongs once or twice to get them evenly brown. The beignets will rise to the surface of the oil as soon as they begin to puff. NOTE: If the beignets don’t rise to the top immediately when dropped into the oil, the oil is not hot enough. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
While the beignets are still warm, sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar. An easy way to coat the hot beignets in powdered sugar is to place the powdered sugar an a clean bag. Add the beignets to the bag, hold bag close and shake to coat evenly.
Serve while still warm. The dough can be kept for up to 1 week in the refrigerator – it actually improves with age; just punch down when it rises. Dough can also be frozen; cut and roll, or shape doughnuts before freezing.)