Macheesmo

Cooking with Confidence
I mean come on.
Desserts, Vegetarian

Can You Say Beignet?

by Nick

I’m in a book club which meets every month or so. It is a pretty low key club that revolves around a lot of food, wine, and occasionally some discussion about the book. This month we talked about “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” which I very highly recommend. For the event though I thought I would make these guys:

Turns out homemade donuts are good.

Turns out homemade donuts are good.

A few weeks ago I reviewed “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day” and while I have made a few of the normal bread recipes in the book with perfect success, I had never made a sweet dish out of the book before this recipe. I cannot express how impressed I was with the results. The dough was very easy to make and the process was simple to follow.

The book says that you can use either the Challah recipe or Brioche recipe from the book. I went with the Brioche.

Yield
About 25 beignets.
Prep Time
Total Time
Print Recipe

Homemade Beignets

Homemade Beignets

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Tablespoon dry yeast (A bit under 1 packet)
  • 3/4 Tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup melted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish

Directions

1) Combine yeast and salt in a large bowl. Then add all of your wet ingredients including eggs, honey, butter, and water.

2) Then you want to add the flour. The dough will be very wet. After you add your flour, stir it well, but don't worry if there are some lumps.

3) Let this dough rise in the bowl at room temperature for at least 2 hours. It will at least double in volume.

4) You can punch it down a bit at this point and then cover and chill it for at least one hour. Then you can use it right away or store it in the fridge well covered for up to 10 days.

5) When you ready to make the beignets, dust the dough with some flour.

6) Roll the dough out until it's 1/4-inch thick. Use more flour if the dough is sticking. Then take a knife or, even easier, a pizza cutter, and slice up the dough into 2X2 inch squares. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes after you cut it.

7) Preheat oil to 350 degrees in a large pot. Fry dough squares in batches for about 2 minutes per side until they are golden brown.

8) Take them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel to drain quickly. Then dust with powdered sugar. Use a heavy hand here.

Serve while warm.

Recipe adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes.

The basics of brioche.

The basics of brioche.

I started with combining my yeast and salt in a large bowl.

Yeast and salt.

Yeast and salt.

Then add all of your wet ingredients including eggs, honey, butter, and water.

Add the wet stuff including the honey.

Add the wet stuff including the honey.

Then you want to add your flour. The dough will be very wet. Keep in mind that you are going to chill it before you use it so it will firm up quite a bit. After you add your flour, stir it well, but don’t worry if there are some lumps.

Let this dough rise in the bowl at room temperature for at least 2 hours. It will at least double in volume and you’ll end up with this:

After a 2 hour rise.

After a 2 hour rise.

You can punch it down a bit at this point and then cover and chill it for at least one hour. Then you can use it right away or store it in the fridge well covered for up to 10 days. This is why the recipe is so great because it lets you make the dough when you have time and cook it when you need it. I made my dough two days before I needed it.

Since the dough is so wet, before you take it out of the bowl, dust it with some flour.

Two days later.

Two days later.

You could just pull off as much of the dough as you need and store the rest for later. I just rolled all of mine out. Keep the flour going because the dough is wet.

It's about 1/4 inch thick.

It’s about 1/4 inch thick.

Then take a knife or, even easier, a pizza cutter, and slice up the dough into 2X2 inch squares. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes after you cut it. This will let the dough relax a bit and come to room temperature. Very important.

These guys puff up beautifully.

These guys puff up beautifully.

Then just drop them in a pot of oil at 350 degrees. If you don’t have a candy thermometer to get the temp exactly right, just test the oil with a single beignet. It should quickly rise to the surface and brown nicely on one side in about 2 minutes. After you get confident you can do a few at a time.

You could put in more than 5. I wasn't in a hurry.

You could put in more than 5. I wasn’t in a hurry.

Two minutes per side is all it takes for that lovely golden brown. Take them out with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel to drain quickly. Then dust with powdered sugar. Use a heavy hand here.

I mean come on.

I mean come on.

These are delicious, but I think the best part about them is the dough. It’s so flexible and easy to make. I rolled out all of that dough, made just half of them, and then stored the rest of the dough for the next few days. It’s a really great recipe.