Beignets- probably the reason why we have the funnel cake. Beignets are a totally acceptable “breakfast treat” to indulge in on the weekend unlike their fair-fodder friend. When our trip to New Orleans was canceled last April thanks to Covid, we decided to make the best of it and recreate our favorite New Orleans recipes at home, like this gumbo and this Cafe du Monde-inspired beignet recipe. Beignets are even the state donut of Louisiana, if that isn’t an endorsement for a pastry, I don’t know what is. Since cafe du monde beignet recipe is a tightly guarded secret, these will have to do as the next best thing!
Before you start talking yourself out of beignets let me talk you IN to this beignet recipe by saying, if you know how to let dough rise, this is a pretty simple recipe. The next item of complication is finding peanut oil (or other high temp oil) in a large enough quantity to fry them in. I also highly recommend you do any frying with a cooking vent on to contain a potential air-born mess.
Beignets are basically square yeasty donuts. There is very little sugar in the dough which is why we see hot beignets doused with powdered sugar post-oil bath. Also, what’s better than that moment when the powdered sugar clings to the beignets and melts every so slightly. It’s just the perfect donut experience.
Messy enough to make it feel like an accomplishment when you’ve finished one.
Light enough to entice you into finishing more than one.
Subtly decadent enough where when served alongside coffee, you’re in a world of breakfast heaven. Go ahead and dunk that beignet in your black coffee, you know you want to.
These are a fun and showy donut to whip up on the weekend. Make sure you have a few extra mouths on hand to help you eat them all, and if it’s just you, laissez les bon temps beignet!
Just like in cafe du monde, make your own beignets for a weekend indulgence.
- 1 cup whole milk warmed
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (or margarine) softened
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 package instant yeast
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp salt
- peanut (or other high temperature oil) for frying
- powdered sugar for topping as desired
Heat the milk so that it is just bubbling, be careful not to scald the milk. You want it to be warmed throughout so make sure to continuously stir while heating.
In a large bowl, add butter (or margarine) and sugar. When milk is heated, pour milk in while whisking ingredients together. The butter and sugar should dissolve in the warm milk.
When milk, butter, sugar mixture has reached 110°F, add in yeast and let the yeast bloom (produce bubbles) in the bowl.
Sift flour and salt together. Add 1/2 cup of the flour salt mixture and stir to create the batter. (Adding the flour in now helps prevent flour clumps from forming when we add the rest later).
Add in egg and whisk thoroughly.
Stir in remaining flour mixture. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
Remove dough from bowl and turn onto a floured surface. Roll out into 1/4 inch thickness and cut into squares. Cover and let rise for 1/2 to 1 hour.
Bring oil in heavy bottomed deep walled pan to 325°F. Plop 3-4 beignets into the oil and let fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, turning once. The outside should be a deep golden brown.
Remove and place onto a cooling rack. Dust immediately with powdered sugar. Serve warm.