Soft, pillowy beignets are the perfect treat to go with tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. These mini dough-nut-like confections will disappear before your eyes!
My daughter begged me to make these for months. She’d never had a beignet, but we’d watched Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, and she was intrigued by beignets. (She’s only 12, so hopefully having them referrred to as “man-catching beignets” in the movie is not the reason she is so interested!)
Ahem. Anyway, I finally made them for her, and asked her if she would like to help. This is the evidence of her “help.”
She had a little trouble making straight lines with the pizza cutter. (But really, don’t we all?) It didn’t affect the flavor at all! So without further ado, here’s how you make beignets. (Man-catching is optional :))
Ingredients for Beignets
You’re basically making a bread dough and frying it here, so you’ll need:
- oil (for frying)
How to Make Beignets
You’re going to make a standard yeast dough here. I love to use my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer with the included dough hook.
Once you’ve got the dough made and it’s had time to rise, you’ll want to roll it out on a floured surface. Roll the dough about 1/2″ thick.
I wanted my beignets to have perfectly straight sides, so I cut off the uneven edges of the dough. (I used a pizza cutter, but you can use a sharp knife).
Then cut the dough into squares. The size is up to you, but I recommend squares on the smaller side, just so the middle will get cooked when you fry them. I made 25 squares that were about 2 inches on each side (give or take).
Now it’s time to fry! You can use a deep frying pan, Dutch Oven, or my favorite–an electric skillet. I highly recommend an electric skillet, because you can set the temperature of the oil, and the skillet will turn on and off to maintain the proper temperature.
You want to heat the oil to 350 degrees F. If not using an electric skillet, I suggest using a candy thermometer to test the temperature of your oil. Understand that you may need to keep adjusting the heat below your frying pan or Dutch Oven to maintain the proper temperature.
You’ll want at least 2 inches of oil in your frying pan, Dutch Oven, or electric skillet. Once it has reached 350 degrees F., gently drop about four or five beginets at a time into the oil.
Fry until golden brown and then flip. (These brown pretty quickly, so don’t leave! It’s never a good idea to leave when you’re frying anything in hot oil!)
When both sides are done, gently remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate or bowl.
Once all the beignets have been fried, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar and serve!
This recipe adapted from Jo Cooks.
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one envelope)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- vegetable oil for frying
- powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional)
- Combine the water, yeast, and granulated sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Allow to sit for about ten minutes, until the yeast is frothy. (If your yeast never gets frothy, your water may have been too hot. If you know your water wasn't too hot, check the expiration date on your yeast).
- Add the egg and milk to the yeast mixture and whisk.
- Add all the flour, the salt, and the butter. If using a stand mixer, use your dough hook on speed one or two. If mixing by hand, stir until it becomes too difficult. Then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand.
- The dough is the correct consistency when it comes cleanly away from the sides of the mixer. (It's o.k. if it still sticks to the bottom of the mixer). It should be soft and only barely sticky.
- Leave the dough in the mixer, or place it back in the bowl (if you were kneading by hand) and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place in a warm location and allow it to rise until doubled. (One to two hours, depending on the temperature).
- When doubled in size, punch down and roll out into a square or rectangle on a floured surface. Dough should be 1/2" to 3/4" thick.
- Cut the dough into squares (between 2 and 3 inches square).
- Add 2-3 inches of vegetable oil to a high-sided frying pan, Dutch Oven, or electric skillet. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
- Gently and carefully slide 4-5 beignets at a time into the oil. Fry 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
- Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate or bowl.
- When all the beignets have been fried, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
These are best eaten fresh on the day they they were made.