Saturday, September 13, 2008

Beignets (French Market Doughnuts)

These are a little work, but worth the efforts. For an easier way, you can use the Cafe Du Monde mix but the results are not as good You can order mix at http://shop.cafedumonde.com/originals.html.

1 tbsp yeast ( 1pkg.)
3/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup milk
3 1/2 all purpose flour
2 tbsp. shortening
vegetable oil for frying
powdered sugar

Combine the yeast, water, and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (You could also make this in a food processor, or the old fashioned way, by hand). Let this sit until frothy, about 5 minutes, then add the salt, egg, and milk. Mix on low speed, then add half of the flour until it starts to come together, then add the shortening. When the shortening is incorporated start adding the remaining flour, a little at a time until most of it is incorporated. Knead the dough adding just enough flour as necessary to make a non-sticky, smooth silky dough. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl, loosely cover and let rise to double in size. Punch it down and turn it onto a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle that is about 1/2″ thick. With a very sharp knife working at a diagonal to the rectangle, cut into 2″ wide strips. Now cut into diamond shapes by making diagonal cuts in the opposite direction. Let the cut beignets rise for 20 minutes. Fry the risen beignets in 2-3 inches of oil at 350 degrees until golden brown. Drop fried beignets into a paper bag with powdered sugar. Shake and put on a plate.