These New Orleans Beignets are the Real Deal! Heavenly morsels of dough are deep fried to golden brown perfection and topped with powdered sugar making you feel like you stepped off the plane right into NOLA! This is a slightly different technique from making my Banana Fritters, Blueberry Glazed Doughnuts , Peach Fritters or Pumpkin Cider Doughnuts or even these Castagnole but are seriously so delicious.
Today, I want to share a recipe I made a few weeks ago: New Orleans Beignets (Sorry to all of you on detox, Whole 30 and keto plans)!
This Nola beignets recipe starts with a confession. When I first tried this recipe, I had never been to New Orleans. However as of today, I’ve been five times. Seriously five times in the short span of 3 years.
Each time I go, I must have beignets from Cafe Du Monde and Cafe Beignet. I think both are fantastic and I am often asked which is the best. I have to say they are very different to me. I find Cafe Beignet’s to be lighter with a very different texture than Cafe Du Monde. Cafe Du Monde has a much doughier texture overall and is the favorite in New Orleans so you must try both in my opinion and make a decision for yourself.
In my effort to bring Mardi Gras into my home, I searched for a New Orleans beignet recipe that might add a dash of creole soul to my kitchen. So of course, I turned to Mr. New Orleans himself, Emeril Lagasse.
I was able to adapt his recipe, and it is perfect! These beignets are like heavenly morsels of dough that are quite delicious but oh so dangerous for the waistline shrinking resolution vowers.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO MAKE BEIGNETS?
Beignets can be a very tricky thing to make but luckily for you I’ve tested out this recipe more than a few times. I’ve spent days coating my kitchen in flour, powdered sugar and egg shells just to be able to guarantee you a foolproof recipe. After countless failed trials I’ve pretty much made every mistake possible and I’ve got a few tips to help you avoid them.
Start by adding yeast, sugar, shortening and milk into an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook then set it to mix for two minutes. Add your egg and mix again. Slowly add in four cups of flour and salt then allow this to mix at a low speed until incorporated. Bump up the mixer to a medium speed until mixture forms a loose ball. The dough should be relatively soft, like drop biscuit dough. It should not be stiff like pie dough. Do not overmix the dough. You will have tough beignets if you overmix the dough.
Remove your dough from the bowl, form it into smooth ball (be careful not to use too much force), and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and allow your dough to rise in a warm area for two hours. Your dough should double in size. Do not allow your dough to sit there for longer than two hours. If you let the dough to rise for too long, the taste and texture of your beignets will suffer.
While you allow your vegetable oil to preheat in a deep fat fryer, place your dough on a well floured surface. Flour is your friend! Don’t hold back, beignet dough can be notoriously sticky and no one wants to scrape dough bits off their counter all day. Flour your hands, work surface, rolling pin and dough cutter or knife. If at any point your dough begins to stick to your surface or your tools feel free to add a bit more flour. I promise you won’t regret it!
Pat out your dough into a 12.5×10 inch rectangle that is also 1 inch thick then proceed to roll it out to ¼ inch thickness. With a sharp knife or dough cutter (dusted in flour!) cut the dough into twenty 2.5 inch square beignets. You will most likely have scraps of leftover dough. Do not try to remix these scraps and cut them into squares. The scraps will only produce tough beignets because you are pushing air out of the dough.
Finally, fry the beignets a couple at a time until they are golden brown and crispy on all sides. This should take three to five minutes. Do not add too many pieces to the oil or else the oil temperature will drop and your beignets will be fry up flat. They will not puff up.
Drain your beignets on paper towels and coat them in as much powdered sugar as your heart desires. Eat as many as you’d like, get messy and don’t forget to lick the sugar off your fingers! Make sure you make a huge feast like this Frogmore Stew Low Country Boil to celebrate these babies with!
New Orleans Beignets
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 1 1/4 cups warm milk 110 degrees
- 1 large egg beaten
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Pinch salt
- Oil for frying
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- In the bowl of an stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, add yeast, sugar, shortening, and milk and mix together for 2 minutes. Add the egg and mix then add 4 cups of the flour and salt. Continue mixing on low speed until all of the flour is incorporated. This takes about 1 minute. Mix at medium speed until the mixture forms a ball, leaves the sides of the mixing bowl, and climbs up the dough hook.
- Remove the dough from the bowl. Form the dough into a smooth ball with your hands then lightly oil a bowl. Place the dough inside the bowl and push it along the sides to make sure it is slightly oiled all the way around. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size. This takes about 2 hours.
- Preheat the vegetable oil a deep fat fryer to 360 degrees F.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Lightly dust the surface of the dough. Roll out the rectangle to 12 1/2 inches long by 10 inches wide and about 1/4-inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into twenty 2 1/2-inch square beignets.
- Fry beignets, just a couple at a time until golden brown and crispy on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towels. Sprinkle the beignets with powdered sugar and serve.