Friday, February 26, 2010

Tiana's Kitchen~New Orlean Style Beignets

Sorry for the lack of update! My laptop has died so I am using my mom's at the moment ^^;

Last week I made some beignets! After watching Disney's Princess and the Frog at the December Lolita Meetup, I became obsessed with those delicious looked squares of fried bread topped with clouds of powdered sugar. Unfortunately, I did not know what they were called, and therefore could not search for a recipe! Luckily, in the egl tinychat one night I asked, and one of the girls told me that they were called "beignets". Also known as French Donuts, these scrumptious pieces of fried dough were really not that hard to make!



After making these, I found out that there is actually a cookbook based on Tiana! It retails for $10.99 on Disney Books or for $7.91 (and eligible for free shipping) on Amazon

This is the beignet recipe I used. The original instructions are in print and my added comments are in bold



New Orleans Style Beignet Recipe

1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast
3/4 Cup Water (110 degrees F)
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Beaten Egg
1/2 Cup Evaporated Milk
3 1/2 – 3 3/4 Cups A.P. Flour
1/8 Cup Shortening
Vegetable Oil for Frying
Powdered Sugar in a shaker or sifter

Photobucket

Combine the Yeast, Water, and Sugar in the work bowl of 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, my mom says it is better to first dissolve the sugar into the water, then sprinkle the yeast on top so the yeast can use the sugar as food
Photobucket

then add the Salt, Egg, and Evaporated Milk. Mix on low speed, then add half of the flour until it starts to come together, then add the shortening. We replaced the shortening with butter XD It would probably be better to melt the butter first because it will mix better than solid chunks!
Photobucket



When the shortening is incorporated start adding the remaining flour, a little at a time until most of it is incorporated.
Photobucket

At this time I always turn the dough onto a floured bench to finish by hand, just like when I make bread; it’s a touch thing. Knead the dough adding just enough flour as necessary to make a non-sticky, smooth dough. Place the dough into a large oiled bowl, loosely cover and let rise (I made mine last night and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator).I let mine rise for a whole day in the fridge because we went to a party ^^;
Though if you are making this all in one go, just let it rise for a couple of hours in a warm place until the dough doubles

Photobucket
Photobucket


After the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and turn it onto a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle that is about 1/2″ thick.
Photobucket


With a very sharp knife working at a diagonal to the rectangle, cut into 2″ wide strips.
Photobucket


Now cut into diamond shapes by making diagonal cuts in the opposite direction.
Photobucket

Place the Beignets on a floured baking sheet to let rise about 40 minutes in a warm place (I place them in a barely warm oven). We put it in a 200 deg F oven and opened the door every 10 minutes or so to prevent heat building up too much and cooking the dough
Photobucket


When the Beignets have risen, heat 2-3 inches of vegetable oil in a large saucepan to 350-360 degrees. Test the oil by sticking a wood/bamboo chopstick into the oil. If tiny bubbles start to come up then that means that the oil is hot enough! Or you can test by dropping a scrap piece of beignet dough into the oil. It should float up quickly and start to brown
Photobucket
Photobucket
This is our draining station :D Paper towels over cooling racks!


Place 2-3 Beignets into the hot oil at a time, being careful not to smash or deflate them. When they are golden brown, flip them over until golden brown on the other side (They go pretty quickly so start checking them right after they go into the oil). The beignets will be very puffy! I accidentally smashed a few before I figured out that using a spatula wiggled under them would keep them puffy. Then carefully sliding them into the oil, and turning with chopsticks
Photobucket


Remove to paper towel lined plates to drain.
Photobucket

Serve hot topped with plenty of powdered sugar (because the dough doesn’t contain much sugar, you will want a lot!). Best served with Cafe au Lait. Enjoy!

Makes about 2 dozen.
It also tastes good by itself I found :D I don't always like to eat too sweet, so when I do not want too sweet I eat it without sugar!



Try making this for a potluck meetup!