Have the flavor of the Big Easy in these sweet, New Orleans Beignets.
1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105° to 115°), divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup evaporated milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
6 1/2 to 7 cups bread flour
Sifted powdered sugar
How to Make It
Make the yeast mixture: Combine yeast, 1/2 cup warm water, and 1 tsp. granulated sugar in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add milk, eggs, salt, and remaining granulated sugar.
Form a dough: Microwave remaining 1 cup water until hot (about 115°); stir in shortening until melted. Add to yeast mixture. Beat at low speed, gradually adding 4 cups flour, until smooth. Gradually add remaining 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour, beating until a sticky dough forms. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl; turn to grease top. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.
Roll and cut: Turn dough out onto a floured surface; roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 2 1/2-inch squares.
Fry until golden: Pour oil to depth of 2 to 3 inches into a Dutch oven; heat to 360°. Fry dough, in batches, 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack. Dust immediately with powdered sugar.
Sinful Fat Tuesday! I made the dough during my lunch hour and let it chill until after dinner, approximately 8 hours. After Cajun fried okra and jambalaya we weren't sure we had room for beignets. Oh ... my ... goodness! After the 8 hour chill these fried up with that lovely air pocket in the center so we were able to stuff our accompanying home-made bananas foster into them and enjoy these beignets even more! I will quarter the recipe in the future though, as we will be eating beignets for breakfast and dinner for the entire next week!
These were perfect. I followed the recipe exactly, and it worked wonderfully. The only slight issue I had was with the shortening dissolved in water bit. It never did, just turned into the consistency of softened butter. Next time I am swapping in canola oil. If it bombs, I'll update. I made one batch 4 hours after making the dough and second batch the next morning, and believe me, you want these to rest overnight before frying. The second batch was much lighter, and they all had that coveted air pocket inside. This is my go-to recipe from now on.