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How to make beignets

Hot, fresh beignets
Hot, fresh beignets
by author

If you are unfamiliar, beignets are delicious square French donuts. They are crisp on the outside and very fluffy and light in the inside. They are traditionally served with powdered sugar on top and strong coffee to drink. I have bought the boxed beignet mix from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans many times and have had acceptable results with the mix. In an effort to make them at home when I am out of the mix, however, I have experimented with various beignet recipes. There are so many out there! After some testing and tweaking, I am happy to say that I now have an excellent beignet recipe of to share with you!

Some recipes call for yeast and lots of time & effort. This is unnecessary! The recipe I have to share with you is quick and easy, and completely authentic. Make these for family or guests on a weekend morning and you will be quite popular indeed.

Recipe for Homemade Beignets
(click here for printable recipe)

  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • oil for frying
  • powdered sugar for topping

How to Make Homemade Beignets

  1. Whisk the egg and milk in a small bowl.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and nutmeg.
  3. Pour oil into a medium or large pot, about 4" deep (enough to cover the beignets), and heat up on medium high heat.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry and stir until well blended.
  5. Turn the dough onto a floured cutting board or counter and press down into a rectangle, about 1/2" thick.
  6. Cut into squares and drop into hot oil.
  7. Flip the beignets over in the oil every few seconds, cooking until they turn a light brown.
  8. Serve hot with powdered sugar on top.

Notes:

- The flipping of the beignets every few seconds while they are cooking in the oil is the secret to really getting them to rise and be soft and fluffy on the inside.

- If your dough is too moist and sticky, add a handful more flour at a time until it is not.

- A traditional serving of beignets is three and they are a good size, but I like to cut mine into small squares and serve a whole plate of minis.

Knoxvillians:

In the mood for more New Orleans fare? Try Bayou Bay on Chapman Hwy (7112). They have everything from po-boys to frog legs to she-crab soup, as well as gumbo, jambalaya, and seafood platters. Their number is 865-573-7936.

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