I don’t really believe that the universe sends out signs, but sometimes I pretend that I do.
Like when the most recent recipe on the new blog you’ve found is exactly what you were just thinking about making.
That has to be a sign, or something, right?
Hence, the beignets.
I made these about six weeks ago, back when it was still the depths of winter. It snowed one Saturday, and the prediction for Sunday was more snow. This is an overnight recipe, so it seemed perfect. Throw together the ingredients the night before, and wake up to white drifts and fresh beignets.
Now, while these are a tasty and not very labor intensive snow day treat, they do take some time. The dough sits overnight in the fridge, and in the morning you have to heat up the oil for deep frying, which can also take some time. Then you have to deep fry in batches.
But it’s worth it, in the end, because you end up with crispy, light puffs of fried dough which you then shower in powdered sugar to match the snowstorm going on outside.
from Nothing in the House
makes 18 to 24 beignets
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp butter, softened
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- vegetable or canola oil for deep-frying
- powdered sugar for dusting
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine water and yeast. Let sit about five minutes to activate–the yeast should become foamy. Add flour, granulated sugar, and salt, and mix to incorporate. Using the dough hook, work in egg, butter, and milk. The dough should be well combined and smooth.
Form dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, three to four hours or overnight.
When ready to fry, turn dough onto a clean lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle about a 1/2″ thick all the way around. Used a bench scraper or a large knife, cut the dough into squares. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel while the oil heats.
Heat a few inches of oil to 360°F in a deep heavy-bottomed pot or a deep fryer. Working in batches, fry beignets for two minutes per side, until puffed and golden brown. I like to start by frying only one at a time–it takes longer, but then you can test exactly how long your beignets need to be cooked for, as it depends on the size and heat of your oil.
Carefully remove beignets to a paper towel-lined plate. Pat off excess oil, and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Serve warm, on the same day. These do not save well.