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Old 04-16-2019, 12:56 PM   #1
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ISO Basic Beignet Dough

Some of you may know, from several recent posts, that Ive become a bit obsessed with deep frying. Since my other passion is bread, Im sure its no surprise to yall that I would turn to fried bread.

Ive made donuts, which came out very well, and Im trying my hand at those lovely, pillowy New Orleans donuts; beignets. Ive made a few variations, and aside from my rolled chocolate beignet, which very predictably turned my oil black, all were acceptable.

Ive looked a dozens of recipes for beignet dough, and there are some pretty wide variations. Several use shortening and boiling water. One has no oil at all and uses baking powder and no yeast. Some with egg, and some with none.

Id like to find a recipe for a dough that I can use as my basic dough. If Im making sweet breakfast beignets, I can add a bit of sugar. If Im making savory cheese beignets, I can omit most of the sugar.

I know there are a lot of you who are very accomplished southern food cooks. Do any of you have a recipe for beignet dough that can be adjusted for sweet or savory, but keeps its donutty texture? What gives the dough that texture, or is it the frying thats responsible?

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Old 04-17-2019, 08:29 AM   #2
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I've got one of those Junior League or church cookbooks from the NOLA area, been a while since I looked at it. It's got a pretty good beignet recipe in it, uses Evap milk and I think an overnight rise (been a while since I made any). I'll get it out later and post the recipe. DD and son-in-law got it for me 1 year while they still lived just outside of NOLA. In fact, it was probably from his Aunt's church.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:39 AM   #3
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Here is the recipe I used when I was at Amoretti and the women that I worked with scarfed them up like they had been fasting for a week!

New Orleans Beignets

Ingredients:

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 to 115)
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
4 cups self-rising flour
Oil for deep frying
Confectioners' sugar

Instructions:

In a large bowl, add the yeast and the sugar to the warm water and wait 5 minutes for the yeast to bloom. Add the milk, oil, and egg and fold in 2 cups of flour to form a smooth dough. Fold in enough of the remaining flour, cup at a time, to form a soft, sticky dough. Cover the dough and refrigerate it overnight.

Punch dough down. Turn it out onto a generously floured surface, roll it into a 12- x 16-inch rectangle and cut the dough into 2-in. squares.
Heat the frying oil in a deep fryer or a deep pot to 375. Gently place the squares into the hot oil and fry them until they are golden brown on both sides. Do not crowd! Drain the beignets on paper towels, then dust them liberally with confectioners' sugar.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
I've got one of those Junior League or church cookbooks from the NOLA area, been a while since I looked at it. It's got a pretty good beignet recipe in it, uses Evap milk and I think an overnight rise (been a while since I made any). I'll get it out later and post the recipe. DD and son-in-law got it for me 1 year while they still lived just outside of NOLA. In fact, it was probably from his Aunt's church.
I’d greatly appreciate that recipe, if you’d like to spend the time posting it. Thank you!
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
Here is the recipe I used when I was at Amoretti and the women that I worked with scarfed them up like they had been fasting for a week!

New Orleans Beignets

Ingredients:

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 to 115)
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
4 cups self-rising flour
Oil for deep frying
Confectioners' sugar

Instructions:

In a large bowl, add the yeast and the sugar to the warm water and wait 5 minutes for the yeast to bloom. Add the milk, oil, and egg and fold in 2 cups of flour to form a smooth dough. Fold in enough of the remaining flour, cup at a time, to form a soft, sticky dough. Cover the dough and refrigerate it overnight.

Punch dough down. Turn it out onto a generously floured surface, roll it into a 12- x 16-inch rectangle and cut the dough into 2-in. squares.
Heat the frying oil in a deep fryer or a deep pot to 375. Gently place the squares into the hot oil and fry them until they are golden brown on both sides. Do not crowd! Drain the beignets on paper towels, then dust them liberally with confectioners' sugar.
I haven’t seen a recipe similar to this. I’d like to try it, but I’m really not thrilled about buying self-rising flour to make a few donuts, and then never use it again! Isn’t self-rising flour just AP flour with baking powder and/or baking soda?
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Old 04-17-2019, 05:44 PM   #6
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Here is a good episode of Binging with Babbish on Beignets. Ye starts with the Cafe duMonde mix, and then makes them from scratch.



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Old 04-17-2019, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJoel View Post
I havent seen a recipe similar to this. Id like to try it, but Im really not thrilled about buying self-rising flour to make a few donuts, and then never use it again! Isnt self-rising flour just AP flour with baking powder and/or baking soda?
You can use the self rising flour for breading purposes also.
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Old 04-17-2019, 08:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
Here is the recipe I used when I was at Amoretti and the women that I worked with scarfed them up like they had been fasting for a week!

New Orleans Beignets

Ingredients:

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 to 115)
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
4 cups self-rising flour
Oil for deep frying
Confectioners' sugar

Instructions:

In a large bowl, add the yeast and the sugar to the warm water and wait 5 minutes for the yeast to bloom. Add the milk, oil, and egg and fold in 2 cups of flour to form a smooth dough. Fold in enough of the remaining flour, cup at a time, to form a soft, sticky dough. Cover the dough and refrigerate it overnight.

Punch dough down. Turn it out onto a generously floured surface, roll it into a 12- x 16-inch rectangle and cut the dough into 2-in. squares.
Heat the frying oil in a deep fryer or a deep pot to 375. Gently place the squares into the hot oil and fry them until they are golden brown on both sides. Do not crowd! Drain the beignets on paper towels, then dust them liberally with confectioners' sugar.
Self rising flour and yeast?
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmofet View Post
Self rising flour and yeast?
I’ve seen recipes on occasion that contain both. I assume it’s for a little extra “lift” for that pillowy effect.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:14 AM   #10
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I've never tried to make Beignets. I have had them in New Orleans, including Cafe duMonde's. They are wonderful. I can only eat one or I'm going to be bouncing off the walls, especially if I have NOLA coffee with it.

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Old 04-18-2019, 12:33 AM   #11
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Himself has had them in the French Quarter, along with the famous Cafe du Monde coffee. We had them when we were at the Farmer's Market in Los Angeles and he said they were pretty close. Then, when we're back home in OH, we've gone to an authentic New Orleans restaurant in Cleveland's Ohio City (the chef is from LA and learnt at his momma's apron ties) that has the most authentic beignets outside of the Crescent City.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJoel View Post
...Isnt self-rising flour just AP flour with baking powder and/or baking soda?
Yuppers! Per the King (Arthur, that is) to each cup of AP flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

You also should go over to that link and read about needing to add extra liquid to your mix. Traditional self-rising flour uses a cake-like flour, one that is lower in protein. AP flour has a higher protein content, so if you don't play with the mix you can end up with a tougher end product.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:10 AM   #12
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I'll get the beignet recipe posted today, forgot last night, as soon as I'm awake enough.

Angel biscuits use yeast and baking powder. They are very light and fluffy.
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:23 AM   #13
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Angel biscuits, if anybody is interested. I first saw these in my Southern Living cookbook from the 70s.



I remember the first time I had these (years and years ago) that I thought they were pretty close to the beignets from Cafe du Monde.



Beignets


1/2 cup boiling water
2 Tbsp shortening
1/4 cup sugar + a tiny pinch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1-1/8 tsp dry yeast (NOT instant)
1/4 cup warm water
1 egg, beaten
3-3/4 cup sifted flour
Confectioner's sugar


Place the shortening, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over. Add the evap milk, stir gently, and let it sit until warm. Dissolve the yeast with just a tiny pinch of sugar in the warm water in a small bowl. Then, add to the boiling water mixture with the egg. Beat in 2 cups of flour. Add enough additional flour to make a soft dough. Grease a large bowl, place dough in, turning to grease all over, cover with a damp cloth or paper towels, then with plastic wrap or foil and place in refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness, cut into 2-inch squares (do NOT let dough rise), then fry in hot oil (360 F), turning after a couple of minutes, then turn as needed until both sides are golden brown. Drain. Sprinkle with Confectioner's sugar and serve hot, preferably with chicory coffee. Makes about 30.

NOTE: I have a handwritten note of "just short 2 Tbsp" sort of to the side and under the shortening, but also next to the sugar. It's been a while since I've made these and I don't remember why I wrote that. It could be for making half of the recipe and I was using that for the sugar or it could have to do with the shortening. I just don't remember though I think it may be for the sugar because I usually only made half of the recipe for me and Craig, and I didn't have an 1/8 cup measure back when I was given this cookbook.


You have to turn these when frying before 1 side gets too brown because otherwise they try to flip back over. So, just let them fry long enough on the first side to sort of set up, then flip them over.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJoel View Post
I haven’t seen a recipe similar to this. I’d like to try it, but I’m really not thrilled about buying self-rising flour to make a few donuts, and then never use it again! Isn’t self-rising flour just AP flour with baking powder and/or baking soda?
The King Arthur Flour website has 59 separate recipes that use self-rising flour. You will run out of flour before you run out of recipes. The recipe below, from Paula Deen makes it 60!

Paula Deen's Cream Biscuits
Ingredients:

2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cups heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and cream until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a surface dusted with additional flour. Fold the dough in 1/2 and knead 5 to 7 times, adding just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your hands. Gently roll out dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch biscuit cutter coated with flour, cut dough into biscuits. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, leaving at least 1-inch between each biscuit. Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Note: If you use plain yogurt instead of cream they will taste just like sourdough
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
I've got one of those Junior League or church cookbooks from the NOLA area, been a while since I looked at it. It's got a pretty good beignet recipe in it, uses Evap milk and I think an overnight rise (been a while since I made any). I'll get it out later and post the recipe. DD and son-in-law got it for me 1 year while they still lived just outside of NOLA. In fact, it was probably from his Aunt's church.
Med, next time you want to pass on a recipe from one of those church/club cookbooks, take a picture of the page and post it. I did that once for Joel after he suggested it. It works great and saves typing out the recipe.

Long ago I loved the beignets from Cafe du Monde in NOLA and haven't had them since. It's a nice memory with my late husband.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:12 AM   #16
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I took a cooking class a few years back and made Beignets. They came out very good. Now I just have to figure out where I put the recipe. If and when I find it, I'll post it.
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
Angel biscuits, if anybody is interested. I first saw these in my Southern Living cookbook from the 70s.



I remember the first time I had these (years and years ago) that I thought they were pretty close to the beignets from Cafe du Monde.



Beignets


1/2 cup boiling water
2 Tbsp shortening
1/4 cup sugar + a tiny pinch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1-1/8 tsp dry yeast (NOT instant)
1/4 cup warm water
1 egg, beaten
3-3/4 cup sifted flour
Confectioner's sugar


Place the shortening, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over. Add the evap milk, stir gently, and let it sit until warm. Dissolve the yeast with just a tiny pinch of sugar in the warm water in a small bowl. Then, add to the boiling water mixture with the egg. Beat in 2 cups of flour. Add enough additional flour to make a soft dough. Grease a large bowl, place dough in, turning to grease all over, cover with a damp cloth or paper towels, then with plastic wrap or foil and place in refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness, cut into 2-inch squares (do NOT let dough rise), then fry in hot oil (360 F), turning after a couple of minutes, then turn as needed until both sides are golden brown. Drain. Sprinkle with Confectioner's sugar and serve hot, preferably with chicory coffee. Makes about 30.

NOTE: I have a handwritten note of "just short 2 Tbsp" sort of to the side and under the shortening, but also next to the sugar. It's been a while since I've made these and I don't remember why I wrote that. It could be for making half of the recipe and I was using that for the sugar or it could have to do with the shortening. I just don't remember though I think it may be for the sugar because I usually only made half of the recipe for me and Craig, and I didn't have an 1/8 cup measure back when I was given this cookbook.


You have to turn these when frying before 1 side gets too brown because otherwise they try to flip back over. So, just let them fry long enough on the first side to sort of set up, then flip them over.
This is the recipe I used. Thanks for posting it.
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