Cooking Class: New Orleans Beignets
Make Your Own New Orleans Beignets
If you've never been to New Orleans, you can still get a taste of its cuisine with our recipe for New Orleans Beignets from scratch, the official state doughnut of Louisiana.
Step 1: Make the Yeast Mixture
Combine 1 (1/4 oz.) envelope of active dry yeast, 1⁄2 cup warm water (105º to 115º), and 1 tsp. granulated sugar in bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add 1 cup evaporated milk, 2 large eggs (slightly beaten), 1 tsp. of salt, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.
Step 2: Form the Beignet Dough
Microwave 1 cup water until hot (about 115°); stir in 1/4 cup of shortening until melted. Add to yeast mixture. Beat at low speed, gradually adding 4 cups flour, until smooth. Gradually add 2 1⁄2 to 3 cups more flour, beating until a sticky dough forms. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl; turn to grease top. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.
Step 3: Roll and Cut the Dough
Turn dough out onto a floured surface; roll to 1⁄4-inch thickness. Cut into 2 1⁄2-inch squares.
Step 4: Fry Until Golden Brown
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.
Test Kitchen Secret: Keep the freshly fried beignets warm in a 200° oven up to 30 minutes. To make ahead, store the dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to one week.