Classic New Orleans Beignets
Though they are commonly eaten for breakfast in Louisiana, these beignets are perfect for any time of the day. Fry until the beignets are pillowy soft on the inside and golden-brown on the outside then, heavily dust them with sweet, powdered sugar. Pop in your mouth while they’re hot and delightful.
Yields: 48 beignets
Prep Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
¾ cup whole milk
1½ cups buttermilk
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2½ tablespoons sugar
3½ cups bread flour plus extra for flouring work surface
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Canola or peanut oil for frying
Confectioners' sugar for serving, as much as you think you'll need—then double that!
1 Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until small bubbles form at the surface. Remove from the heat, add the buttermilk, and then pour into a stand mixer bowl.
2 Whisk in the yeast and the sugar; set aside for 5 minutes.
3 Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed, using a dough hook, until the dry ingredients are moistened, 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough forms a loose ball and is still quite wet and tacky, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4 Pour enough canola or peanut oil into a large pot to fill it to a depth of 3 inches and bring to a temperature of 375°F over medium heat (this will take about 20 minutes). Bring the batter to room temperature, and line a plate with paper towels; set aside.
5 Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out on it. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour, gently press to flatten, fold it in half, and gently tuck the ends under to create a rough-shaped round.
6 Dust again and roll the dough out into a ½-inch-to ⅓-inch-thick circle. Let the dough rest for 1 minute before using a chef's knife, a bench knife, or a pizza wheel to cut the dough into 1½-inch squares (you should get about 48).
7 Gently stretch a beignet lengthwise and carefully drop it into the oil. Add a few beignets (don't overcrowd them, otherwise the oil will cool down and the beignets will soak up oil and become greasy) and fry until puffed and golden-brown, turning them often with a slotted spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain while you cook the rest.
8 Serve while still warm, buried under a mound of confectioners' sugar.