BEIGNETS & DONUTS… DELICIOUS FRIED PASTRY

“Anyhow, the hole in the doughnut is at least digestible.”
H.L. Mencken

YAY for beignets…

Was clearing cupboards day-before & found a Krispy Creme donut cap which the kids had picked up in Dallas last year when we were on vacation. The memories of row upon row of delicious looking donuts sailing in front of us suddenly came alive. The freshness of the donuts just off from the conveyor, the warmth & the entire experience was scrumptious.

Got to Ruth’s bookmarked round-up & saw Dhhangit’s French Beignets (pronounced ben-yay) posted there with pictures. Providence…something was telling me it was time to make donuts; I’d never heard of beignets before! Recipe bookmarked, but by the time I got to the recipe, I found I needed 3 hours of rising time; I had just over 1. I planned to take some that afternoon for friends of the kids who are here these days. Googled for beignets & found another great sounding recipe for Chanukah Beignets @ Baking & Books. Rising time was 50-60 minutes & that fitted better into my silly hectic schedule.

Never heard of beignets before? I hadn’t! They are French & they are absolutely yummy! Good enough? Non?Hmmmm…well ok, a beignet ( pronounced ben–YAY) refers to a French doughnut being a pastry made from deep-fried dough and sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Beignets are often found in, and typically associated with, the city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Savory versions of beignets are also popular as an appetizer, with fillings such as crawfish or shrimp.

Donuts as adapted from Chanukah Beignets @ Baking & Books
Makes about 3 dozen, depending on size ( I got about 4 dozen smaller 3″ donuts)

Ingredients:
Warm water – 1/4 cup
Dry active yeast – 4 teaspoons
Granulated sugar – 1/3 cup plus a pinch
Skimmed Milk – 1 1/4 cups warm (The recipe calls for whole milk, which I didnt have)
Vanilla extract – 2 1/2 teaspoons
Eggs – 2
Unsalted butter – 1/4 cup /melted
Salt – 1 1/2 teaspoons
Flour – 5 -5 1/2 cups (I used all purpose)
Vegetable oil, for frying
Confectioners sugar, Cinnamon, Melted dark chocolate, sprinkles, honey, sesame seeds etc Method:

  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar. Allow the mixture to stand for a couple of minutes, until the yeast has taken on a spongy appearance.
  • Pour in the warm milk, the remaining sugar, the vanilla, eggs, melted butter, salt & whisk to mix.
  • Add most of the flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes, adding more flour as needed to form a firmer, smooth and elastic dough. (This wasn’t very easy to achieve because the dough was very very sticky. I used well over 5 1/2 cups, though the original recipe calls for 4 – 41/2 cups. Do start from 4 cups)
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, rotate to coat, and loosely cover with cling wrap. Allow to rise for 50 to 60 minutes. ( I left mine for 2 hours because I was on the phone…so…it flowed!!)
  • Gently deflate the dough, then roll half out on a greased surface. Cut circles & centres out with a greased cookie cutter or a donut cutter. For beignets, roll out to a rectangle, cut into 3 x 5 inch rectangles, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes while heating the oil. If the dough is too elastic (i.e. if it retracts every time you work with it) allow it to relax for a few minutes before stretching or rolling it further.
  • In a wok, heat 4 inches of oil to 380 degrees F. (I just heated it & checked for doneness with a little ball of dough since I don’t own a candy thermometer, much as I’d love to).
  • Gently slide in the cut donuts, or for beignets, stretch the dough slightly before adding them to the oil and fry until the undersides are deep brown and the beignets have puffed up noticeably, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. (Be careful when you add the dough! The oil will probably splash a little.) Turn once and finish frying for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes on the other side.
  • They will have be deep golden brown on both sides when done. Lift the beignets out with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain them well on paper towels.
  • Dust generously with confectioners sugar &/or cinnamon mixed with confectioners sugar.
  • If you wish to top them with melted chocolate, wait for them to cool down completely & then dip the tops or paint on melted chocolate. Sprinkle on 100′s & 1000′s, coloured sugar strands, chocolate strands etc. Another topping option is to drizzle honey over them, sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds.
  • Délicieux!
  • Notes: Every time you add dough to the oil the temperature of the oil will decrease, so allow the oil to reheat between batches. Don’t fry more than 2 beignets at once. Also, the first beignet you fry will probably become golden super fast, but be underdone in the center. This is normal.

Quoting Ariela from the Dec 2006 post @ Baking and Books , “If you do it right, you’ll be left with a crispy exterior and soft, fluffy interior. Dust the beignet with sugar and you’ve just created piece of edible heaven.” I DID IT. Created just that!! Take a look…

They were delicious. The kids love me even more now! Their friends too. Eleven kids in the daughter’s class shared 1 measly donut; she saved the rest for her other friends, who even rang home last evening to see if I could make more. So I made another batch with some left over dough that I had refrigerated, & sent them to school this morning!! The boy sweetly asked me to save some for his Dad who came in early this morning from HKG. Dad was famished when he reached home in the middle of the night…viola, I presented donuts! He enjoyed them too. They would’ve tasted better fresh out of the pan, but wild horses wouldn’t drag me to fry at 3 in the morning!! LOL!!

Dhhangit suggested honey & sesame seeds…YUMMMM…they were good too.

I am sending this to Susan’s @ Wild Yeast Blog for Yeastspotting. Susan was inspirational & instrumental in me overcoming my fear of yeast!

When it rains, it pours … When the dough rises, it shows!!

Poetic justice! I seem to be enjoying the magic of yeast…& HOW!!

Just discovered another event, which was one of the first ones I got familiar with almost a year ago…Think Spice. Am sending this to Sunita @ Sunita’s World who is celebrating the first anniversary of her monthly event. The choice of spice this month is open…so ‘cinnamon’ being one of my firm favourites, these donuts are off to her to join the party!

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Comments

  1. Lovely Deeba, indeed this is paradise for kids. They look so good. Must check the event you are sending them as I baked using yeast today.

  2. Dhanggit says:

    Yay, i think i prefer your donuts deeba, they are easier to make LOL only 60 minutes rising time…and it got a hole in the middle! i guess im craving again for this! yummy

  3. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    Wow, no wonder your kids love you even more (this is why I bake, too ;)
    All look so delicious! I need to overcome my fear of frying…

  4. Manggy says:

    OMG at that last pic! Someone left her cake out in the rain, methinks!

    I looove donuts. But I haven’t bought one for a long time because I know I won’t be able to stop and that’s not good for the arteries! Maybe if I made my own, the calories I burn from making them will be enough :) Beautiful beignets, Deeba!

  5. Mike of Mike's Table says:

    I have chanced upon many a donut recipe this morning and am drooling more with each…the stars and planets have aligned to tell me something. Man do those ever look good!

  6. Amu... says:

    Deeba…You are an Awesome Cook…I am in love with your food…and keep drooling over your pages for hours…

    Check out a small suprise for you in my Blog Sweetie…
    http://amusworld.blogspot.com/

    Thanks
    -Amu :-)

  7. Swati says:

    Perfect donuts Deeba.. Just loved them…

  8. noobcook says:

    Ohhh you are a pro baker! unlike me!! hehe … glad to find your blog, now I have another delicious baking site to drool at ;)

  9. Lori Lynn says:

    How fun for you! Those look amazing!

    I’ve had beignets at the Cafe du Monde in NOLA, it is a wonderful way to start the weekend, and with a hot cup of coffee made with chicory…you brought back some good warm memories, thank you so much!

  10. Divya Vikram says:

    Doughnuts look awesome..

  11. OhioMom says:

    Oh yummy and drool worthy, fresh donuts are the best!

  12. Clumbsy Cookie says:

    Wow? Is this doughnut heaven? They look wonderfully, I can almost smell them! You did great, I couldn’t chose a favourite from all of those!

  13. Pearlsofeast says:

    Deeba,u made Doughnutttttttta.My son was crazy and oh my god now I have to make it , thank dear for sharing.

  14. noble pig says:

    Oh my goodness you are making me miss my home kitchen right now! What a wonderful family treat, you have done it again my dear!

  15. Bharti says:

    Ah…my kids would love you too for this…Confession time: I’m a meanie mom. We have a krispy kreme less than 2 miles from home and we have been there a total of 3 times in the last six years. I would take your home made treats over those any day.

  16. chriesi says:

    Mmmm these are great!

  17. Kate / Kajal says:

    all this talk about doughnuts and these extremely tempting photographs are such a tease . I’m too lazy to make ‘em, i do not have a crispy creme in this continent and now I’m craving doughnuts so bad !!! thanks a bunch pal !:p!

  18. Gloria (Canela) says:

    Deeba, I want to make these soon!! The childs love doughuts, yours look yummy!!! xxGloria

  19. OMG!!! *Stunt* no more coment, just give me one, pleaaase!;)

  20. A_and_N says:

    They look as gorgeous as anything else you do, Deeba.

    I just sent A to Krispy Kreme. Could not resist the temptation!

  21. Girl Japan says:

    OH my goodness… you should have seen my first try at macaron’s… “splat”!

    Did you know Krispy Cream just opened up a few cafe’s here in Japan- the lines were wrapped around the building.. and as of yet.. I have never tried one before..

  22. Mark Boxshus "Cookie Doctor" says:

    Wow! Wonderful post and a great blog to explore. Glad we found each other. I haven’t made (I tried before, but….) donuts before, so I’ll definitely give your recipe a go. Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself.

    “Doc”

  23. Alexa says:

    Deeba,
    This post was so much fun to read. Your daughter is a saint to be willing to share her donut with 11 or more kids. You are doing something right in the way you are bringing her up. (lol)
    I make donuts once a year for my kids. I never try the same recipe twice but so far their favorite was a pumpkin cinnamon donut recipe I made two years ago. Your donuts look perfect… no wonder they all enjoyed them. Can my kids place some orders with you?

  24. Nazarina A says:

    Omg! I love beignets and doughnuts and yours look superb! I showed my son your post and suddenly I was the worst Mom in the world for not making doughnuts anymore. Can you please send him some of these LOl!
    I run every morning past a Krispy creme and it takes all the willpower in the world not to make a bee-line to the darn place!

  25. Arabic Bites says:

    Wow Deeba,Everything you make looks so delicious!
    you have an award waiting for you on our blog ;)

  26. Kristen says:

    Wonderful looking doughnuts!

  27. Bonbon Oiseau says:

    this is fantastci–i love the last picture of the dough rising–like the blog taking over!!!
    mmm….donuts–homer simpson would approve of this post…

  28. Dragon says:

    All I need is a cup of coffee and a couple of your beignets and I’ll be really happy. :)

  29. Meeta says:

    Oh you naughty girl making me drool over all this sweet stuff. Looks simply great!

  30. Delicious!

    Why haven’t I ever made donuts, yet, I wonder?

  31. Rosie says:

    You are one very talented lady Deeba! I just adore those donuts :)

    Rosie x

  32. Susan from Food Blogga says:

    OH, Dallas. I thought it was unlikely KK would be in India. Your donuts look better than theirs anyway. :)

  33. Kitchen Flavours says:

    Awesome looking doughnuts.

  34. Jeanne says:

    Oooh, how wonderful! There is no comparing shop-bought doughnuts with the fresh, homemade version. And ultra impressed with your adventures in yeast!

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