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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Beignets

                                                          Beignets
                           These were absolutely heavenly, great recipe!
 
I am always looking for regional side dishes to serve with Gumbo. It's really is a meal in it's self, but I like  to serve a variety of contrasting flavors to round out a meal.
Beignets are a Louisiana tradition, These sweet little puffs would go well with just about anything.
 I have always wanted to make these myself, but the immense size of the recipes I've found were enough make me shy away. Finally I have decided to halve Paula Deen's recipe. Boy I'm glad I did they are much better homemade, and could not be easier. Thanks Paula!
This made 29 Beignets, next time I think I'll cut them larger

Ingredients:
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 egg- beaten
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3-1/2 cups flour- I used all purpose
1/8 cup shortening
oil for frying
1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Preparation:
Mix water, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, beat the egg, salt and evaporated milk together.
Mix egg mixture to the yeast mixture.

In a separate bowl,add 1-1/2 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.
Add the shortening and continue to stir while adding the remaining flour.
Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Put dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel.
Let rise in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
Add the confectioners' sugar to a paper or plastic bag and set aside.

Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 1-inch squares. Deep-fry, flipping constantly, until they become a golden color.
After beignets are fried, drain them for a few seconds on paper towels, and then toss them into the bag of confectioners' sugar. Hold bag closed and shake to coat evenly.

 While I was waiting on the yeast mixture I gathered together the 1-1/2 cups flour, egg mixture and remaining 2 cups flour. It went together very quickly.

                        Stir together the egg mixture and the yeast mixture.

                     Pour it into the 1-1/2 cups flour and stir well to combine.

Add the 2 remaining cups of flour, kneading it into the dough. I just did all the kneading right in the bowl until smooth. Spray a little cooking spray in another bowl. Turn the dough in it twice,cover and let rise 2 hours.


Roll the dough 1/4 thick, and cut into 1inch squares. I sprayed a pizza cutter with cooking spray, it worked perfectly. I had to stretch each piece before putting them in the oil. I'll have to practice getting them more uniform. I had a few that looked like eggrolls.

Test run: The dough puffs immediately and rises to the surface, I fried  4 or 5 at a time, flipping each every few seconds with tongs. I takes less than a minute to brown both sides. It took 8 minutes to fry the entire batch. Toss them in confectioners sugar. They are best served warm.



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