This New Orleans beignet recipe makes golden brown, sugar sprinkled bits of heaven. Whether you’ve been to the French Quarter and tried them there or just dream of it, it’s time you learned how to make beignets so you can enjoy their sweet deliciousness whenever you like!
These Greek loukoumades are similarly made with yeast dough. Try them, too!
What is a beignet?
Wait, before we talk about what they are, let’s talk about how to pronounce beignet.
Say it with me: ben-yay. Of course, when I roll ben-yay out of my mouth it sounds nothing like how the folks from New Orleans say it, with that little bit of rich southern drawl. We’re trying, y’all. Bear with us!
Beignets are squares of dough deep fried until crispy and then generously — and I mean generously — sprinkled with powdered sugar. They are like a vehicle for powdered sugar. Beignets are best served right out of the fryer with a cup of cafe au lait.
Cafe du Monde in New Orleans is famous for their beignets. People line up down the street all day long to get a taste of these famous sugary sweet treats. French Quarter beignets are a must-try for visitors to New Orleans!
How to make beignets
This recipe starts with a yeast dough. This means that you’ll need to allow time for the dough to rise before cutting the beignets. The dough can be made a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator.
Once the dough is ready, you’ll cut it into squares and then drop each square into hot oil for frying. It only takes two to three minutes on each side to acquire the beautiful golden brown crispiness that French Quarter beignets are famous for.
It’s best to enjoy these beignet fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
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- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1 ½ cups warm water, 105° to 115°, divided
- 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 7 cups bread flour
- 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Sifted powdered sugar, for coating
- In a stand mixer bowl, stir together ½ cup water, sugar, and yeast. Allow the yeast to bloom for 5 minutes.
- Add the evaporated milk, eggs, and salt to the yeast mixture and beat just until combined.
- In a large measuring cup, stir vegetable shortening into the remaining warm water. Mix into yeast mixture.
- Add 4 cups bread flour to mixing bowl and blend until smooth. Slowly add remaining bread flour.
- Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, turning the dough to oil all sides.
- The dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours or allowed to rise in a warm, draft-free location until it doubles in size.
- Heat vegetable oil in a fryer or dutch oven until 360 degrees.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently shape into a rectangle. Roll the dough to ¼ inch thickness.
- With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into about 40 rectangular pieces.
- Fry the beignets in small batches about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove and drain on paper toweling.
- Before serving, sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar.
Makes about 40 beignets.
It's best to enjoy these beignet fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 20 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 236Saturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 138mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 7g