As I used all my yeast making bread recently I was looking for a recipe for beignets that didn’t use it. It was Mardi Gras and I figured that this was as close as I could get while living in the frozen north of Canada, and after a morning of clearing snow from the deck and making a path to walk from the house on I reckoned that I deserved a bit of a treat.
The good news about the yeast was that Allan was at a conference and promised to bring me more yeast back, so I could get my bread making fixes again.
I have never had beignets before, but fully intend that one day Allan and I will eat them in New Orleans, right before I have some Mint Juleps. And I hate mint. But it is something I have wanted to do since I was tiny, so I will just have to do my best. 🙂
I learnt several things while making these. Firstly, when you know that you want to have these in and out of the oil as quickly as possible, while making sure that they are cooked through, it is really silly to use big spoonfuls. You should see the plate of failures I produced until I turned on my brain and figured out what I was doing wrong. They were cooked on the outside but doughy inside… not pleasant.
So, learn from my blondeness; a small teaspoon is perfect, and that the small amount of batter will double in size while cooking.
Secondly, I learnt that when you work from home as a phone customer service rep it is not a good time to put lots of beignets into the pan to cook at once. Because the phone that has been silent for the past hour will ring, and ring and each call will be long.
There was a plate of failures from that lesson too…
But finally, perfection.
Little two bite size beignets that are light and fluffy and a perfect reward for shovelling snow.
Then there was the lesson that when your camera battery dies in the evening it is probably best not to be lazy and not bother charging it immediately as you are going to need it and only the fact that this recipe makes about a million beignets will mean that there are enough left to take a picture of when the battery finally charges.
Southern Style Beignets
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 4 -6 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
- confectioners’ sugar
Combine the water, milk and egg in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and the sugar and mix until the batter is smooth.
Pour the oil into a large, deep pot or a deep fryer and heat to 360ºF.
Drop the batter by spoonfuls into the hot oil and fry, turning two or three times, until they are golden brown and puffy.
Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with confectioners sugar