Mardi Gras is synonymous with the meaning of PARTY TIME!
Today, February 21, 2012 is Mardi Gras, also referred to as “Fat Tuesday”. It’s the last day of the carnival season in New Orleans. It falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of lent.
In addition to the infamous King Cake, Beignets are a favorite. Beignet is the French word for fritter, pronounced “ben-YAY” in English. It is fried dough.
Beignets are a New Orleans classic enjoyed with cafe au lait.
French Quarter Beignets
Adapted by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen
Prep Time:15 min
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hr 0 min
Cook Time:15 min
Serves: about 3 dozen
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (110-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast (1/4 oz)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk
6 1/2 cups flour (3 cups + 3 ½ cups)
1/4 cup shortening
Nonstick spray (I use PAM brand)
Cottonseed oil, for deep-frying (I use canola oil)
1. Wisk together water (110-115 degrees), sugar, and yeast in a large bowl and let sit for 12 minutes to bloom.
2. In another medium bowl, wisk the eggs, salt and evaporated milk together.
3. Pour egg mixture into the yeast mixture and wisk together.
4. Wisk 3 cups of the flour into the egg and yeast mixture.
5. Add shortening and continue to stir with a wisk to break up most of the shortening pieces into the batter.
6. Mix while adding the remaining 3 ½ cups flour. Dough will be sticky.
7. Remove dough from the bowl, place onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Lightly flour your hands to make working with dough easier.
8. Spray a large bowl lightly with nonstick spray.
9. Put dough into the bowl. Then, turn dough, oiled side up, and cover with a towel.
10. Let rise at room temperature for at least 2 hours. (Tip: Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Turn off oven. Place the dough in the oven to proof.)
11. Preheat oil in a deep frying pan to 370 degrees F. (Tip: Use the count test to determine if the oil is hot enough. Drop a test beignet into the oil; if the beignet rises to the top of the oil within eight seconds, the oil is ready.)
12. Roll the dough out to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into small squares.
13. Use a pizza roller for straight lines, or cookie cutters for fun shapes.
14. Deep-fry until they turn golden, flipping or basting to allow even cooking.
15. After the beignets are fried, drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to a tray and cover generously with sprinkled powdered sugar.
16. Serve warm.
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RECIPE PHOTO TUTORIAL
by visiting my blog post on blogger.com, called
Peace in baking,
Baking is my Zen…sweet nibbles for the soul