Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cafe du your heart out.

Close your eyes and you'll swear you are sitting on the street in front of Cafe du Monde with powdered sugar falling off your lips.
Make a great pot of coffee and enjoy my version of beignet. The best I've ever had, hands down.

In a large bowl or preferably a Kitchen Aid bowl combine:

~2 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
~2/3 c. water (about 110*F)
~1 T. sugar

Allow to rest about 5 minutes, your yeast should start to boogie!
Then add to bowl and mix in with dough hook:

~1 egg yolk
~1/2 c. half and half or evaporated milk
~2 1/2 c. AP flour
~1/2 tsp. salt

Mix well, then add:

~1 c. self-rising flour (I used White Lily)
(this should be enough flour to make your dough firm, still a touch sticky, but workable, if its still really sticky, add just a little more flour to make it barely not-sticky, if that makes any sense whatsoever. It should form a ball and be just slightly sticking to your mixer bowl)
~2 T. veggie shortening (just throw this in last and let the mixer work it in.

Let the mixer turn this till well combined then remove and fold edges under to form a smooth ball. You may have to grease down your hands, this dough tends to be slightly soft.

Let your dough rise in an oiled bowl til doubled. That takes about an hour.
....the wait is the hard part.
(you can also throw the dough to rise in the frig overnight if you'd like fresh beignets for breakfast....nom nom nom)

When doubled, roll out to about 1/2 inch thick and cut into 2 inch by 3 inch strips.
Of course, this is approximate. The beignet gods will not strike you dead if you make circles or squares.
Let your dough squares sit in a draft-free area until they rise up, it will take anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

Be very careful as you pick up your raised dough square and lay them into the hot oil.

Fry up at 370-375* with vegetable shortening (please use a candy thermometer to make sure) till a medium golden brown. If the oil is too cool, the beignets will just be nasty, trust me. If your oil gets too hot, take it off the heat till it cools down or you'll have burnt outsides and doughy insides and that's not a good thing. It may just ruin your day.

Dust the hot beignets in loads of powdered sugar. Your kitchen should look like the VIP room of Studio 54 when you're done. haha.

Please pace yourself while eating these, they are so good you'll be sick before you know it!
Makes about 24 beignets.


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