These delicious easy to make light and fluffy fried beignets covered in powdered sugar will make you feel like your right at Café du Monde in New Orleans.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill. The opinions and text are all mine.
Homemade from scratch isn’t hard, it just takes a little more time but, in the end, it’s beyond worth it and I’m going to show you why! If you’ve never had one then you’ve been missing out my friends. Don’t you dare by some beignet mix, because I’m going to walk you through step by step on how to make the most authentic New Orleans Style Beignets on the internet!
WHAT IS A BEIGNET
Beignet translates from French to English as, donut or fritter. Really that’s all, it’s a simple yeast based square shaped dough that is fried up and served with powdered sugar on top. It is an extremely popular treat in New Orleans.
- CHEF NOTE: Café Du Monde is the most traditional place in the United States to eat them at.
Beignet is pronounced as, ben-yei. Don’t let the difficult French word fool you when looking at it, because it’s much easier to pronounce then you may have thought. If you can’t get it, just call it a French donut!
- CHEF NOTE: If you want to hear someone say it, watch my video or below or click here.
WHERE DO THEY COME FROM
Traditional beignets originated in France and are known as Boules De Berlin. Beignets in France are circle instead of square and has a cake like filling, not light and yeast based as they are known here in the states. Both are delicious but do have some distinct difference.
A beignet as we know it were brought over from French colonists who settled in the New Orleans area and adapted its choux pastry dough recipe to the dough, we use now for these.
- CHEF NOTE: There are several different opinions on the history of the beignet, who started it, when it was created and how it made its way to the states, but none have been verified. Regardless, they’re delicious.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DONUT AND A BEIGNET
The biggest difference between a donut and a beignet are the shape and fillings. Donuts are often times shaped in a circle and with a hole in the center. Since donuts are simply fritters, they are cut into simple shapes like squares or spooned directly into hot oil making them oblong in shape.
In addition, donuts can be stuffed with pastry cream or jellies, while beignets are much simpler using only the dough as the main ingredient to the beignet.
- CHEF TIP: If you are looking for a simpler recipe between the two, then definitely go with beignets.
HOW TO MAKE THEM
STEP 1: Mix together the water, yeast and a bit of sugar.
- CHEF NOTE: I used active yeast in this beignet recipe
STEP 2: Wait 7-10 minutes until it forms a raft on top.
STEP 3: Whisk in the rest of the sugar, whisk eggs, milk and melted butter until combined.
STEP 4: Transfer the bowl to a standing mixer with the hook attachment.
- CHEF NOTE: You can absolutely do this by hand in a large bowl, just be prepared to knead it with your hands until it is smooth.
STEP 5: Add in salt and flour
STEP 6: Mix until the dough is smooth and pulled away from the bowl.
STEP 7: Cover the dough and rest until for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
- CHEF NOTE: You can cover with plastic wrap or a light towel, which is what I did.
STEP 8: Preheat some oil until it reaches 350°.
- CHEF NOTE: I used canola oil, but the most traditional oil used is cottonseed oil. Make sure to use a neutral flavored oil.
STEP 9: Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is about a ½” to ¾” thick.
STEP 10: Cut small squares or rectangles out of the dough.
STEP 11: Fry the dough squares in batches in the oil until golden brown, about 1 ½ – 2 minutes per side.
STEP 12: Drain the beignets on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper or paper towels.
STEP 13: Dust heavily with powdered sugar.
WHAT DO THEY TASTE LIKE
Beignets simply taste like light fluffy donuts with a hint of sweetness from the powdered sugar on top, depending how much you use of course. Now, if you’re looking for the Italian version of these, then check out my Zeppoles recipe which taste incredibly similar but are a bit firmer!
WHAT TO SERVE THEM WITH
Classically they are served for breakfast with café au lait, which is equal parts hot strong coffee mixed with hot steamed milk. Often times chicory was used in the coffee to make it more bitter in taste to counteract the sweetness from the powdered sugar on the beignet.
I personally like to eat them with strong black coffee, simple and plain!
These are seriously amazing, and honestly if you can’t get to New Orleans then bring this authentic recipe right to your house!
HOW TO REHEAT – You can absolutely heat this quickly in the microwave for :15 – :20 seconds or at 350° in the oven for 3-5 minutes or just until warm.
STORING AND FREEZING: Unfortunately, after being cooked they do not store that well in the refrigerator. However, if you must cover them in a keep them in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. They do not freeze well and is not recommended. With all this being said, the dough will keep in the refrigerator overnight if you do not have time to make them the day of.
*If you’re loving these authentic beignets then please see my other French dessert, crème brulee and be sure to leave me a comment below and a rating if you’ve had the chance to make these.*
Remember to check out my video below to see step by step instructions.
The Best Authentic New Orleans Beignets Recipe
- Stand mixer
- 1 cup warm water 105° to 110°
- 2 teaspoons active yeast
- 1/3 cups of sugar + 1 tablespoon
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg + 1 yolk
- 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour
- neutral oil for frying
- powdered sugar
- Add the warm water, yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar to a standing mixer bowl and whisk until combined. Let sit for 7-10 minutes until it forms a raft on top.
- Next, pour in the remaining sugar, milk, eggs and melted butter and whisk until combined.
- Attach the bowl the stand mixer with the hook attachment and add in the salt and flour and mix on medium speed until smooth and the dough has pulled away from the inside of the bowl, about 2-3 minutes.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a towel and let sit at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a large clean surface dusted with flour and roll out until it is ½” to ¾” thick and cut into 1 ½” to 2” squares or rectangles.
- Add 5-6 of the beignets to a pot with hot oil or a deep fryer set to 350° and cook for 1 1 1/2-2 minutes per side or until golden brown.
- Cook in batches until the beignets have all been fried and set on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper or paper towels and drain.
- Coat heavily in powdered sugar and serve.
- Café Du Monde is the most traditional place in the United States to eat a beignet at.
- You can absolutely make the dough by hand in a large bowl, just be prepared to knead it with your hands until it is smooth.
- You can cover with plastic wrap or a light towel, which is what I did.
- I used canola oil, but the most traditional oil used is cottonseed oil. Make sure to use a neutral flavored oil.