Do this, at least once, and you will probably be keeping beignet dough in your fridge from now on, forever. This is way too easy for how insanely amazingly delicious it is. People get this spectacular look of shock on their face when they bite in for the first time, especially since none of my friends know what beignets are. My most recent guest said, “these are like crack!”
All of this goodness happened simply because I was reading a book where a character was having beignets with chicory coffee in New Orleans and I got curious and had to google them because I didn’t know what they were. Then I googled a recipe and made a few modifications as we do….and was like “WHAT DELICIOUSNESS IS THIS”. The craziest part is that not long ago I was at a bakery, saw some beignets, and was so excited to finally eat an official one…..and it was a huge disappointment. But I still want to try a real beignet in New Orleans someday.
The dough takes 5 minutes to make and you can keep it in the fridge for a week or so. You can even freeze it and move it back to the fridge. I usually roll and cut about 1/4 to 1/3 of the dough at a time, and this makes plenty of beignets for 2-3 people. If you have unexpected guests, bust these out, and people will be like “WHAT!!!”
The rolling and frying takes about 5 minutes total. It literally doesn’t seem like this should be real–it’s basically like you don’t do anything and you get the most delicious thing on the planet!
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 cup plain unsweetened soy milk
1 local egg, beaten (you can use one mixed egg replacer instead, if you do this, increase salt to 1 tsp)
3/4 tsp salt (1 tsp if using an egg replacer)
3 1/2 cups (18 ounces if you weigh) unbleached organic flour
2 T melted coconut oil
coconut oil for frying
organic powdered sugar for dusting
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it sit for a few minutes. Then stir in everything but the flour, and finally stir in the flour and mix til it’s smooth.
Put the dough ball in a round glass tupperware: make sure it will have plenty of room to rise. Put this in the fridge. (If you want to eat these today, let the dough rise out of the fridge for 2 hours–but I always make the dough in advance and just let it do its thing in the fridge).
To make the beignets:
A 6″ cast iron pan is perfect for the frying. Fill this little pan with about an inch or inch and a half deep of coconut oil, and heat for a few minutes at medium to medium-high heat.
If the oil is not hot enough, the beignets will be more soft on the outside rather than slightly crisp on the outside: either way, they are going to be great. But I like them more crisp on the outside, so I try to keep the oil on the hotter side.
Meanwhile, put a bit of flour on a cutting board, and take 1/4 to 1/3 of the beignet dough out of your tupperware. Knead it a little into a smooth ball, and then roll it to about 1/4″ thick, attempting to make somewhat of a square shape as you roll (but don’t get too crazy about the square).
With a large chef knife or a pizza cutter, cut into squares of about 1-2″, depending on how big you want the beignets. The end pieces won’t be perfectly square and that’s fine. You should get about 8-16 pieces, depending on how big you cut the squares. (If I use 1/4 of the dough and make 1″ squares, I usually get 14 pieces, with 2″ squares about 9 pieces).
Now drop 4-5 pieces into the hot coconut oil — don’t be alarmed, because the coconut oil may froth up a bit at first. When the bottoms are golden brown (I like them very brown!), flip them over with a spoon. This should be quick, a minute or less per side.
Fish them out and put them on a small plate with a folded paper towel on it, to drain. When the beignets are all done and drained, put them on a new plate or a large bowl and sprinkle a little bit of organic powdered sugar over them.
I put a small plate over the cast iron pan of coconut oil and keep it on a back burner of the stove, because I still have more beignet dough in the fridge for another few days, and I’ll use it again. Don’t feel bad about eating these for breakfast. Coconut oil is good for you! And we just won’t talk about the powdered sugar