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Author Notes: I use this doughnut recipe for a variety of different doughnuts. What's special about a beignet is that instead of going through two resting periods, the dough only needs to rest one time after it is mixed. Then simply roll out the dough, cut it into rectangles or squares, fry them and drown them in as much powdered sugar as possible. (Adapted from Mark Bittman) —Sam
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen
- 1 1/4 cups (10 fl oz) whole milk
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) instant yeast
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 oz) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 - 5 cups 19 1/8 oz - 21 1/4 oz) white bread flour
- neutral oil, for frying
- powdered sugar, for dusting
- Lightly grease a large bowl for the dough to rest and rise in and set it aside.
- Melt the butter and let it cool slightly. Warm the milk and pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer, along with the yeast, sugar and salt. Whisk in the melted butter and eggs. Add 4/12 cups of flour and stir with a wooden spoon. If the dough seems extremely wet, add the remaining flour and stir.
- Attach a dough hook to a stand mixer, then knead the doughnut dough on medium speed for about 6-8 minutes. The dough will be very sticky. Every couple of minutes, scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and the hook, dust with a bit of flour and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and bounces back when you press into it with a floured finger.
- Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface. Shape it into a ball and set it seam sit up into the greased bowl. Cover with a towel and let it rest for about 1 hour in a warm, draft free place.
- Preheat a pot of oil to 350 F. Line a tray with paper towels.
- Lightly flour a work surface and gently turn the dough out onto it. The dough will have risen and be very soft with a slight tack to it. Flour the top of the dough lightly and roll it out no more than about 1/2" thick. With a knife or bench cutter, cut the dough into about 3" squares.
- Fry the squares for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Take care not to overcrowd the pot, otherwise the temperature of the oil will drop. When the beignets are fried, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and let them drain on the tray with paper towels. Continue frying until all of the beignets are cooked.
- Immediately cover the doughnuts with an obscene amount of powdered sugar and serve.