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New Orleans Beignets

Total Time

Prep: 25 min. + chilling Cook: 5 min./batch

Makes

4 dozen

Updated: Mar. 15, 2023
These sweet, square and holeless French doughnuts are known as beignets. New Orleans’ traditional breakfast always includes a few of these powdered sugar delicacies. —Beth Dawson, Jackson, Louisiana

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 4-1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Confectioners' sugar

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add milk, oil, sugar, egg and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Do not knead. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Punch down dough. Turn onto a floured surface; roll into a 16x12-in. rectangle. Cut into 2-in. squares.
  3. In a deep cast-iron or electric skillet, heat 1 inch oil to 375°. Fry squares, in batches, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Roll warm beignets in confectioners' sugar.
Beignets Tips

How can you tell if the oil is hot enough for frying?

The oil is hot enough for frying once it reaches 375°F. Make sure to use a thermometer check before frying your beignets.

Can you make beignets without self-rising flour?

If you don't have self-rising flour on hand, place 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a measuring cup. Add all-purpose flour to measure 1 cup. Since you need 4-1/2 cups of self-rising flour for this beignets recipe, do this 3-1/2 more times to get the necessary amount of homemade self-rising flour. Check out our guide to how to make self-rising flour for more tips.

Do you have to make the beignet dough ahead of time?

This beignets recipe calls for the dough to be refrigerated overnight. This slows the rise of the dough, so it’s ready to shape and fry the beignets in time for breakfast—making everything ultra-convenient. However, you can make the dough the same day. Let the dough rise at room temperature until it’s doubled in size. An hour or more is to be expected, since enriched doughs take longer to rise than regular yeast doughs. Here's how long it takes for bread dough to rise and more of your dough-related questions answered.

How else can you put the confectioners' sugar on beignets?

Rolling the beignets in confectioners' sugar can get messy. For a cleaner approach, place the beignets in a bag (paper or zip-top) with about 1/4 cup powdered sugar, then close up the bag and shake lightly to coat. Working with a few beignets at a time—adding more powdered sugar if and when needed—is most efficient. Alternatively, you can sprinkle the sugar over top using a sifter or a sieve; this works well if you prefer a light dusting of sugar rather than a coating.

What can you serve with beignets?

Serve your beignets with a cup of coffee or a cafe au lait! If you're looking for a sweeter dip for the beignets than coffee, try dunking them in dulce de leche or chocolate sauce.

How do you store beignets?

While beignets certainly taste better when served fresh, they should last for up to 2 days when stored in an airtight container. If you’re a fan of these beignets, try some variations—like no-yeast-needed banana beignet bites, savory crawfish beignets or sweet corn beignets. Then, check out more New Orleans recipes!

Christina Herbst, Taste of Home Social Media Editor and Hazel Wheaton, Taste of Home Book Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 beignet: 108 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 6mg cholesterol, 146mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

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