These made from scratch New Orleans Beignets are a fried powdered sugar coated pastry traditional in New Orleans and Creole cuisine. They're served sweet and hot for breakfast, brunch and dessert covered with copious amounts of powdered sugar.
Easy New Orleans Beignets Recipe
What is a beignet? Beignets are a famous Louisiana classic yeast dough fritter that are typically made in 2 inch squares. That being said, I've also had round beignets that look a lot like hushpuppies. There's a local restaurant here in town, that serves them filled with pastry cream similar to a cream puff, drizzled with chocolate. Whether they're served in the traditional manner of a generous dusting of powdered sugar or a hybrid filled with cream, beignets are difficult to resist with a cup of café au lait.
How to Make the Best New Orleans Beignets Recipe
What's the best way to serve homemade beignets? Fresh and hot covered in a generous coating of powdered sugar. You can enjoy them with a cup of coffee, hot tea or your favorite specialty frozen drink.
- Ingredients needed to make homemade New Orleans Style Beignets: Rapid rise yeast, lukewarm water, granulated sugar, buttermilk or evaporated milk, vegetable shortening, vanilla extract, egg, bread flour, baking powder and salt. You'll also need vegetable oil or peanut oil for frying and powdered sugar.
- Please note, you don't have to use a stand mixer to make beignets but it is extremely helpful when making the pastry. You can of course, use any mixer fitted with a dough hook. A stand mixer will make it easier to knead the dough.
- You can also go old school and knead the knead the dough by hand, if you're so inclined.
- What flour should I use to make beignets? I choose bread flour for this easy beignets recipe. The main difference between bread flour and all purpose flour is, they have different percentages of protein. The extra protein in bread flour will result in a higher rise to the pastry dough. It's my first choice for making sweet and savory breads, such as these beignets and also homemade pizza dough. That said, you can certainly use all purpose flour in this recipe with no other adjustments needed.
- Traditional beignets can also be made using a choux pastry which is the same sort of egg pastry used for making cream puffs and eclairs. This recipe features a slightly sweet yeast dough that's my personal favorite.
- The best way to dust beignets with powdered sugar is to use a large paper bag. Put about one cup of powdered sugar into the bag and as soon as the beignets come out of the oil, drop them while still hot into the bag. Fold down the top to close the bag then shake vigorously to coat. The kids love helping with this step!
- Beignets don't have to have an accompaniment. but at times I've served them with a dark chocolate fudge sauce, warm dulce de leche or Nutella for dipping.
- It's always a good idea to have extra powdered sugar on hand just in case it's needed to toss the beignets again just before serving.
- In New Orleans, beignets are often served with a cup of French Café al Lait as seen on The Spruce Eats.
- Beignets should be made and served hot while hot so, they're not ideal for make ahead preparation.
The Air Pocket in Beignets Spells Success
It's expected that beignets should have that coveted air pocket that forms after frying. The airy center demonstrates the rise of the dough. Bread flour gives a beautiful texture to the exterior with a light and airy interior.
When to Serve New Orleans Style Beignets
Beignets are traditionally served for breakfast or brunch, but can certainly be enjoyed as a dessert. There's no wrong time of day to enjoy a hot, sweet, deep fried French pastry.