4cupsbread flour or all purpose flourplus additional for rolling
1cuppowdered sugar for dustingplus additional as needed
vegetable or canola oil for frying
Add water, 1 tsp from ½ cup sugar and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer. Gently stir until yeast is dissolved. Allow to sit and bloom for 8-10 minutes. The top should look foamy and creamy.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together remaining sugar, buttermilk, shortening, vanilla and egg until fully combined.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt using a whisk. Set aside.
After yeast has bloomed, add buttermilk mixture to the mixing bowl. Mix just until combined.
Gradually add dry ingredients, with the mixer on low speed. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Once dough begins to comes together, knead with a dough hook for about 5 minutes or until the dough isn't sticky. You can also do this by hand on a non-stick surface.
Form into a round and place into a bowl oiled with a small amount of vegetable or canola oil. Turn dough to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To fry: Heat 4 inches of oil in a dutch oven or deep pot to 350-360°F.
Roll dough into a ¼ inch thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut into 2 inch squares.
Cook in batches, carefully lowering each beignet into the hot oil. Cook until puffed and golden around 2 minutes on each side. Maintain temperature while cooking.
Use a slotted spoon to remove to a large paper bag filled with 1 cup of powdered sugar. Shake vigorously to coat. Add more powdered sugar to the bag as needed.
You may allow the dough to rise at room temperature covered with a damp cloth for 2 hours, if you want to fry them immediately.