BEIGNETS

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons warm water (105°F)
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoon vegetable shortening
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (plus a pinch for yeast proofing)
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for rolling)
  • 2 cups neutral oil for frying (I use canola)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
to 105° in, add the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Stir to dissolve. Let it sit and confirm the yeast is active---it will foam. If it does not foam, throw it out and start over.
  1. Meanwhile, combine the shortening, sugar, milk, and egg white in a small cup. Whisk together well, then add the boiling water. Test the temperature of this mixture, and when it's between 105-110°, add it to the foamy yeast mixture. Stir well.
  2. Add the flour to the bowl, and stir gently to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour. You can make the dough ahead of time up to this point. I have kept dough for 3 days in the fridge before frying, and it's fine.
  3. Heat the oil in a deep pot to 360°.
  4. Meanwhile, divide the dough in half, and roll it out on a floured counter into a square about 6" wide. Use a pizza wheel to cut it into 5 or 6 squares. (see photo above for reference)
  5. When the oil is at 360°, drop in 3 square of dough. Do not walk away. The first side fries for 1-2 minutes. When golden brown on one side, flip the squares using a fork and continue to fry. When that side is golden brown (about 1 minute more), remove from the oil onto a cooling rack lined with paper towels.
  6. Roll out the other half of the dough, cut into squares, and fry all the squares.
  7. After cooling for about 5 minutes, dunk the beignets into the powdered sugar. Serve with all the extra powdered sugar piled on top.