There are a lot of variations on the doughnut, but my favorite fried dough is probably the beignet. And it’s definitely one of Larry’s favorite foods.
We’ve been to New Orleans, and we’ve eaten the beignets there, but there are plenty of places outside of that city that make great beignets. Two of our favorites are Daughter’s Cafe in Reno, Nevada, and at Beaker & Flask in Portland, Oregon. Larry’s always trying to get me to make them at home, so I decided that National Doughnut Day was a perfect excuse to try.
There are a few recipes I had filed away. Lemon beignets with lemon cream from The Craft of Baking sounded awfully good, but I wanted to make something more traditional. I settled on a version with buttermilk, primarily because it didn’t need to rise overnight and it seemed fairly simple.
My dough started out bad. It was really liquidy. I wasn’t sure, was that how it was supposed to be? It didn’t form a loose ball, really, so probably not – I should have added more flour at this point. I wonder if I did something wrong and didn’t add the right amount in the first place.
After a short rise (I used cake yeast instead of active dry), the dough is gently shaped and then cut into squares, ready for the deep fryer. I added enough flour at this point to get my dough to be workable. Since there are only two of us and the recipe yields way too many beignets, I froze a bunch of the squares of dough for a rainy day. We’ll see how they turn out down the road.
I used a deep cast iron Dutch oven to fry the beignets. They puffed up like little pillows and were okay, but not as good as others we’ve had in the past. Still, I’m willing to try again. Once we work our way through the frozen dough, I’ll try another recipe. For this recipe, find it posted at Epicurious.
- Buttermilk Beignets (Dam Good Sweet, p. 6)