How to Make Beignets

Instructions for frying or baking beignets to perfection
How to fry or bake beignets pinit View Gallery 4 photos

Light and fluffy beignets are not something you can only find at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. They can easily be made in the comfort of your own home and are perfect for leveling up your brunch game or treating your family to a delicious New Orleans style treat.

Where did beignets come from?

Beignets are the official state doughnut of Louisiana, but their roots date back much further. Like many historic recipes, one group of people likely started it, and it was altered over time to become the melt-in-your-mouth treat we know and love today.

Beignets are rumored to date back to the 16th century. There is evidence that the Moors first introduced them to Europe. They started out as choux pastry, however. Choux pastry is the dry, tougher pastry used to make cream puffs and eclairs.

French colonists who settled in Louisiana are credited with bringing the beignet to the United States. Women would make the daily bread and pull off small pieces of the dough then fry them. They would drizzle them with honey and give them to the men to take to the fields for breakfast.

This treat comes from humble beginnings but has transcended into downright decadence. Today, there are many ways to dress beignets up or down. We like to serve them with mocha dip and caramel sauce. Traditionally, they are enjoyed with a cup of café au lait.

Do you have to use yeast to make beignets?

This is a debated topic. It really comes down to whether you want to make traditional beignets or not. Traditional beignets use yeast. If you use a recipe with baking powder, the shape and texture will change. Beignets are known for having a rectangular, pillowy shape. This is achieved by the yeast rising consistently and the dough being cut into rectangles before frying. If you remove the yeast and use baking powder instead, you will need to scoop the dough. The result will be more of a fritter. It will be rounder and inconsistent in shape. We recommend giving yeast a shot! It’s easier than you may think. Check out the recipe below!

How do you use yeast?

We have an article with all the details on how to use yeast! For our beignet recipe, everything you need to know is in the instructions below.

How do you know when your yeast is ready?

Yeast is ready to use when it has bubbled up like this image! You can see there’s a nice, frothy foam. That means the yeast has been activated and is ready to be used.

Should beignets be fried?

We ran a taste test between fried and baked beignets. Fried won 100% of the votes. However, since this is a baking blog we wanted to give instructions on both!

Learn to make perfect beignets!

Pre-measured ingredients, materials, and frying thermometer.
Order your beignet baking kit today (while supplies last)

How do you fry beignets?

To fry beignets you will need a a few pieces of equipment:

  1. A sturdy bottom pot: An enamel cast iron pot or a cast iron pot work great as do any standard metal pots with a heavy bottom.
  2. A frying or candy thermometer: The thermometer will need to have a clip to stay attached to the pot. It will be submerged in the oil, but it should not touch the bottom of the pot. If your thermometer is on the bottom of the pot, the temperature reading on your thermometer will be inaccurate.
  3. A metal slotted spoon or metal tongs: You will use this to flip the beignets and pull them out when they are ready. The oil will be too hot to use plastic, so use metal instead. A wooden handle is great to prevent the metal from getting too hot in your hand. Alternatively, you could wear an oven mitt to protect your hands if your device is metal.
  4. A plate lined with a paper towel or two: This is where you will set your beignets when they are done frying. The paper towel will capture any dripping oil.
  5. A fire extinguisher: While a fire is unlikely, it’s always best to be cautious! We recommend keeping an extinguisher nearby just in case. Never add water to fire caused by oil.

Once you have your equipment and oil out, follow these steps:

  1. Pour oil into your pot. You will need two to three inches of oil.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat until you reach 375°F. This This can take about 15 minutes. Stay near your stove to ensure it does not overheat.
  3. When oil is ready, gently add 3 rectangles of beignet dough to the fryer with a metal slotted spoon, straining spoon or tongs.
  4. Cook beignets on each side until they are a dark golden brown. Check after 30 seconds, it may take up to a minute or so per side.
  5. Once cooked, remove each beignet and carefully place on the paper towel lined plate.
  6. Cook all beignets.
  7. Top with powdered sugar. We recommend making a few dipping sauces as well! See the recipe below.

Video: How to fry beignets

Want to make beignets or another one of our recipes, but prefer to skip the ingredient shopping and measuring? Check out bakeeatlovebox.com – we ship baking kits to your doorstep.

How do you bake beignets?

While baking beignets is not the traditional, Louisiana cooking method, they can in fact be baked. Here is an overview of the baking process. The below recipe shows ingredients and further details.

  1. After the first dough rise and you have cut your beignets into rectangles, spray a baking sheet with baking spray.
  2. Place beignets on the sheet. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm area until doubled in size – about an hour.
  3. After beignet rectangles have doubled in size, pre-heat your oven to 375°F
  4. Melt butter. We recommend 3 tablespoons for the amount of beignets in the below recipe. Dip each beignet into the butter then place back on the baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 375°F for 10-13 minutes, until light golden brown.
  6. Allow beignets to cool slightly. Use tongs to dip in melted butter again (you may need to re-melt).
  7. Top with powdered sugar. We recommend making a few dipping sauces as well! See the recipe below.

Can you air fry beignets?

The short answer is, yes. But they will taste more like baked beignets than fried. If you decide to air fry your beignets, use the baking instructions in the below recipe card.

Can beignet dough be saved for later?

Yes! Beignet dough can be refrigerated or frozen. Here’s how:

How to save beignet dough for later: Refrigerate for the first rise

  1. After you have made your dough, transfer it into a large oiled bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight or up to 2 days. This way, you can make the dough at night and enjoy fresh beignets two mornings in a row.
  3. You will then roll, cut, and fry the beignets according to the below recipe.

How to save beignet dough for later: Freeze after cutting

If you plan to make some of the beignets right away and others later, use these instructions:

  1. After you have made your dough, transfer it into a large oiled bowl.
  2. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm area (70-78°F) until it has doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
  3. Once dough has risen, place dough onto a lightly oiled large cutting board and use a lightly oiled rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangular shape, about 12×14 inches. Use a knife or bench scraper tool to cut into rectangles about 2×1.5 inches.
  4. Place beignet rectangles on a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper with space between each beignet. Ensure they are in a single later. If you are freezing a lot, place a layer of parchment or wax paper between each layer. Put them in a ziplock freezer bag.
  5. To thaw, allow them to defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
  6. Then fry beignets according to the below recipe.

Recipe video tutorial

Recipe

How to Make Beignets

Prep Time 40 min Cook Time 10 min Rest Time 1 hour Total Time 1 hr 50 mins Servings: 18

Description

Beignets are not just a New Orleans treat! Learn how to make delicious, fluffy beignets in your own home. These beignets can be enjoyed on their own or accompanied by rich mocha and caramel dipping sauces.

Want to try making beignets or another one of our recipes, but prefer to skip the ingredient shopping and measuring? Check out bakeeatlovebox.com - we ship baking kits to your doorstep.

Beignets

Beignets

Caramel Sauce

Mocha Sauce

Instructions

Beignet Dough

  1. 1.     Pour 1 cup milk into a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Test temperature with your thermometer. You want it between 115-125°F. If it’s cool, microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring after each. If it’s too hot, allow it to cool. Once it reaches the temperature, add yeast packet and a small pour of sugar, about a teaspoon. Stir then set aside until bubbly, 5-10 minutes.

    2.     Liberally spray a large, clean bowl with cooking spray. Set aside.

    3.     In the bowl of a stand mixer with hook attachment or a medium bowl if using an electric hand mixer, add the rest of  the sugar, salt, flour, the yeast mixture, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and an egg. Mix until combined. This wet, sticky dough does not require kneading.

    4.     Transfer dough into the large oiled bowl. If the dough is too sticky, spray cooking spray on your hands before touching the dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in either: 

    • A warm area (70-78°F) until it has doubled in size, 1-2 hours. 
    • A refrigerator overnight or up to 2 days. This is a good option if you want to make the dough in advance, or if you want to make some of the beignets one morning and the rest later. 

    5.     Once dough has risen, place dough onto a lightly oiled large cutting board. Use a lightly oiled rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangular shape, about 12x14 inches. Use a knife or bench scraper tool to cut into rectangles about 2x1.5 inches. This will make 56 beignets - we think about 3 is a serving!

    6.     To cook beignets, you have two options: fry or bake. Frying is much faster and was preferred by 100% of our taste testers, but since this is a baking kit, there are also instructions on how to bake them. 

    • Fry: Fill a medium size saucepan with 2-3 inches of oil (canola or vegetable). Attach your thermometer to the side of the pan. Ensure it is in the oil but not touching the bottom of the pan. Heat oil over medium heat until it reaches 375°F. This will take about 15 minutes. While oil is heating, make dips, but keep a close eye on your oil to ensure it does not overheat! When oil is ready, place a plate with paper towels on top near your pan. Gently add 3 dough rectangles to the fryer with a metal slotted spoon, straining spoon or tongs. Do not use plastic! Cook beignets on each side until they are a dark golden brown. Check after 30 seconds, it may take up to a minute or so per side. Once cooked, remove each beignet and carefully place on the paper towel lined plate. Repeat for all beignets.
    • Bake: Spray a baking sheet. Place beignets on the sheet. Cover with a towel and allow to rise in a warm area until doubled in size - about an hour. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Dip each beignet into the butter then place back on the baking sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10-13 minutes, until light golden brown. Allow to cool. Use tongs to dip in melted butter again (you may need to re-melt). 

    7.     Dust with powdered sugar and serve them hot!

Dipping sauces

  1. Caramel Dipping Sauce

    1.     Unwrap caramels and discard wrappers. Add 2 tablespoons milk and caramels to a small microwave safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds then stir. Microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring after each until dip is smooth and consistent. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk.

  2. Mocha Dipping Sauce

    1.     Add 2 tablespoons milk, mocha powder, and chocolate chips to a small microwave safe bowl, stir well until completely incorporated. Microwave 20 seconds, stir. Microwave at 10 second intervals until dip is warm and melty. If it is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk.

Keywords: beignet, fried beignet, baked beignet, air fryer beignet, new orleans doughnut, how to fry beignets
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