Sunday, June 18, 2017

Rosie Makes Beignets. And Then Doughnuts!

It was a lazy weekend and I was in the mood.
For beignets and doughnuts.
Sometimes one just has to scratch that itch.

Basic Recipe For Beignet and Doughnut Dough
 1 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 package yeast
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 TB unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, room temperature and beaten
1/2 cup evaporated milk
4 cups flour

Whenever I'm working with yeast, I always "proof" it first to be sure it's working.
Pour the package of yeast into the warm water and sprinkle a teaspoon or so of the sugar over top.
And wait.  If, in a few minutes, the mixture becomes bubbly and foamy, then the yeast has "proved" it's alive and you're good to go.

You can mix the dough with a stand-up mixer fitted with a dough hook or you can mix everything in a food processor.  Sometimes, I prefer doing everything by hand, which is what I did.

After the yeast has "proofed," add in the rest of the ingredients.  Knead the dough until you get a smooth, elastic, cohesive mass, adding a sprinkling of flour if necessary to keep it from being too sticky.

Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour.
Place dough on lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle, about 1/2" thick.

For the beignets:
Cut dough into approximately 3-inch squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, whatever floats your boat.
Cover and set aside to rest and rise, about an hour.

For the doughnuts:
Cut dough into 3-4-inch circles.  Using your thumb, press a hole in the center and work dough into a doughnut shape.  Cover and set aside to rest and rise, about an hour.

Heat a few inches of peanut oil to 350° in a large pan.  Gently slide 3-4 beignets at a time into hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan.  For doughnuts, drop 2-3 in the oil at a time.  Fry about 2-3 minutes, until puffy and golden brown, turning over halfway through so they'll get evenly brown.  Drain on rack.

For the beignets, dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

For the doughnuts, I like a chocolate glaze
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
4 TB unsalted butter
2 TB cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup confectioners' sugar

Combine chocolate, butter, cream, and vanilla in small saucepan and heat until chocolate and butter are melted.  Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar until mixture is smooth.  Dip doughnuts in glaze.

Let dough rise a bit,
then refrigerate until chilled through.

Roll out dough.
About 1/2" thick.

Cut into beignet shapes.

Fry just a few at a time.
Never crowd the pan when frying.

You want them
golden brown on both sides.

Drain and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar while still hot.

Enjoy with a nice, hot cup of coffee.

Form doughnut shapes.

Let rise.

Fry at 350°, turning with tongs to evenly brown.


Let drain on a rack and sprinkle with powdered sugar while still hot.

Or you can dip in a chocolate glaze.

Rosie's Chocolate Glaze
1/2 stick unsalted butter
2 TB cream
2 tsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted

Melt butter and chocolate.
Stir in cream, corn syrup, vanilla.
Whisk in confectioner's sugar.
Keep whisking until smooth.

I have a confession to make.
My glaze was lumpy.
And I'm blaming it, of course, on Mr. Hawthorne.
He came in at the last minute and asked if he could help.
He saw what I was making and wanted to grab a doughnut and knows that I frown on people waltzing into my kitchen after I've been slaving for hours and grabbing something I've just produced.  That just pisses me off.  He knows the rules.  
So I said, "Sure.  Finish making the glaze."
All he had to do was whisk in the confectioner's sugar.
Well, I discovered the powdered sugar needed to be SIFTED into the chocolate mixture, to avoid the lumps and bumps.
Live and learn.

It doesn't get much better than this.

These are delicious.

Now, go make beignets and doughnuts!

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