There’s nothing more sweet and iconic in New Orleans’ French Quarter like a fresh batch of beignets (“ben-yays”). The timeless dessert is a highly recommended staple that both locals and tourists cannot resist. If you love beignets, then here’s an authentic recipe from the Big Easy just for you!
It’s more than ‘just’ a donut. The fresh fried, crispy-chewy sweet dough with a puffy air pocket center are not only divine, but essential to a proper beignet, and a taste that takes you back in time.
Beignets are classic street food in France and long associated with their Mardi Gras since the 16th century. Introduced in the mid-1700s by the French to New Orleans, the classic pastry today is a staple at coffee stands in New Orleans traditionally enjoyed with a cup of café au lait.
Don’t miss out on this easy recipe. Homemade is always the best to get the fresh fried taste that many in south Louisiana enjoy. Once you start making it, you’ll be having fresh fried beignets to enjoy with your friends and family with some fresh coffee and good conversation!
Fresh fried, crispy-chewy sweet dough with a puffy air pocket center. Delicious!
HOW TO MAKE AUTHENTIC FRENCH QUARTER BEIGNETS
Inactive chill time: 1 hr (minimum)
Cook time: 3 minutes per batch
Serving: 2 dozen
- 1 Cup warm water (about 110 F)
- 3 Tbs sugar, divided
- 1 Tbs instant yeast
- 3 Cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour
- 3/4 Tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbs canola oil, plus extra for frying
- Confectioners sugar, for dusting
- In a large bowl, combine the water and 1 Tbs of the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and set aside for 5 minutes (the mixture should become foamy). Meanwhile, whisk the flour, the remaining 2 Tbs of sugar, and the salt together in a medium bowl. Add the eggs and 2 Tbs of canola oil to the foamy yeast mixture and whisk until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and use a rubber spatula to stir until a rough dough comes together (you don’t have to knead it or make it smooth as you might with other yeast doughs). Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl and allow to rise in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, or until just about doubled in size. (Don’t let the dough rise at room temperature – it’s wet and sticky, and chilling in the fridge makes it easier to work with.)
- Grab two rimmed baking sheets – line one with parchment paper and generously dust the parchment with flour. Set a wire rack inside of the second baking sheet. Set both aside.
- Turn the dough out onto a generously floured work surface. Divide in half. Working with one half of the dough, pat it into a rectangle – if it’s sticking to the work surface or your hands, coat it with more flour. Roll the dough to a 1/4″ thick rectangle about 12″×9″ in size. Cut the dough into 12 equal squares, each about 3″×3″. Gently transfer the squares to the flour-dusted baking sheet. Repeat the same process with the second half of the dough to make 12 more squares.
- Add enough canola oil to a pot to measure about 1 1/2″ deep – you can do this in a large Dutch oven which will enable you to fry about 6 beignets at a time, but if you’d rather use less oil, it will work just fine in a smaller pot (I used a 3-qt pan). If you go with the smaller pan, I wouldn’t fry more than 2 at a time. Set the pot over medium to medium-high heat and heat the oil until it measures 350F on a candy thermometer.
- Add the beignets (how many depends on how big a pot you used) and cook for about 3 minutes, flipping them over after 1 1/2 minutes so both sides brown evenly. Try to maintain the oil temperature between 325 and 350 F – adjust the heat under the pot as necessary. Use a spider strainer to transfer the beignets to the wire rack you prepared earlier to allow any excess oil to drain. Return the oil to 350F before frying the next batch of beignets. Continue until they’ve all been cooked. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving. Serve immediately.
- Beignets are always best served immediately after frying.
Want Another Unbelievably Delicious “French” Recipe? Now Watch How To Make Overnight French Toast Bake!
Inspired by Tracey’s Culinary Adventures