What are your plans for the long weekend ahead? We're headed to New Orleans tomorrow(!), and I can't wait. Is it any surprise that I'm all about the food when I travel? And New Orleans is where. it's. at.
You can't talk about New Orleans food without talking about beignets. I've always wanted to make them at home, but my intense fear of an enormous pot of hot oil always kept me from frying them up. So when I saw this recipe for oven-baked beignets, I was thrilled. And they are delicious.
Like regular beignets, it is a must to eat these warm. They reheat okay, but, like most things, nothing is quite like straight from the oven. Your house smells SO GOOD while these are baking, that eating them immediately will be no problem whatsoever. So gather some hungry people, and let's make beignets!
Baked Buttermilk Beignets (from Good Housekeeping)
makes about 15-18 beignets, depending on how you cut them
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups AP flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup powdered sugar, for dusting
In a small bowl, combine water, yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Let stand until foamy and active, 5-10 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and remaining sugar. With a pastry cutter or your hands, cut in the butter into the mixture until the crumbs resemble small peas.
To the foamy yeast mixture, add buttermilk and egg and lightly beat with a fork. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast/buttermilk/egg mixture. Stir until just completely combined (do not overmix). Knead the dough by hand in the bowl until the dough is smooth and silky. Remove the dough and spray the bowl with cooking spray (no need to clean the bowl). Return dough to bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
After dough has rested, roll it out into a large rectangle or square on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 5 long strips and then cut those strips into squared. Transfer dough squares to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spray the tops with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake beignets for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden. Immediately dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy warm!