Author Topic: Beignets  (Read 215 times)

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Offline tonymark

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Beignets
« on: August 02, 2006, 10:00:19 PM »
I made these a week ago.  I worked on this recipe formulation quite some time and think I have succeeded in making really good beignets (Cafe Du Monde Style).

The only thing I think I would change in the recipe would be to lower the sugar and yeast.  I think The Beignets browned too dark and too quickly.  I also would cut the yeast to 1/2 tsp for an overnight rise.  The 1 1/2 tsp may be better for a 2 hour room temp rise.

The key to this recipe is the high hydration.  As we all have learned, high hydration results in good spring.  That is essential for a quality beignet.

Since they float almost immediately, 2 inches of oil should work.  I actually used 3-4 inches.

Recipe and procedure:

Beignets

125 g King Arthur Bread
250 all purpose
1 tsp IDY  (next time I will drop this to 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar (48 g)  (next time I will drop this to 35 g)
1 teaspoon salt
 
2 tablespoons melted butter
Confectioners sugar, for garnish

Peanut oil for frying  (Peanut is probably the best to use)

Combine 2/3 of flour (all KABF,  125g AP), yeast, water, milk, egg, and sugar in mixer.  Mix on low for 2 minutes.  Autolyse 20 minutes.   Mix 4 minutes.  Add salt and vanilla.  Mix in remaining flour over next 7 minutes.  Add butter at end.   Mix in well.  Shape an store in fridge overnight.

Preheat oil to ~370 degrees.
Cut off 1/4 - 1/3 of dough.  Place on a well-floured board and roll dough 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Cut dough into 2" x 3" rectangles.  Fry squares in oil, just a few at a time. When they rise to the surface, flip and cook until golden brown.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.
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Offline Lydia

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Re: Beignets
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2006, 08:29:45 PM »
Very Nice!  :chef:

I've been contemplating my collection of Beignet recipes, trying to decide on which one to start with. They're all very similar, and require evaporated milk. So you've given me a jump start. 

I have found similar fried yeasted doughs that contain milk, have the higher tendency to brown TOO easily, verses the others with just a high sugar content.

My impulse thought is to dilute the evaporated milk, but I also hesitate since it seems to be a key ingredient that separates Beignets from other doughnuts and fried dessert breads.

Did you notice if there was much difference if the dough was rolled thinner 1/8 vs. 1/4 inch?

Did the dough squares stretch at all when lifted to place in the oil?

How hollow was the internal structure?
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Beignets
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2006, 08:46:20 PM »
Lydia,

I looked at the ingredients list for the Cafe Du Monde Beignet mix as sold in the supermarkets and both milk and buttermilk are listed. Also, the leavening agent can be a chemical one (I think it is baking powder) and/or yeast. Tony's beignets brought back pleasant memories of my many visits to Cafe Du Monde to have their beignets and chicory cafe au lait coffee.

Peter

Offline Lydia

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Re: Beignets
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2006, 08:55:46 PM »
Thanks Peter,

I have been wondering about the authenticity of the evaporated milk. I have yet to visit New Orleans, and experience true beignets and New Orleans French Bread, although I think I'm pretty darn close on the later.

Would you mind describing the texture of CDM's beignets.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Beignets
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2006, 09:13:04 PM »
Lydia,

They were soft and pillowy, and tasted much like a soft doughnut but in a different form. And they were always freshly made.

To give you a better idea of the Cafe du Monde beignets, you may want to take a look at this: http://www.cafedumonde.com/beignetdemo.html. If you want to see the ingredients list, look here: http://www.neworleansshowcase.com/ce02001.html.

BTW, welcome back.

Peter

Offline Lydia

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Re: Beignets
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2006, 09:38:33 PM »
Thanks Peter  :D

I hadn't seen this site before. Very helpful.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline tonymark

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Re: Beignets
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2006, 11:12:30 PM »
First, I would like to say that I grew up in Slidell, LA, only 30 minutes from Cafe Du Monde.  We ate beignets whenever we went to the French Quarter.  Since being in Atlanta, I try to go to New Orleans once a year, but have not visited since Katrina.  I recently had the worst Beignets ever in Atlanta (at Huey's).  So I did some research and came up with the recipe.

Did you notice if there was much difference if the dough was rolled thinner 1/8 vs. 1/4 inch?
Yes.  Rolling to 1/4" is spot on.  At 1/8" the internal texture was not right.  It was too hollow without the typical webbing found in authentic beignets.  This webbing is the same thing many of us strive for in pizza crust.  I wish I had snapped a photo, but the beignets were just getting cold.

Did the dough squares stretch at all when lifted to place in the oil?

Only slightly.  This is really not a problem, since they are so small.  Definitely not like moving a pizza dough from bench to peel.

How hollow was the internal structure?
See above.  Hollow is bad, nice airy webbing is good.

I also found the box beignet ingredient list before formulating my recipe.  I am guessing the box may not even contain chemical leavening and if it does, it is probably not used in the restaurant recipe. 

Quote from: Pete-zza
They were soft and pillowy, and tasted much like a soft doughnut but in a different form.

I would not say it is like a doughnut.  I don't remember the dough being as soft.  I think a doughnut probably contains more egg and butter than a beignet.  A beignet is slightly chewy, but not high gluten pizza crust chewy.

I am planning a November trip to New Orleans and will address my recipe again after a visit to Cafe Du Monde.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2006, 11:21:05 PM by tonymark »
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Offline Lydia

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Re: Beignets
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2006, 12:06:45 PM »
Tonymark

Quote
Yes.  Rolling to 1/4" is spot on.  At 1/8" the internal texture was not right.  It was too hollow without the typical webbing found in authentic beignets.  This webbing is the same thing many of us strive for in pizza crust.

Thank you

This is exactly the information I was looking for.

I make and Indian Fry Bread that has this Exact internal structure "webbing" So I believe I know exactlly what you're talking about.

I'd like to try your posted formula with some modifications based on the CDM mix and my experience with my Fry Bread formula. I need to think on this more, before I get my hands in the dough. I'll be sure to post when I do.

My camera went to Kodak heaven, so if I can figure out how to get pictures to download from my cell phone I'll post pics. too
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.

Offline tonymark

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Re: Beignets
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2006, 02:01:59 PM »
Lydia,

Please, let me know of your improvements.

Once again, I would shy away from a chemical leaven.  In all of my recipe research, I found none that contained a chemical leaven. (except for the CDM Box ingredients which actually states "and/or" yeast.)  Try it if you want, experimentation is always good.

My mom made those Beignets from the box when I was a kid and they were not that good.  That was years ago, but I remember they were not the same as the restaurant version.

I make and Indian Fry Bread that has this Exact internal structure "webbing" So I believe I know exactly what you're talking about.
Indian Fry Bread... Are you talking about a Poori.  Those always seem very hollow.  Which Indian fried bread are you making?

TM
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Offline Lydia

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Re: Beignets
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2006, 05:20:35 PM »
Quote
Which Indian fried bread are you making?

Native American Indian Fry Bread

I consider our recipe to be a "lost" recipe because the technique for handling the dough hasn't been past down the generations. It has a very high hydration level, very puffy and tender; filled with an amazing tunneling network and light crisp exterior. They're heavenly and very habit forming.

I also played around with some recipes from other tribes that call for milk, sugar or honey, baking powder AND yeast. They tasted and had the same texture as "poorman's doughnuts" - Deep-fried canned refrigerator biscuits.

THAT was a copycat recipe I never would have done on purpose! Those tubes are too cheap to go threw all that work.

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.They say he acquired his size from eating too much pi.


Offline SemperFi

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Re: Beignets
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2007, 05:06:56 PM »
This is a recipe that I have been looking for.  Hope to give it a try soon.  And for Lydia, Native American fried bread is delicious!  I had it on a reservation during the annual balloon festival when I was a kid, maybe 1978 or so. great memories of drizzling honey over the top and gobbling them up.  If you have a recipe for them or know of a website, please let me know.

Adam
Adam