I first made these when husband was recovering from surgery and they were such a hit, the next day and pretty much every day after that for a while, he requested “tea time” beignets (of course he was on medication and we’ve never had “tea time” anything before but it was quite amusing). Eventually they were relegated to an occasional treat. A big warning though, this makes a lot! The dough is easy to work with, lasts up to a week in the refrigerator (well wrapped in plastic) and can be frozen or you can halve the recipe. For the frying, I used either a cast iron skillet (my preference) or a large pot which was fine too, just didn’t hold the heat quite as well.
- 1/2 cup tepid water
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 7 1/2 cups flour
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar for dusting
- Place water in a small bowl and sprinkle on the yeast allowing it to stand while you do the next step.
- Combine the shortening, sugar, and salt in a large food processor bowl. Pour in the boiling water, pulse gently then add the evaporated milk. Cool to lukewarm then add the yeast and water and eggs.
- Mix in the flour in small batches, pulsing between, until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be a little on the soft side, in a dry climate probably 7 cups is enough.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
- Roll out the dough 1/8-inch thick using a portion about the size of an orange. Cut the dough into strips 2 to 3-inches wide, then again to make square or diamond shapes (a pizza cutter works great).
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat to 360 degree F (180 degrees C).
- Place the dough in the oil carefully and fry until they puff up and are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes turning half way through. If they don’t rise to the surface quickly, the oil isn’t hot enough. Carefully remove to a rack with paper towels underneath and allow to cool until you can handle them. Place in a clean paper bag with confectioners’ sugar and shake gently until covered generously or, use a sifter to dust the beignets with powdered sugar.