Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Buttermilk Beignets

February 16

Happy Mardi Gras, or as I like to say Fat Tuesday. Make sure you have something with eggs, butter, flour and milk in it. Dunkin Donuts anyone? Pancakes or crepes would also fill the bill.
One of my favorite sweets to eat during this celebration is;
Buttermilk Beignets (Fried Bread) what could be better than this?
This is not my creation but one that is used in many of the bakeries and restaurants in and around New Orleans. Try it if you have the time. But remember they are addictive. Indians also have a great recipe for Fried Bread that I will share at another time with you.
• 3/4 cup whole milk
• 1  1/2 cups buttermilk
• 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
• 2  1/2 tablespoons sugar
• 3  1/2 cups bread flour plus extra for flouring work surface
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 tablespoon butter melted
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• Peanut or canola oil for frying
• Confectioners' sugar for dusting.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until small bubbles form at the surface. Remove from the heat, slowly add the buttermilk, and then pour into a stand mixer bowl. Or if you don’t have a stand up mixer you can use a bowl and hand held mixer. Whisk in the yeast and the sugar and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed, using a dough hook, until the dry ingredients are moistened, 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough forms a loose ball and is still quite wet and tacky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour.
Pour enough peanut oil into a large pot to fill it to a depth of 4 inches and bring to a temperature of 375°F over medium heat (this will take about 25 minutes). Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out on it. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour, gently press to flatten, fold it in half, and gently tuck the ends under to create a rough-shaped mound. Dust your work surface again with flour, and again and roll the dough out into a 1/2-inch- to 1/3-inch-thick circle. Let the dough rest for 1 minute before using a chef’s knife, or a pizza wheel (my favorite) to cut the dough into 1-1/2-inch squares (you should get about 48).
Gently stretch each beignet lengthwise and carefully drop it into the oil. Add a few beignets at a time (don’t overcrowd them, you want the oil to stay at a consistent 375 temperature or your beignets will soak up the oil and turn out greasy fry these until puffed and golden brown, turning them often with a slotted spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain while you fry the rest. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve while still warm. Traditionally these are served with coffee.
Bon App├ętit my friends

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