When I decided to make French Beignets at home, I never imagined that I would prefer Baked Beignets over fried.
But that is exactly what happened.
When I first visited New Orleans, many years ago, everyone told me that I would have to go to Cafe De Monde to get a bag of French Beignets.
At the time I had no idea what they were talking about.
I had never heard of a beignet. And at the time, I was more concerned about finding the best spot for jambalaya and gumbo.
But when I found out what a beignet was, I was convinced that a trip to Cafe De Monde was in order.
So what is exactly a beignet? In simple terms, only the most delicious, light and airy donut that you will ever try.
Beignets are square donuts without a hole. They are deep fried and are covered in powdered sugar when served.
A single serving at the famous Cafe Du Monde consists of three beignets.
They have been served at this famous coffee shop since the 18th century.
How To Make Beignets
After standing in line at Cafe Du Monde for over 30 minutes, I finally received my order of French Beignets.
Once I took my first bite, I was hooked!
Each donut was coated in a thick layer of powdered sugar, and I knew then I could forget about eating these gracefully.
I sunk my teeth through the sugar and bit into a soft and airy donut. Each little square had the perfect balance of texture and flavor.
The dough was cooked perfectly and the powdered sugar provided the exact level of sweetness usually associated with donuts.
I ate all three donuts. And I am ashamed to admit it, but they were gone in under 5 minutes.
I loved them so much that I had to figure out how to make them at home.
So I decided to ask our wonderful server how they were made. She informed me that they make the dough fresh several times a day and they deep fry them in batches when ordered.
Once deep fried, they are sprinkled with powdered sugar while they still are hot.
Throw them on a plate or a little bag, and they are ready to be served.
Preferably with a black cup of chicory coffee!
Making Baked Beignets
When I returned from New Orleans, I couldn’t stop thinking about those delicious donuts.
I knew that I had to make them for the rest of my family that didn’t get a chance to go to New Orleans with me.
But fried foods were banned from our house a long time ago. Therefore, it was time to go to plan B.
I wasn’t sure how they were going to turn out, but I had to give it a try.
Baked Beignets use the same recipe as their fried counterparts. A basic yeast rising dough mixture made into soft and pillow like donuts.
But there are a few tips to making these baked beignets rise perfectly.
First of all, be sure to use a super-fine sugar to help your yeast activate. Standard granulated sugar tends to gather together and the yeast has a difficult time feeding from it.
If you do not have super-fine sugar, it is easy to make your own. Place double the amount of granulated sugar in a standard coffee grinder.
Pulse until the sugar breaks down into fine crystals. But be sure not to grind it too long. Otherwise you will end up with powdered sugar!
And there is another hint to speed up the baking process. Proof your dough in a turned-off, pre-heated oven.
The dough will rise in a fraction of the time when compared to it sitting on a counter.
Any time saving tips to get baked beignets faster is worth it!
Topping The Baked Beignets
And if you are truly wanting the New Orleans Cafe De Monde experience, be sure to top your baked beignets with powdered sugar! And lots of it!
Brush the tops of the beignets with melted butter. Then use a sifter, or fine mesh colander to sprinkle the powdered sugar on top.
There you have it, French Baked Beignets!!!
If you enjoy other New Orleans recipes be sure to check out our other French Quarter Recipes.
Check out the printable recipe below and let me know what you think!
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