Beignet: New Orleans Donuts

My five year old daughter (Dana) was watching the Disney movie Princess and the Frog and asked me to make Beignets. These donuts are a speciality of Tiana, the princess in the story, and of New Orleans in general. The word Beignet is pronounced bey-YAY, is French in origin and means fritter.

Beignet: New Orleans Donuts
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  1. 250 ml lukewarm water
  2. 50 grams white sugar
  3. 10 ml active dry yeast
  4. 500 grams flour, mix of strong bread flour and all purpose
  5. 1 Large egg, room temperature and beaten
  6. 30 grams butter, softened
  7. 140 grams evaporated milk
  8. Icing sugar for dusting
  1. Mix water, sugar and yeast in mixer bowl
  2. Leave until the yeast activates, about 10 min
  3. Add flour, egg, butter and evaporate milk to bowl
  4. Beat with dough hook until smooth (Kitchen Aid setting 2 for 5-6 min)
  5. Shape into ball
  6. Place in oiled bowl
  7. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight (or up to a week; just punch down the dough when necessary)
  8. Remove dough from fridge
  9. Roll out dough on a lightly floured board to about 12mm (1/2 inch)
  10. Cut dough into 75mm squares, or triangles or circles
  11. Set aside (dough can be frozen at this point)
  12. Vegetable oil for deep frying. About 50mm deep. Heated to 180º C
  13. Cook 2-3 beignets at a time
  14. Slide each dough pieces into oil to avoid splattering
  15. Cook until they are puffed and golden brown on both sides, turning when necessary (2-3 min)
  16. Beignets will float to top of oil when they start to puff
  17. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels
  18. While donuts are still warm sprinkle with icing sugar on all sides.
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