Dare I say these are just as good as Beignets? I’ll admit, as much as I try to stay off carbs I can’t help craving these. One of our favourite things when we were on our trip to New Orleans this past summer were the beignets. So fluffy, so light, so unbelievably good. We had one almost every night with a frozen coffee… Okay, one means order which is actually 3 so we split it … most people eat the whole order themselves and don’t share… we shared. Crazy I know because you could easily eat a half dozen of these on your own without even blinking.. they are highly addictive…
Yes, lots of calories but so so good.
I tried to recreate the beignets a while back and I have to say they did not turn out very well. Our friends who shared in them hadn’t had beignets so they thought they were good – or they were just being polite but they were very far from the original. I had looked up lots of recipes. I even went so far as to go out and buy coconut oil since in New Orleans they use cottonseed oil and I had a hard time finding a way to get my hands on some of that. Coconut was as close as I could get.
Beignets are finicky, don’t over mix, make sure the temperature of the oil is just right. Even though it’s baking and not cooking it’s just far too precise for me. And clearly I’m not that great at following instructions because they just didn’t turn out, they were dense and heavy. Beignets are all about being light and fluffy.
My mother was getting a little fed up with my raving about the beignets, I think, because she emailed me a recipe one day and said… screw the beignets and try these. So I did.
OMG… seriously… not nearly as finicky and pretty much as good. Yes, I’ll admit there is something lacking, like the above 100 degree weather, the music, the iced coffee, the outdoor patio, who am I kidding… the feel of New Orleans! But if I turn up the heat in the house, throw my coffee in a blender with ice and close my eyes these could easily pass!
If you have or even if you haven’t had beignets I suggest you try these, dare I say better than beignets! If you google ‘vdolky’ you will see that the Czech version is often served with preserves or jam and/or whipping cream on top. It was suggested to me that if I wanted to serve them this way then I should squish a dip in the centre before frying to create a little groove for a filling… I was more intent on pretending I was back in NOLA. 😉
Also these can be fried or baked…. I chose to jump ALL IN and fry them… next time I’ll maybe give baking a shot. And if you’re going to mitigate the caloric intake by baking let me know how they turn out for you.
- 250 ml milk
- 25 grams fresh yeast (1 Tablespoon of dry)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 500 grams flour
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (fine or icing)
- 40 grams melted butter (unsalted)
- 3 egg yolks
- 10 tablespoons milk
- zest of one orange or lemon (optional – more Czech than beignet so leave out for a beignet taste)
- sprinkle of salt
- extra icing sugar to sprinkle on top (okay LOTS)
Heat the milk until hot to the touch, mix in the granulated sugar and yeast and allow to bloom. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt, powdered sugar and lemon or orange zest if you like. Melt the butter and allow to cool enough so it isn’t hot, then add to the milk and yeast mixture, mix in the egg yolks and extra milk and place in a large mixer with dough hook. Add the dry ingredients and mix slowly at first and once it starts to come together turn it up to almost medium speed.
Mix or knead the dough for a good 10 minutes. Your dough should be soft and silky and still a little sticky.
Place a splash of oil in a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl cover and let it rest/rise for an hour or until doubled in size covered somewhere warm. I often turn the oven on for a couple of minutes to warm it up then turn it off and place the bowl in the warm oven just make sure you turned it off. You should also roll the dough in the bowl so that the dough it’s covered in oil otherwise it’ll develop a dry skin which isn’t great.
Once it’s risen then flour a dry clean surface and sprinkle with flour and roll it out to about an inch thick. Cover with a clean tea towel and let it rise another 15 – 20 minutes. In the meantime fill a frying pan about a 1/2 inch with oil and bring to medium heat. Cut the dough into squares or rectangles and fry, turning them over when they are just golden brown. They will rise like crazy as they cook. Place on a papertowel and quickly cover with icing sugar.
Sprinkle with as much icing sugar as you think… then double that amount to get the NOLA feel… So So Good.