In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, pour the lukewarm water, sugar, and yeast into the bowl. Mix until blended. Set aside for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the evaporated milk and salt, beat until blended.
Pour the egg mixture into the yeast mixture after 10 minutes. Add 3 cups of bread flour and the shortening. Mix on medium-low speed until well combined. As a dough starts to form, add the remaining bread flour, mixing on medium speed. Continue to mix until a dough forms. The dough will be sticky.
Prepare a lightly floured surface. Rub flour on your hands and remove the dough from the stand mixer. Knead the dough until it is soft and smooth, about 3 minutes.
Next, lightly butter a large bowl. Place the dough into the buttered bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 2 hours.
After the dough has risen, in a large pot, heat the cooking oil to 350 degrees over medium-high heat.
While the oil is heating, prepare a lightly floured surface to roll out the dough. Punch the dough down with your fist and turn it out onto the floured surface. Lightly flour a rolling pin, and roll the dough out to about a 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 2-inch squares.
Working in batches, carefully deep-fry the dough, approximately 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon or a pair of tongs remove fried beignets onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil.
While the beignets are cooling, pour powdered sugar into a large plastic container. Place the beignets into the container and secure with the cover of the container. Shake vigorously until the beignets are coated evenly. If you do not have a container, you may use a paper bag. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour if you do not have bread flour on hand. Bread flour will yield chewier beignets due to higher protein content.
If you notice your beignets are flat rather than puffy, your oil may not be hot enough.
If you prefer your beignets to be less sweet, simply use a sieve to provide a light dusting of powdered sugar.
If your dough is too thick, rather than using a rolling pin, stretch out individual pieces using your hands.
Our recipe will give you beignets for days! Beignet pronounced "Ben-YAY," is a French-style doughnut made from deep-fried choux pastry. This classic New Orleans treat is about 2 inches square, adorned in powdered sugar, and served fresh, piping hot to-go.
Although similar to traditional style doughnuts, beignets do have their differences. Aside from both being fried, the texture of beignets is both chewier and heartier, which is the result of bread flour. Bread flour contains higher protein, which can cause traditional doughnuts to become tough.
Beignets are made from choux pastry. When fried, the hot oil will create the iconic air pockets inside these tasty treats. A typical doughnut will not have this unique characteristic. Beignets are also much lighter than a typical doughnut. Puffy, light, and chewy with a denser crumb, the beignet is considered a unique type of doughnut.
Beignet means fried dough or fritter in French. Most countries have their particular version of fried dough that is synonymous with their motherland. For instance, Germany has spritzkuchen, and Italy has zeppole. In the 18th century, French-Creole colonists brought beignets to the new world with them. Beignets became the official state doughnut of Louisiana.
Beignets are always served piping hot with powdered sugar. But, you can still get creative with some heavenly dipping sauces. Or if you're feeling extra adventurous, infuse your beignets with alcohol like Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter using pipettes filled with Bailey's, Kahlua, or Rumchata!
These delicious fried pastries are sure to be a hit whether it's breakfast or dessert. Try them and see for yourself!