Thursday, February 28, 2013

Brioche Beignets

 Last week, we went out to a creole restaurant for dinner. While the dinner itself was good, I was most excited for dessert. I was anticipating beignets. Little, fried powdered sugar-coated doughnuts. Unfortunately, the waiter informed me that they were a beignet-less restaurant. Sadness.

So I made these the other night and shared them with some people while we drank coffee and wine and watch a terrifying movie. These are beignets made from brioche dough. They are a little crazy.

 Thanks to butter, this is a sticky dough that will yield tender beignets. I used the recipe from

 Yes, I am a little obsessed with Tom Douglas' restaurants. And yes, I have an entire cookbook devoted to the art of the doughnut. Judge not.

 My ideal night includes:

Just so you know, it is never a good idea to inhale while you are eating something covered in powdered sugar. It is a coughing attack waiting to happen. A delicious coughing attack.

Brioche Beignets
adapted from The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook (Tom Douglas & Shelley Lance)

1/4 c + 1 Tablespoon milk, room tempterature
1 teaspoon yeast
1 1/3 c bread flour, plus more for kneading
2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, room temperature
5 Tablespoons butter, softened & cubed plus more for greasing bowl
powdered sugar for coating finished beignets

special equipment: deep fryer
- - -
1. Combine milk and yeast in bowl of a stand mixer, let sit for 10 minutes
2. Sift together flour, salt, sugar and baking soda; add dry ingredients and eggs to milk mixture
3. Using the dough hook, mix dough on medium speed for 15-20 minutes; it will begin to climb the hook (note: this is a very soft dough)
4. After dough has mixed for about 20 minutes, add butter piece by piece and mix on medium speed until incorperated
5. Butter a large bowl and scoop dough into it once it has finished mixing
6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours
7. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, incorporating more bread flour so that dough is workable (I added about 1/3 c more total) and shape into a smooth round
8. Roll dough out to 1/4" thickness and cut into small rectangular/square pieces (they don't need to be uniform, just generally the same size so that the fry time will be the same)
9. Pre-heat oil to 350 (if you do not have a deep fryer, no worries just fill a large pot with 3-4 inches of canola oil and use a candy thermometer to monitor temperature) and fry beignets for 1-2 minutes per side
10. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels
11. Sift powdered sugar over still-warm beignets just before serving


  1. I consider it special equipment because not all people own a deep fryer, however the recipe can be made just as well in a large pot on the stove... just make sure to use a thermometer to get the oil temp. to 350 (this is something I love about deep fryers- their internal temperature gauge)