Every year around St. Patrick’s Day we share a beer-based recipe (see here, here, and here), because beer is such a great ingredient to incorporate into dishes. Today’s recipe is a New Orlean’s favorite—beignets (pronounced bin-yay), made with a tasty farmhouse ale. These little pillows of dough fry up to a golden brown crisp on the outside, while staying soft and fluffy on the inside. The beer gives it a sweet, yeasty flavor that’s perfect for dunking in a cup of hot coffee or cocoa for breakfast, dessert, or a snack. (Or all three.) Make the dough the night before you plan to serve these, then let it rest overnight in your fridge. You can use a little dough at a time, or all at once, depending on your crowd and appetite. But I’m warning you: one leads to two, and two leads to 37.
adapted from He Cooks She Cooks
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm farmhouse beer (about 105 degrees)
1 Tablespoon + 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup evaporated milk
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons coconut oil or butter
oil for deep frying
powdered sugar for dusting
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and the warm beer; stir until thoroughly dissolved. Set aside for 10-15 minutes until mixture is frothy on top. Using a hook attachment on your mixer, add the rest of the sugar, salt, the egg and the evaporated milk.
In a separate bowl, add the nutmeg to the flour and stir until combined. Slowly add half the flour mixture into the wet mixture and mix until smooth. Add in the coconut oil or butter and mix on medium speed until incorporated. Reduce the speed and add in the remaining flour, kneading until smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to bowl sprayed generously with nonstick spray, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the the fridge overnight. Remove dough from fridge and allow to come to room temperature before frying. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 3-inch squares.
Heat oil in a deep pot to 360 degrees. Once oil has reached the right temperature, fry 2-3 beignets at a time to avoid overcrowding in the pan. Turn them over as needed to get an even, golden brown color. Remove and drain on a paper towels, then top with a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar and serve immediately.