Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chestnut Beignets

1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 T vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups warm milk (110 degrees F)
1 egg, beaten
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups chestnut flour
pinch of salt
oil, for frying
1 cup honey
powdered sugar, for garnish, optional

Preparing the beignets:
Preheat the fryer to 360 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, add the yeast, sugar, shortening, and milk, mix for 2 minutes. Add the egg. Mix well. Add 2 cups of the flour, the chestnut flour and salt. Beat at low speed until all of the flour is incorporated, about 1 minute. Then beat at medium speed until the mixture forms a ball, leaves the sides of the bowl, and climbs up the dough hook. Remove the dough from the bowl.

Using your hands, form the dough into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it to oil all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat the dough into a rectangle about 1-inch thick. Lightly dust the surface of the dough. Roll out the rectangle to 12 1/2 inches long by 10 inches wide and about 1/4-inch thick. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 20 (2 1/2-inch) square beignets. Fry the beignets, a couple at a time until golden brown and crispy on all sides, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove and drain on paper towels. Drizzle with honey or sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm.

Makes about 10 beignets


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