Authors: Cleo Coyle
1¾ cups water
1 tablespoon oil (canola or vegetable oil), plus additional for frying
Confectioners’ sugar (for dusting)
Step 1—Proof the yeast:
To see the
that your yeast is alive before mixing it into the dough, combine the instant yeast in a small bowl with the water and sugar. If the bowl does not foam up after 5 minutes, dump it and start over with a new batch.
Step 2—Mix the dough:
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, salt, egg, water, and 1 tablespoon oil. Add proofed yeast mixture and mix well. Dough will be shaggy. Cover and allow to rise, about 2 hours, until doubled in size.
Step 3—Cut the dough:
When dough has risen, pull off a piece, knead with lots of flour, then use a rolling pin to create a very flat, very thin sheet. Use a pizza cutter to cut out long strips, rings, or squares. (Clare’s favorite shape is long strips—which creates a treat on the crunchier side. Squares will give you a softer, pillowy treat.) Experiment with which shape gives you the most satisfying level of flavor, crunch, or softness.
Step 4—Fry the dough:
Pour a few inches of oil into a skillet with high sides. Place the dough pieces in hot oil. They will float to the top of the oil and turn light golden brown (for the best flavor, do not allow the beignets to brown too much). Flip and fry on the other side. Drain on paper towels, dust both sides with confectioners’ sugar, and eat with joy.
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