Powdered Sugar Beignets
From Chef Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry, these are the best damn beignets outside of New Orleans.
1 2/3 cups/230 g bread flour
½ cup/70 g pastry flour, sifted
½ cup/120 ml water
½ cup + 2 tbsp/ 150 ml whole milk
1 cup/225 g unsalted butter, cubed
2 tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
Canola oil for frying
Powdered sugar for coating
1. Combine the bread flour and pastry flour in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the water, milk, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla seeds over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Add the flour mixture and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for about three minutes, until a shiny paste, free from lumps and forms.
3. Transfer the batter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low speed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue mixing on medium speed until the batter cools to a warm room temperature.
4. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or countertop fryer, heat 3 in/7.5 cm canola oil to 375°F/190°C.
5. Using a soup spoon, scoop up 2 to 2/12 tbsp of batter and ease it into the hot oil using another spoon. Don’t crowd the pot. Fry in batches of four to eight depending on the size of your pot. Fry for about five minutes, agitating and flipping the beignets so they cook evenly. If any of the beignets fill with air and don’t want to flip, use a spider, or other long-handled skimmer, to hold them under the oil for about 30 seconds. Repeat as needed unti you can flip and fry them like the others.
6. You should see the beignets expand once almost right away and you may think they’re ready soon after that, but they’re not. They need to expand a second time, inflating so much that they tear on one side. After that second inflation, continue to brown them well. Remember, this is a wet, eggy dough and it really need to cook! Once you get that double expansion and achieve a deep, dark color, only then are they ready to come out of the oil.
7. Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil, then coat with powdered sugar. Serve hot! Continue frying in batches, but serve each batch moments after it comes out—don’t wait to serve them!