The best place to get real Cajun Beignets (pronounced ben-yays) is at the Café Du Monde located in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Most Cajun restaurants also feature these light, delicious doughnut-like pastries, but few are as good as Café Du Monde. Since they make a perfect breakfast with a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, or tea, it’s best to make them at home if you don’t happen to be close to New Orleans. The following recipe for Bread Machine Beignets takes minimal hands-on time, since the dough is mixed in the automatic bread machine and takes only 5 or so minutes to dump the ingredients in and about 10 minutes to roll them out and cut them.
While there are commercially prepared beignet mixes that don’t contain yeast (including one from Café Du Monde), the ones from mixes really aren’t as good as the homemade ones made with yeast. These beignets are absolutely worth the time, effort, and calories. They puff up in the hot fat and are very light and airy. Not only do they make a great breakfast treat, they also make a great dessert with good Cajun food.
One caution: when eating beignets fresh from the fryer, it’s a good idea to wear light clothing or even a bib – the powdered sugar can make a real mess!
24 Cajun Donuts
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups flour
1/3 cup powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dry yeast
Vegetable oil for frying
- Place the ingredients in the order given in the pan of the automatic bread machine.
- Set the machine to the dough cycle and start.
- After about 5 minutes, check to make sure the mixture forms a soft dough; if it’s too dry, add a little more water – if it’s too soft, add a little more flour.
- When the cycle has finished, transfer the dough to a lightly floured pastry cloth or countertop.
- Roll to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into 2-inch squares with a pizza cutter.
- Cover loosely with a cloth and let the dough squares rise 20-30 minutes.
- Drop squares into hot oil, turning once when golden brown on bottom side.
- Drain on paper towels and immediately coat liberally with sifted powdered sugar.
- Serve warm.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 118 Calories from Fat 53
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 45% Protein 7% Carb. 48%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 106 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 1 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 1%