These Big Easy beignets are gluten-free, sugar-free pillows of fried bread dipped in boozy vanilla custard and go great with Café Du Monde coffee. Make them!
Beignets from Café Du Monde in the French Quarter of New Orleans are hard to forget. One bite into that crispy fried bread pillow dusted with confectioners sugar is all it takes to uncover the light, airy, eggy soft French donut inside. And for dunking, it's the crème de la crème French custard known as crème anglaise spiked with vanilla bourbon. But, can this gluten-laden, sugary, treat be converted to Lectin Free Gourmet? No voodoo required, the answer is yes.
If you have my ebook, Sourdough Rising, you may have already made my beignets leavened with sourdough starter. And, yes, those are very good. But, let me assure you, no sourdough is needed for this recipe. The dough rises light and airy with activated dry yeast. Just two hours is all it takes for this dough to rise.
One kitchen tool that will help make these easy is a bench scraper. It's a pastry tool that aids in measuring, cutting and scraping dough off the floured surface. I have this one from Amazon. You can get it at a great price here:
As an Amazon Associate, I find you the best kitchen gadgets, and provide you with direct links to order my faves. Of course, Amazon pays me a couple nickels to share this particular product with you. So if you don't have a scraper like this, I highly recommend you grab one before you make these beignets. It will make your life a lot easier.
Okay, are you ready to make these delicious fried bread pillows a.k.a. beignets? Let's go!
LFG Big Easy Beignets
1 tsp Dry Yeast
1 tsp Raw Local Honey
2 Tbsp Warm Water
1 Cup Tapioca Flour
1//4 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Warm Organic Grassfed a2 Milk + 2 Tbsp (divided)
1 Pastured Egg
1 Tbsp Soft Grassfed Ghee
Rice Bran Oil or Pure Olive Oil for Frying
Confectioners Sweetener for Dusting
Vanilla Bourbon Crème Anglaise
1/2 Cup Organic Grassfed a2 Milk
1 tsp Raw Local Honey
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Kentucky Bourbon
1 Pastured Egg Yolk
1 Tbsp Granular Sweetener
Step 1: Activate Yeast
In a small bowl, whisk yeast, honey and warm water together. Let sit 5 minutes until frothy.
Step 2: Mix Dough
In a medium bowl, whisk flour and salt together. To the activated yeast mixture, whisk in egg and 1/4 cup of the a2 milk until well incorporated. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour in the milk mixture. With a fork or butter knife, mix the ingredients together. It will seem tough. Once you get it all mixed, you have a hard dough ball. One tablespoon at a time, work in the extra milk. Finally, cut in the soft ghee with a butter knife. It will look smooth and shiny. It's okay to have a few pockets of butter in the dough as this will create airy holes in the beignets.
Step 3: Let Dough Rise
Once the dough is smooth and shiny, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place on a warm counter or near the stove to let rise for two hours. After two hours, the dough should have doubled in size.
Step 4: Cut Dough Into Squares
In a Dutch oven or cast iron skillet, heat oil on medium. I like a blend of rice bran oil and pure olive oil (not extra virgin) for frying. The flavors are neutral and both have a large ratio of heart-neutral omega-9s. Dump risen dough onto a surface lightly dusted with tapioca flour. The dough should drop right out of the bowl after being inverted for about 5-10 seconds. Next lightly sprinkle the top of the dough with more flour. With a rolling pin or fingertips, gently shape the dough into 12"x12" square.
Step 5: Fry the Beignets
Using your bench scraper blade, cut dough into four rows of three-inch squares. Then scrape the squares one-by-one off the counter and drop into the hot oil. With a fork or wire skimmer, flip the beignets after they are brown on the underside. Once the beignets have fried on both sides to a golden brown, lift them out of the oil and place on a paper towel to cool.
Step 6: Make the Creme Anglaise
In a small saucepan, whisk the a2 milk, honey, vanilla, and bourbon until smooth. Heat on low until just bubbling around the edges of the pan, but not boiling. It's good to stir occasionally during this heating process to assure the milk doesn't coat the bottom of the pan. When just hot, turn off heat and allow to cool 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolk and sweetener in a small bowl. After the milk mixture has cooled five minutes, temper the yolk by whisking in a few spoonfuls at a time of the hot(ish) milk until you've tempered in about half of the milk mixture. Next, pour the tempered yolk into the milk pan and simmer about five minutes until thick like custard. Turn heat off and immediately strain out any lumps into a ramekin for serving.
Dust the beignets with powdered sweetener. I like Powdered Lakanto Monk Fruit or Confectioners Swerve best for this as they both provide a great coating for beignets. Serve beignets warm with crème anglaise for dunking. Be sure to make a fresh pot of Café Du Monde coffee with chicory to pair with your beignets for the authentic Big Easy experience.