Café au lait makes an excellent addition to these sweet beignets. Pro tip: Chopsticks work well for turning the dough while frying.
Yields: About 20
- ½ cup warm water (105° to 110°)
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup boiling water
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 1 large egg
- 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
- Peanut oil, for frying
- Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
- In a small bowl, stir together ½ cup warm water, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat shortening, salt, and remaining
- tablespoons granulated sugar at medium speed until smooth. Add ½ cup boiling water and evaporated milk, beating until combined. Add egg, beating until combined. Stir in yeast mixture. Gradually add 4 cups flour, beating until a dough forms.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium speed until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 6 minutes, adding remaining 1 cup flour as needed. (Dough should be smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky.)
- Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14x12-inch rectangle, about ¼ inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into 2½-inch squares. (Do not reroll dough.)
- In a large Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 3 inches, and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 370°. Working in batches, fry dough, turning frequently, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully remove from hot oil, and let drain on paper towels. Sift with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve warm.