These little beauties were quicker to prepare then I anticipated. Unlike yeasted donuts, they actually don't require any proofing (after an overnight rest) prior to frying. So from the fridge you can just roll 'em out, cut 'em up, and fry 'em up.
Beignets (from the always reliable King Arthur Flour)
Makes about 30 beignets * overnight
4 c (17 oz or 482g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 c (50g) sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp salt
1/2 c lukewarm water
1/2 c lukewarm milk
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 large egg
What to do
1. Combine all the dough ingredients and mix until you have a smooth dough. (I use a Kitchen-aid mixer with the dough hook).
2. Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 hour or until puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk).
3. Gently deflate dough and place in a greased bowl that will allow room for expansion. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
4. Pour peanut, canola, or sunflower oil to a depth of at least 3/4" in a Dutch oven (or other heavy bottomed pan). Heat to 350°F.
4. Remove dough from fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface (on a silicone mat is helpful).
5. Roll dough into a 14"x10" rectangle and try to square the edges (but don't get carried away).
6. Cut dough into 2" squares.
7. When oil is up to temperature, drop 5 or 6 squares of dough into the hot oil. They will sink initially, but rise to the top.
8. Fry for about 1 minute per side until they are puffy and golden
9. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.
10. When they are cool, sprinkle them with confectioners sugar and devour.
I don't own a fry daddy or special fryer. I just use my Dutch oven with a candy thermometer to keep track of the oil temperature. The dough is pretty flat when you place it in the oil, but it magically puffs up into little pillows as they cook. I also use chop sticks to flip the beignets while frying. They work perfectly for flipping donuts and ebelskivers, too. Hmmm... that makes me think I should make some ebelskivers soon...