Puffy Powdered Pillow

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OMG. I’m telling you out of my last shred of conscience and humanity before I turn Paula Deen. If you like fried dough. If you have a weakness for doughnuts. If exercising self-restraint over hot-and-crispy-exterior-with-chewy-center things isn’t exactly your forte. Or if you value any possibility to a) find a mate, b) keep a mate, c) or simply to be able to fit into ANYTHING ever again. Pack your knives and go. Because this recipe is up to no good. Run. RuN. RUN!

The rest of you, follow me into beignet Mordor with no return.

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(Peek…) am I now only left with consenting adults whom I trust understand the meaning of responsibility? So here it goes. I believe there are things better perceived as home-kitchen-unfriendly for a good reason. There are white lies that aren’t meant to be uncovered as it’s how your guardian angels or fairy Godmother shields you from the truth only to protect you. But I’m going to tell you something inconveniently true – among those things, the fact that beignet can be FURTHER perfected (that’s right, FURTHER!) and that one could easily create this perfectly hot and crispy and chewy beignets in any unequipped kitchen relatively easy, crowns the list. Boy, I shouldn’t know about this… I DON’T WANNA know about this. So to deal with this piece of information that’s going to ruin me for life, I’m going to pass it on… to you. I told you to run.

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Still understandably mind-boggled over “excuse me, beignets need perfecting? It’s already French for God’s sakes!”. Well yes. Yes it can. More accurately, DONUTS need perfecting. Oh man, I’m being borderline offensive. Would it make it easier to swallow if I mention Japanese? The Japanese who CAN and WILL perfect every edible things that walk this earth? I’m talking about Mr. Donuts who invented the notorious pon de ring, a new breed of donuts with an impossibly soft and chewy texture that resembles Brazilian pão de queijo (cheese bread) in dessert form. It’s jut too much.  As if donuts aren’t evil enough he wanted to give it an upgrade?  Of course, a recipe of such significance is securely guarded and locked in a vault somewhere like the formula of Kate Middleton’s hair dye. However, one ingredient is unmistakably present and left for the world to play with, that is the use of tapioca flour. Mixed with different ratios to wheat flour, it gives new life to any dough with a unique, chewy and silky texture that I just can’t explain without you trying.

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So this is how it’s gonna go down. In this exact order, you are going to reasonably talk yourself out of making this for the sake of waist-lines and sanity. But soon reasons will fade and sanity will be overthrown faster than you can say “oooops”. Then at exactly 3 hazy hours later you’ll be staring at 10 beautifully puffy beignets on the kitchen counter with absolutely nobody else but you in the room, when in fact you are ABSOLUTELY sure there were 20. Experiencing panic isn’t an uncommon emotion right here. Who ate ALL TEN beignets at one serving before dinner is even made!? I don’t know. The white powder clinging on your finger tips might leave a shocking clue but we are going to conclude that the dogs had them. They can be so sneaky sometimes.

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Serving: 20 beignets

* I played with this recipe a number of times which yielded two different results that you can choose from. One has the use of baking powder, and one does not. The baking powder formula (cut into square shape) will produce a very light and literally AIRY beignet with hollow center which can then be filled with custards, jams or… (omg this is pure evil) forget what I said. And the other one without baking powder (cut into round shape) has a more solid center with a tender and satisfying chew. The shape of the beignet, I assume, is inter-changeable.

** If you want to play with the ratio of flour and tapioca flour, take away 1 tbsp of flour and add 1 tbsp of tapioca flour for start. As the amount of tapioca flour increases, the dough will become more translucent and soft. Have fun.

Ingredients: inspired by Mr. Donut

  • 1/2 cup of bread flour
  • 1/2 cup of tapioca flour
  • 1/2 tsp of instant dry yeast
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1/8 tsp of baking powder *optional
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 tbsp of sweeten condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 ~ 3 cups of vegetable oil for frying
  • Powder sugar for dusting

In one large bowl, mix together all-purpose flour, tapioca flour, dry yeast, salt and baking powder (*optional). Add 1/2 cup of whole milk and stir the dough together with a wooden spoon until smooth. Then add the sweeten condensed milk and unsalted butter, and stir again into a smooth and very sticky dough. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it proof under room temperature until doubled in size, 1~2 hours.

Generously dust the working surface with flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto the surface and dust the top with more flour. Pat the dough down and use a dough scraper to fold the dough onto itself like folding a letter. Turn it 90 degrees and fold again. Keep in mind that this dough is VERY sticky and you will need to continuously dust it with more flour to work with it. Then roll the dough out into a thin sheet about 1/8″ (0.25 cm) thick. You can now cut the sheet into square shapes (which is easier and faster), or use a pastry cutter to cut out little rounds (gather the remaining scrap, roll it out and cut again until the dough is used up).

Place the pieces on a flour-dusted baking sheet covered with plastic wrap. Let it rise under room temperature again for 1 hour until poofy.

Heat up 2 cups of vegetable oil in a deep and narrow pot on medium-high heat. The smaller and deeper the pot is, the less oil you’ll need for frying. Once you stick a wooden chopstick into the oil and it starts bubbling on the edges, the oil is ready for frying. Start frying 2~3 pieces at a time. Once the dough gets heated, it will start to puff up. Flip it immediately before the first side gets browned, otherwise it would always revert back to the same side because of the air inside. Keep flipping it a few times until both sides get golden browned.

Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack to drain. Repeat with the rest of the pieces.

Dust generously with powder sugar and serve while they’re warm.

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14 Comments

  • Laura L. says:

    Yes this was pure evil! I miss beignets… it’s been 17 years since I have had any and did not know how to make them. I am doomed! Now I will be consumed with thoughts of them until I actually succumb to making them! I should have ran when you said to run!

  • Laura says:

    Wow, amazing pictures – thank you – we will be trying this : )

  • these look amazing! i’ve yet to make beignets, but from your recipe here, it sounds so simple. i can’t wait to try making them myself! thanks for sharing. :)

  • Tora says:

    you are like an amazing angel that bring death and destruction in the shape of delicious things.

    I should’ve ran, I guess I just don’t know how weak I am. I’ll tell you now that I’m not going to make these, because deep-frying is a pain in the ass. But I know that it’s only a matter of minutes before I start to shape these bubbles of ideas in my head, and they will bloom and blossom and become pregnant with fixation. And then I will make these beignets. And I can’t blame you for it. It will be all my fault.

    I wish to say thank you, and all the yelling will be done at myself. I love this here blog, and I refuse not to!

    • Mandy L. says:

      Tora, let me just tell you that I’m still trying to recover from this with a broccoli diet… be careful…

  • erin b. says:

    You are a genius…dammit.

  • alena says:

    OMG! Surfing on the net while at work, when I saw this page, I nearly fell of my chair! This is exactly the “beignet” I was looking for for months.

    Waiting impatiently to get home and to start experimenting. The photos you posted are amazing.

    Alena

  • Sans says:

    I don’t know but I had to add 1/4 cup each of flour to the dough so the dough could be very sticky, not wet. And this dough is very sticky indeed, like I-can’t-freaking-roll-it sticky. So I just grab some dough and flatten it with my palm. But I just love the texture in this beignet, like OMG-this-is-brilliant kind of love, and where tapioca flour is in abundance and cheap where I live, this recipe, no, this idea is up to no good indeed. Horray :D

    • Sans says:

      Oh I forgot to mention that I doubled the recipe :)

    • Mandy L. says:

      Sans, yes this dough very very sticky and needs flour to be rolled out. I was tempted to add more flour to the recipe but the texture of the final result is so good I thought I’ll leave it as is :P

  • Melinda says:

    like the formula of Kate Middleton’s hair dye – this made me guffaw in my office by myself at work

  • Ashley says:

    I have been wanting to try a beignet since they were mentioned in Disney’s Princess and the Frog. They made me very curious and now you’ve given me a recipe i can seemingly make in my own kitchen.. I am doomed. However I will let you know how these turn out they sound so yummy.

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