With a last name like Fitzpatrick its no revelation that we grew up Irish Catholics. My dad would take us to Church every Sunday. Taking three young girls to an hour long Mass was no easy fete. When you are little, an hour feels like eternity. Pair that with a lack of understanding of what is going on and having your two sisters there to egg you on, you can imagine the restless terrors we were in those pews. So like any good father would do, Dad bribed us with food. Not just any food, but donuts. Sit still get a donut. Don't sit still, watch your sisters eat donuts. Simple, yet effective. And every once in a while I'd get a donut even if I was misbehaving, because God knows I tried to sit still.
These beignets are very reminiscent of the glazed donuts we used to get from Sunshine Donuts in Half Moon Bay after Church. They are probably a little denser than the traditional beignet, but the beauty of these bad boys, is they utilize the Parker House Bun dough from the previous January post. Use half for the buns at Saturday dinner, and save the other half for beignets at Sunday brunch. Very easy, very tasty, and an easy crowd pleaser. Your brunch guests will be wowed by your talent, but secretly you know you have just accomplished a great kitchen hack. I may even use these one day to bribe my own children to be reverent in Church.
The Recipe: Beignets
yields ~15-30 beignets (depending how much of the dough you use: Parker House Buns)
The Bits and Bobs:
oil for frying (peanut or canola preferable)
After the first rise, cut the dough in half and return the beignet portion of the dough to the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Put in fridge and allow to rise in the cold for up to 24 hours, but no less than 8 hours.
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 2.5-3 inches of oil to 360-370*F. Turn dough out on a floured surface and shape into a rectangle. Using a sharp knife or bench scrape, cut the dough into 15-20 equal square pieces. Place a few pieces into the hot oil and cover the rest with a kitchen towel as you work in batches. Fry the dough for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Each beignet should float to the top of the oil. If they don't float, your oil might not be hot enough. Look for a dark golden brown before using a slotted spoon to remove the cooked beignets from the oil. Allow to drain on a paper towel-lined plate for a few minutes. Then move them to a clean plate or cooling rack and sprinkle with a good dusting of powder sugar. Repeat until all the beignets are cooked. Best served warm.