Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Universal Food - Fried Dough

Fried dough translates into any language. Many cultures have some form of fried dough. Mexico has their sopapillas. The Dutch their olykoeks. Some Indian cultures fry bread. In Asia, there is Puri. In Canada you will enjoy Beaver Tails. Don't forget doughnuts, funnel cake, fritters and elephant ears here in the U.S. But I grew up with Beignets (Ban Yeahs) made popular by Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. There is one particular recipe that our family uses. It is from my all time favorite cookbook "Talk About Good" It is called "Third Generation Doughnuts"

After reading "Farmer Boy" this week for school, we read various descriptions of doughnuts and how they are made. From the description of the breakfasts and the foods in the pantry, Almonzo's mother must have been slaving away in the kitchen all day. Mrs. Wilder talked about making doughnuts in a twisted shape so they would turn themselves over. This saves the step of having to flip the doughnuts over. I tried it and some of them did flip over, but my "Fry Daddy" must be too small for it to work properly because some of them needed to be flipped manually. Well all the reading about doughnuts, got my boys to thinking about the Beignets I make and the begging started. So I got up early this morning and made everyone a treat. We even shared with our homeschooling friends down the street. It makes an obscene amount of Beignets, so you have to share.

Third Generation Doughnuts
(adapted from Talk About Good)

3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbl. butter
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. milk
5 1/2 c. flour (4 c. plus 1 and 1/2 c. for kneading)
6 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. nutmeg
peanut oil

Cream sugar, butter and eggs. Add vanilla and milk. Add baking powder and nutmeg. Add flour, one cup at a time, until 4 cups are used (I changed to my bread hook on my mixer midway through adding the flour)- then knead and roll in remaining flour (you should have about 1/4 to 1/8 cup flour left on the board). Roll 1/4 inch thick, cut out with a pizza cutter, deep fry. Drain on a paper towel on top of a cookie tray. After each batch comes out (after they are drained and while they are still warm) toss in a paper bag with about 1 cup of confectionary sugar. Roll the top of the bag and shake. Makes about 4 dozen so share with your neighbors! (the picture above is only 1/2 of the dough cut out) It's a mess but oh so worth it!

1 comment:

ivoryspring said...

Love this post! We have used the beignet mix from the Cafe before... :)

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