Sourdough Beignets

I decided that this week I wanted to try to make my traditional whole wheat beignets with only sourdough as a rising agent.  And, other than the taste being just a little "sour", these beignets turned out exactly the same as the traditional ones.

Here is what I did:

First, I started by getting the sourdough fed (taking one cup of starter and adding a cup of flour and 3/4 cup of water).  Then, I left the starter to grow through the day.

The night before I made the beignets in the morning, I added the following ingredients to the starter:

  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup SUNANAT (or other sugar of your choosing)
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Then, I kneaded in about 6 cups of whole wheat into all of the ingredients that were mixed above.  (Note:  If you are not used to baking bread from scratch, just make sure to add only enough flour so that the dough barely sticks to the side of the bowl you are kneading it in.  The electric mixer with a dough hook make the process much easier, but it is not necessary.)

To finish off the dough for the night, I just rolled the dough in flour and put in a bowl to raise at room temperature over night.  Then, when I woke up to perfectly raised dough that is ready to roll and fry.

When I was ready to start the beignets, I punch them down without trying to knead it too much since the more it is kneaded, the tougher it is to handle and roll out.  Dividing the dough into two sections, I rolled it into a large rectangle and cut into  32 rectangular pieces.  I cut mine in a grid 8 x 4 with a pizza cutter, as you can see to the side here.  (Repeat for the second half of the dough)

Next heat 5 to 6 cups of grape seed oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Drop in 4 or 5 beignets at a time, making sure to flip them after 20 to 30 seconds.  The total cooking time should be about 1 to 2 minutes, but it may be more or less depending on your oil and the exact cooking heat.  Just make sure they are not too brown.  Remove the beignets to a warm tray in the oven covered with paper towel to soak up any excess oil.  And then cook the rest in the same manner.

My kids love to rolls these wonderful doughnuts in powered SUCANAT, which I make by grinding regular SUNCANAT in a coffee mill that I use just for grinding sweeter things.  One press of the button gives you perfect brown powdered sugar that is much less processed than regular powdered sugar.



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