February 18, 2014

Sourdough Beignets

On the Menu Today~  
Sourdough Beignets
Laissez les bons temps rouler!!
A Week of Sourdough in Recipes~
                                                                   Bon Mardi Gras~      

Mardi Gras~ Music, Parades, Floats and Food!
Everyone wears the colors of Mardi Gras~
Purple- represents justice 
Green- represents faith 
Gold- represents power
Long colorful beads are thrown from beautiful floats.
Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday,
that is the the final day before the penitential season of Lent,
which begins on Ash Wednesday.
Fat Tuesday is referring to the practice of the last night of eating before Lent.
Mardi Gras stems from pagan fertility rituals and
celebrations in honor of Springs Arrival.
Mardi Gras found it's way to Louisiana by way of French settlers.
It dates back to the Middle Ages.
The date on which Mardi Gras falls depends on Easter,
Mardi Gras is always 47 days before Easter.

King Cake, Beignets?  Beignets, King Cake?
I had a difficult time deciding which one to make.
I have never made either one.

King Cakes are the ultimate symbol of Mardi Gras.
Traditionally made from brioche dough, then shaped into a ring.
King Cakes are decorated with a sweet icing and colored sugars, Mardi Gras colors.
There is a plastic baby doll hidden inside each King Cake.
The person who gets the baby provides the next King Cake.
The plastic baby decided it for me.....
I had no idea where I was going to find a plastic baby/doll to put inside the King Cake and
since that seemed to be an important part of the King Cake,
I didn't want to leave it out.....so, Beignets it is.

Beignets were brought to Louisiana by the Acadians.
They were more like fried fritters, sometimes filled with fruit.
Today, the beignet is a square piece of dough, deep-fried and
covered with powdered sugar.
They are delicious...and I mean delicious!!
I am not sure if traditional beignets are made with a sourdough starter but
I wanted to make this wonderful recipe for sourdough beignets,
that I found in Simply Sourdough by Kathy Doogan.
I hope I haven't offended any beignet connoisseurs out there...

Sourdough Beignets

  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup sourdough starter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups flour
  • oil for frying
  • powdered sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. In a mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water, stir in 2 teaspoons of the sugar until dissolved. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until small bubbles form. Add the remaining sugar, starter, salt, egg, oil and evaporated milk. Mix well. Stir in 1 1/2 cups flour, then beat until smooth. Add remaining flour, a little at a time, until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl and becomes to stiff to stir with a spoon.
  2. Turn dough out onto a floured board. Form into a ball and transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl turning to coat all sides of the ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or refrigerate over night and proceed the next day.
  3. Roll dough to a thickness between 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Then cut into rectangles about 2 by 3 inches.
  4. Heat the oil in a large deep cast iron pan to a depth of 3 to 4 inches to 360 degrees. Fry beignets, 3 to 4 at a time until they puff and become golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes turning once or twice.
  5. Drain on wire racks set over paper towels.
  6. Sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar.
Cafe' Du Monde~
The Original French Market Coffee Stand since 1862 New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Original Cafe' Du Monde Coffee Stand was established in 1862,
in the New Orleans French Market.
The Original Cafe' Du Monde is a Traditional Coffee Shop.
It's menu consists of dark roasted Coffee and Chicory,
Beignets, White and Chocolate Milk and
Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice.
The Coffee is served Black or Au Lait.
Au Lait means it is mixed half and half with hot milk.
Beignets are Square, French-style doughnuts,
lavishly covered with powdered sugar.
In 1988, Iced Coffee was introduced to the Cafe'.

Sourdough, Beignets

References from: Mardi Gras  Cafe' Du Monde

Health Note: Barley is loaded with fiber, the soluble kind that helps to lower blood cholesterol. If you're trying to add more fiber to your diet start slowly so your body can get used to it.
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