Many different cultures have variations of the beignet (pronounced ben-yey) in their traditional cultural cuisines. Beignet is the French term for a pastry or in Russian we call them Ponchiki or Pishki. It is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar. These tasty deep fried pastries airy, crisp textures, soft yet chewy and sweet enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. You can use different fillings or you could eat them plain and they are delicious also.
Adopted this recipe from America’s test kitchen
1 cup warm water
2 large eggs
4 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. Instant Yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable or Canola Oil for frying
Powder sugar for dusting
Combine warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast and set aside for about 5 minutes.
In a mixer bowl whisk 3 tablespoons sugar, eggs, 2 tablespoons oil, salt and vanilla; mix on low speed until sugar dissolves;
add yeast mixture. Add flour in small amounts, mixing well after each addition to make soft dough. (dough will be very wet).
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Divide dough in half, place 1 half on a well floured surface, and pat with flour hands, flipping to coat with flour. Roll dough out to 1/4 –inch thick rectangle about 12 inches by 9 inches.
Using pizza wheel or I have special dough cutter, cut dough into 3 inch squared and transfer to floured sheet.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Add oil into a frying pan (about 1 inch deep) and heat over medium heat. Add your shaped dough and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side.
Remove from oil onto paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Serve hot with your choice of jam, sour cream or dust lightly with powder sugar.